Technical alternatives to fossil fuels
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There has however been some enthusiasm for a return to the idea of using nuclear power – since nuclear plants do not generate any carbon dioxide gas. As we will be discussing later, the scale of nuclear expansion that would have to occur to make a significant impact would have to be very large, and it seems unlikely that this will happen. Some countries, like France, Japan, China and Korea remain keen on nuclear expansion, and the USA has recently also begun to reconsider this option. However, in most of the rest of the world nuclear power is perceived as a failed or at least stalled option. In part the problem has been economic. The ‘energy crisis’ envisaged in the mid-1970s failed to materialise: fossil fuel prices subsequently fell and nuclear power could not compete. It had also become hard to support politically in many countries due to public opposition.