Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Why Nuclear Power is Not the
Solution to Global Warming

The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER),
Worldwatch Institute, and Sen. George Mitchell in his book,
World on Fire have all spoken to the potential scale and cost
of Carbon Dioxide offset through the use of nuclear.

“Slowing Global Warming: A Worldwide Strategy”
by Christopher Flavin,
World Watch Paper # 91
published by the Worldwatch Institute, October 1989

“. …for nuclear power to offset even 5 percent of global carbon emissions would require that worldwide nuclear capacity be nearly doubled from today’s level. That means that nuclear is simply not a medium term option for slowing global warming.”

World on Fire
by Senator George Mitchell 1991

“…If nuclear plants replaced all coal-fired plants in the world, global warming could be cut by 20 to 30 percent by the middle of the next century (2050). But it would require bringing a nuclear power plant on line somewhere in the world every one to three days for the next forty years. The cost would be $9 trillion; the pace of construction would be ten times larger (greater?) than any the world has ever seen. Both figures are unthinkable. A totally safe reactor, a totally safe place to dispose of its deadly
wastes, and a totally safe way to keep the wrong kind of nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands none of these things have been resolved. By the time they are resolved, if they ever can be, it will be too late. The projected global warming will be full upon us.”

Greenhouse Warming: Comparative Analysis of
Nuclear and Efficiency Abatement Strategies
by Bill Keepin and Gregory Katz, Energy Policy,
December 1988

The authors posit a conservative scenario in which one-half of non-fossil energy is supplied by nuclear power with a construction program beginning in 1988.

“…This results in a total nuclear installed capacity of 8,180 GW by the year 2025, equivalent to some 8000 large nuclear power plants. This represents a 20-fold increase in world nuclear capacity, requiring that nuclear plants be built at an average rate of one new 1000 MW plant every 1.61 days for the next 37 years. At an assumed cost of $1.0 billion/1000MW installed, this results in a total capitol cost of 8.39 trillion (1987) dollars, an average of $227 billion each year for 37 years to build the required nuclear plants. Total electricity generation cost is $31.48 trillion, or an average of $787 billion/year. The required capitol investment is economically infeasible for the developing world…”

The authors point out that even with a massive nuclear construction program, the use of fossil fuels will continue to grow.

“ Thus, in this scenario, even bringing a new nuclear plant on line every day and a half for nearly four decades does not prevent annual CO2 emissions from steadily increasing to a value 60% greater than they are today.”


'Clean' nuclear power?

From Mr John Busby
February 22, 2005 UK Times


Sir, Papers delivered to the World Nuclear Association’s
annual symposiums show an industry in crisis in that primary
supplies of uranium provide only 55 per cent of the current
demand, the balance coming from the so-called secondary
sources of ex-weapons material, inventories and reworked
mine tailings. The papers indicate that the secondary
sources are running down.

The 36 reactors under construction (letter, February 17) can
only be supplied by the scheduled closing of many of the 430
existing reactors, whose life is in some cases being
extended by ignoring the safety implications associated with
the deterioration in the materials of their construction as
a result of irradiation.

Even if nuclear power is “carbon dioxide clean”, which it is
not, the contribution it makes to global energy supplies is
a mere 2½ per cent. Using the lower grades of uranium ore as
the higher grades are depleted leads to even more carbon
dioxide being released from the less efficient mining,
milling and enrichment involved.

Nuclear power offers neither sustainability nor a “clean”
overall fuel cycle and cannot contribute to an alleviation
of global warming. There is no “nuclear option”.

Yours faithfully,
Melford Road, Lawshall,
Bury St Edmunds IP29 4PY.
February 17.
Posted for educational and research purposes only,
~ in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 ~
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