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Time to reactivate nuclear energy in Mexico?

Date:
January 2, 2015
Source:
Investigación y Desarrollo
Summary:
A Mexican scientist has argued that nuclear energy is a real alternative to mitigate climate change damage from fossil fuel combustion in the country.
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PhD Lorenzo Martínez Gómez has argued that nuclear energy is a real alternative to mitigate climate change damage from fossil fuel combustion in the country.

The energy sector has been one of the strategic areas for the country, not only as a revenue generator for the nation but as a lever of industrial development. However, Mexico has a deficit in generating technologies and human talent in this area, making it an issue addressed by various academic specialists.

It is the case of Lorenzo Martínez Gómez, researcher at the Institute of Physics of the Autonomous Nacional University of Mexico (UNAM), who noted that in the new scenario that the country faces, the employment outlook is quite spacious for the energy sector, and is a point to be exploited by generators of human resources.

By participating at the analysis table "The training of human resources to meet the energy transition," held at the Polytechnic University of San Luis Potosí (UPSLP), Martínez Gómez said the figure that the federal government manages about employment opportunities that will be generated by the energy reform (135,000 immediately and half a million in the medium term) represents an opportunity for students, but not only in areas of hydrocarbons, but new technologies to develop alternative energy.

In that sense, the university expert noted that given the situation presented given the energy reform, is convenient to develop a serious initiative regarding the revival of nuclear engineering in Mexico.

"In Mexico, support for this type of energy generation has not permeated society and government; on the contrary, accidents at nuclear plants have been oversized, when in fact it is a real alternative to mitigate the ravages of climate change related to fossil fuel combustion," said the also winner of the Science and Technology Award granted by the Organization of American States (OAS).

In this regard, Martínez Gómez noted that even adding up all the accidents at conventional nuclear power plants, such as the one at Laguna Verde (in the state of Veracruz, in west coast of Mexico), it does not compare to all the damage caused by power generation from fossil sources. However, society is more afraid of a nuclear disaster.

According to the expert, energies that emit carbon dioxide (CO2) are one of the most pressing problems currently facing the planet. In contrast, nuclear plants have the advantage of generating very little of these components, while producing large amounts of energy.

In fact, UNAM specialist recalled that currently, besides obtaining nuclear energy from fission of enriched uranium, nuclear reactors that use other more abundant uranium in nature have been developed, which achieve more energy and recycle this element, so it is a good time to focus on these alternatives as sources of energy.

Martínez Gómez, who has participated in more than 100 IT projects for energy companies such as Repsol and Pemex, took advantage of his speech at the table analysis "The training of human resources to meet the energy transition," and called young entrepreneurs to create proposals and companies related to energy alternatives.

"While Mexico is still a major source of oil, there is great interest and potential in the field of renewable energy, which includes wind, solar and geothermal. Society must seize the moment and present initiatives with technological developments around these energy alternatives," said UNAM researcher and winner of the National Prize for Arts and Sciences in the area of Technology and Design 2012.

The event held at the UPSLP is part of the Permanent Seminar of Sciences and Technologies in Mexico in the XXI century, a program of the Center for Biological Research of the Northwest (CIBNOR), with support from the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT).


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Investigación y Desarrollo. "Time to reactivate nuclear energy in Mexico?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150102071557.htm>.
Investigación y Desarrollo. (2015, January 2). Time to reactivate nuclear energy in Mexico?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150102071557.htm
Investigación y Desarrollo. "Time to reactivate nuclear energy in Mexico?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150102071557.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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