Wednesday, October 4, 2017

REACHING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS WITH NUCLEAR ENERGY

With globalized economics and a new era of global interconnectedness all counties and stakeholders share the same responsibilities, to ensure a safe and sustainable future for generations to come.

In this regard the United Nation has traced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to be followed by all nations for all nations. These goals provide clear guidelines to tackle the root causes of poverty, hunger, climate change and unite all necessary efforts to make a positive change for mankind and the planet.

It is generally accepted that science and technological innovations need to play a fundamental role in assisting global leaders to find the answers to pending issues.It is therefore no surprise that nuclear science and innovative nuclear technologies are playing a major role in providing viable solutions to help achieve these ambitious SDG targets. It is well known globally that nuclear technologies have much to offer in the fight against poverty, hunger, dread diseases, and water shortages, not to mention its ability to provide sustainable and environmentally friendly electricity.

Let’s take a closer look these various applications.

Nuclear medicine helps millions of people across the globe to successfully fight cancer and has reduced the mortality rate of non-communicable diseases by one third. Moreover, nuclear science centers and research facilities are indispensable in the production of radioisotopes which are used in complex medical treatments.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) provides training and seminars to improve cancer management across the globe.With the help of nuclear technologies Tanzanian doctors can now deliver more precise radiation treatment to patients with oncological diseases using modern scanning methods previously not available in the region. These new methods make it possible to treat more patients than before with more accuracy.

As the population continues to grow rapidly in emerging countries, the availability of potable water remains one of the most pressing issues for the mankind. Innovative nuclear technologies can be used to desalinate ocean water or to reduce contaminants in contaminated water, making it safe to use.

A number of countries such as Kenya have already used nuclear technologies to manage water consumption more effectively. Nuclear and isotopic based techniques have helped Kenyan farmers to use water in a more cost-effective manner,the technique reduces costs by more than 50% when compared to standard irrigation. Isotopic techniques were used to determine the most efficient way to use saline groundwater and treated sewage water through drip irrigation.Drip irrigation reduced the amount of water needed by up to 30%, compared to sprinkler irrigation.

Water purification and desalination can be of huge benefit to Tanzania, where it is difficult for many people in arid regions to access clean water. Implementation of these technologies is of high importance for the East African country where nearly 23 million people don’t have full access to safe potable water.

Sometimes water scarcity can be explained by climate change and environmental degradation, generated by carbon dioxide emissions, caused by burning coal or
oil.Even in this respect nuclear science and nuclear power plants are playing an important role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Electricity generated by nuclear power plants is reliable, while the process of generation does not emit any hazardous substancesand pollutants into the air.

To meet global targetsin thecombat against global warming, manyemerging countries are turning tonuclear power, as it is able to kill two birds with one stone –
generate clean environmentally friendly electricity, at a very affordable price.

In addition to this, nuclear techniques render significant assistance to farmers in combating desertification and soil degradation. Isotopes make it possible to identify erosion spots and help to restore these affected zones.This leads to higher incomes, a diverse ecosystem and biodiversity.

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