La energía nuclear en la balanza

VIENA – Con frecuencia me preguntan si la energía nuclear es segura. Mi respuesta habitual es: “Sí... tanto como los viajes en avión”. Accidentes de avión ocurren, pero unos sistemas de seguridad muy eficaces garantizan que sean extraordinariamente escasos... tanto, que la mayoría de nosotros monta en aviones sin preocuparse por la posibilidad de que pudiera no llegar a nuestro destino. Lo mismo se puede decir de la energía nuclear, aunque siempre hay la preocupación por que un accidente muy grave tenga importantes consecuencias medioambientales y humanas.

Se trata de una cuestión que tiene un interés más que meramente académico. El futuro de la energía nuclear será uno de los asuntos sobre la mesa en la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático que se celebrará en diciembre en Copenhague. En los veinte próximos años podría duplicarse la capacidad mundial en materia de energía nuclear. Ya hay treinta países que utilizan la energía nuclear y muchos de ellos, incluidas China, Rusia y la India, tienen previstas importantes ampliaciones de sus programas vigentes. Otros sesenta países –la mayoría de ellos del mundo en desarrollo– han informado al Organismo Internacional de Energía Atómica (OIEA) de que están interesados en introducir la energía atómica.

La energía nuclear presenta atractivos evidentes tanto para los países ricos como para los pobres. El mundo en desarrollo necesita apremiantemente el acceso a la electricidad para que contribuya a sacar a su población de la pobreza y garantizar un desarrollo sostenible. En algunos países africanos, el consumo de electricidad por habitante asciende a unos 50 kilovatios-hora al año, frente a 8.600 kilovatios-hora, por término medio, en los países de la OCDE.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.