走在悬崖边上的核能

发自维也纳——人们经常问我,核能是否安全?而我的标准回答则是:对,就跟坐飞机一样安全。飞机坠毁事件的确偶有发生,但高效率的安全系统能确保其发生的几率微乎其微——因此大多数人在登机时也不会为自己也许无法安全飞抵目的地而忧心忡忡。核能也是如此,尽管人们总是有担忧一起严重的核事故会给人类和环境带来无法估量的恶果。

而这个问题得到的不仅仅是学术界的关注,即将在今年12月于哥本哈根召开的联合国气候变化会议上,核能的未来将会作为一个关键性话题被提上议程。事实上,全球的核能发电量在今后20年内将会提高一倍。已有30个国家在使用核能,而其中包括中国、俄罗斯和印度在内的大多数国家已经制定计划大规模扩张核能。另有大约60个国家——其中大多数属于发展中国家行列——已经向国际原子能机构表示,他们对引进核能充满了兴趣。

很明显,核能对于穷国和富国都富有吸引力。欠发达世界极其需要这种能够产生电力的途径来帮助人民摆脱贫困以及保证自身的可持续发展。在某些非洲国家人均年用电量仅仅只有大约50千瓦/小时,而对比经合组织(OECD)国家的平均数据,人均年用电量则高达8600千瓦/小时。

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