Monday, August 25, 2008

Non-renewable nuclear power

My local paper carries a front page which calls nuclear power a from of nuclear energy "renewable". Government also is trying to pull this scam.

The Editor, Mercury

I would like to correct an error on the front page of the Mercury on August 21st. You flagged up the proposed new nuclear reactor at Hinkley point as a "renewable energy development". Nuclear power is not renewable. It depends on limited uranium ores, and one important analysis finds that if the world tried to generate all its electricity from nuclear, it would use up the available high-grade uranium in 3 to 6 years. Low grade uranium could take us a bit further, but would create more carbon dioxide in refining it than it would save in generating electricity, which would be pointless. Put another way, a flat out nuclear energy programme could save about 0.8% of the world's CO2 emmissions over the next 100 years. Nuclear power is an expensive and dangerous diversion away from the real task that we face, which is to have a massive job-creating drive in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Renewable power is far more than wind turbines: it includes solar heat and electricity, wave, ocean current, tidal, and perhaps most important of all, solar concentrators sited in desert areas. Studies have shown that this can meet our needs if implemented with committment and determination.


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