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What is the future of nuclear power ?

There is no question that nuclear power is enjoying something of a renaissance. It is increasingly considered a green and sustainable source of energy.  So, after years of bad press, there is now a clear future for nuclear power. So, what does it look like?  

What is nuclear power? 

Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity. There are multiple ways in which power reactions can be obtained but the usual way is “nuclear fission” .

These nuclear power plants are huge constructions which can often be seen from miles away with what seems to be a large plume of smoke seeping into the sky.  Therefore, it is hardly surprising that images such as this have created negative connotations surrounding nuclear power plants and give the impression that they are environmentally contaminating the atmosphere.

Nuclear power is important, as is investment 

The UK needs to invest in its nuclear industry which thankfully they are. Not only is it likely to help with the cost of energy bills, which over the last few years have been at a record high, but also the investment helps in the creation of highly skilled jobs and allows the UK to become less dependent on imported energy.

Sustainability and environmental impact alone make nuclear power vital in addition to the reduction in carbon emissions and the lack of greenhouse gases (emissions are significantly lower than fossil fuel-based production). In a nutshell, it is a cleaner energy source with a much smaller carbon footprint.  Large power plants of the future such as Hinkley “C” and Sizewell “C” are likely to be supported by a network of SMR’s (Small Modular Reactors) intended to be rolled out over the coming decades.

Nuclear power plant


One of the leading concerns surrounding Nuclear Energy is the legacy of nuclear waste. As well as future power generation, the UK government has also been investing heavily in cleaning up our nuclear legacy. Significant amounts of waste and contaminated materials are currently being stored at sites around the country. As old nuclear power stations and waste fuel storage plants are being decommissioned, there is ongoing investment in the safe re-packaging and disposal of these materials. This presents its own unique set of engineering challenges.

How can igus® help the future of nuclear power?

The future of nuclear power seems stable   due to recent government investment, however, it would help if the connotations surrounding this industry were switched and became more positive, because it is actually a sustainable method of producing the energy we need.   

The “need” to invest could be used as a good comparison as to why customers choose to use igus® products. The initial outlay might be slightly more costly than cheaper alternative options, however, the longevity of the products outweighs the initial investment.  

 igus® have been involved in the supply of products and services to the nuclear industry for many years now. We supply umbilical solutions, robot dress packs, flexible cable and energy chain products, together with our bearing technology, including plain bearings, linear slideways and 3D printed bespoke products. Our equipment is featured on Transfer Bogies, through wall drives and material handling equipment, such as high integrity cranes and manipulators.

All igus® products are lubrication-free and tested thoroughly in our massive test laboratory, enabling us to give a service life for each product based on the application parameters. This ensures that any application or machine with igus® products on can be scheduled for any maintenance work required based on the life span of the product, for example, keeping a nuclear power plant up and running and producing more energy.  

For more information on What is the future of nuclear power ? talk to igus UK

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