Nuclear Power – Unwanted and Unnecessary (Pt. 4)

This posting is a follow-on from the blog about the impacts of mining nuclear fuel (uranium) and is part four in a series highlighting other issues with nuclear power.  Please read parts one, two and/or three if you have not already done so.

As this is the last post in the series, I thought I would highlight two points:

  1. even if you ignore all the issues raised in the previous posts – and those not mentioned such as decommissioning (Wikipedia article) and peak uranium (Wikipedia article) – then nuclear power could not play a significant role in reducing CO2 because the stations could not come into service quickly enough to to meet challenging short-term targets; and
  2. energy efficiency and renewables can supply the answer to climate change and our energy needs.

Nuclear PowerWith regards to point one, the Green Party’s 2009 report Nuclear Power? No Point! mentions that the International Energy Agency produced scenarios in June 2008 that showed if it were possible to quadruple nuclear power capacity by 2050, its share of world energy would still be below 10% and reduce CO2 emissions by less than 4%.  In addition, a Friends of the Earth Australia article dated July 2009 states “Doubling global nuclear power output (at the expense of coal) would reduce greenhouse emissions by about 5%.”

Furthermore, as mentioned in the Green Party’s report referred to above, nuclear power could not play a significant role in reducing CO2 because the stations could not come into service quickly enough to to meet challenging short-term targets.

Renewable EnergyRegarding point two, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) published a report – Zero Carbon Britain: An Alternative Energy Strategy – in 2007 which details how Britain can reduce its carbon emissions to zero within 20 years without using new nuclear power.  The CAT Development Director Paul Allen has said, “We are confident that if Britain treated this as the serious emergency the climate science is saying it is, we could eliminate the need for fossil fuels within 20 years.”

Investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy will also produce far more jobs as shown in the Green New Deal report and Jean Lambert’s (the Green Party’s London MEP) report Green Work: Employment and Skills – the Climate Change Challenge.

David M. Davison

PS The New Internationalist has a large number of nuclear power articles available online via its mega index and it is well worth visiting; if, as I do, you like cartoons, be sure to read this one.

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3 Responses to “Nuclear Power – Unwanted and Unnecessary (Pt. 4)”

  1. The document Zero Carbon Britain 2030 – A New Energy Strategy excludes nuclear because, in summary, of “short- and long-term safety, security, and financial reasons” (page 242 of the document).

    Please see our blog Zero Carbon Britain for details:
    https://medwaygreenparty.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/zero-carbon-britain-2030/

    David M. Davison

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