Will Plasma Chemical Technologies Spur a Nuclear Energy Boom?

In February 2014, the Federal government announced that a $6.5 billion loan would be given toward the construction of a nuclear power plant in Waynesboro, Georgia, marking the first time since 1996 that new nuclear reactors would be built.

This news was received with mixed reviews, as nuclear power is a controversial issue since Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown following the country’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. Since then, nuclear power has raised more concerns than before.

According to US to help build first new nuclear reactors in decades by Ned Resnikoff, the loan “couldn’t come soon enough for the nuclear power industry, due to multiple plant closings and the perceived danger of meltdowns.”

However, proponents of nuclear energy, and of this decision, point out that producing the power here in the U.S. will be one of the best ways to ensure energy independence. President Obama has announced the goal of an “all of the above” energy strategy, which includes more natural gas production in addition to nuclear power, with the end goal of less and less dependence on foreign energy sources.

As leaders in high power DC power supply technology, we make it a priority to stay in-the-know when it comes to all power/energy issues and especially emerging markets. One of the most controversial aspects of nuclear power is toxic waste. Leading edge companies are making progress on this. One of the most promising technologies for the treatment of toxic waste is plasma chemical technologies based on high-temperature plasma chemical technologies treatment and complete decomposition of the treated waste by means of arc plasma yielding a valuable energy resource, synthesized gas, which is a mixture of CO and H2. This process completely incinerates the waste, thereby addressing waste storage and treatment in a safe, clean, reliable way, while saving energy and producing a usable byproduct. PCTI has been contacted by organizations on the leading edge of this technology to provide high power DC power supplies to power plasma torches such as PyroGenesis in Canada and The International Scientific Center on Termophysics and Energetics in Russia. Technologies such as this make clean nuclear energy even more viable as an alternative to fossil fuels and problems of energy dependence.  Those in favor point to European countries as examples. The French completely support nuclear power; nuclear provides 75% of France’s electricity, the highest in Europe. In 2012 Denmark had a negative energy dependence rate, for example, and nuclear and renewable energy now contribute to over half of Europe’s energy.

No matter which side you choose in the nuclear debate, most agree that an energy-independent U.S. is a good thing. While there are many emerging market solutions to solve our energy dependence and progress with renewable technologies and practical implementation, the fact remains that nuclear power plants produce more kilowatts than coal, wind or solar for fewer cents. It’s the logical solution to reduce our energy dependence. As the country begins to produce more energy and rely less on foreign oil, there will be an increasing need for waste treatment. Technologies like the plasma chemical technologies treatment of toxic waste ensure that this treatment is done in the cleanest, safest, most efficient way possible.

About PCTI

PCTI designs and manufactures leading edge power electronic equipment in the highest power ranges. PCTI’s engineering staff has in-depth knowledge in the key areas of power conversion such as power semiconductor analysis and application, thermal exchange, magnetic design, packaging, DSP (digital signal processor) control for inverters, frequency converters, DC power supplies, battery chargers and dischargers. PCTI is a certified DBE woman-owned business. Contact us for more information on our products, applications assistance, or pricing.