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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear fuel chain releases much carbon

Robert Methot http://www.theday.com/letters-to-the-editor/20170610/nuclear-fuel-chain-produces-much-carbon   The Day continues to publish nonsense about “carbon-free” nuclear power, including its editorial “Don’t miss opportunity to secure Millstone’s future,” (June 6). Noting scientific reality as a substitute for alternative facts, only reactor operation is essentially carbon-free. All other stages of the nuclear fuel chain − mining, milling, fuel fabrication, enrichment, reactor construction, decommissioning and waste management − use fossil fuels and hence emit carbon dioxide.

Also, the transport between these segments of the fuel cycle can be very energy intensive, as they can occur in different countries and require long-range shipping. In the longer term CO2 emissions from the nuclear fuel chain will increase substantially as limited supplies of high-grade uranium ore are depleted and lower-grade ore is mined. This is not to suggest that Millstone be shut down, but that the genuine environmental impact of its total operational cycle be recognized.

 

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June 12, 2017 - Posted by | general

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