nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Media ignores the fact that the full nuclear power chain releases much carbon

Nuclear power still a concern for many http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/sd-nuclear-power-dirty-utak-letters-20170714-story.html Nuclear power not as clean as depicted

It was discouraging to see the front-page article “Nuclear power plant concerns shifting” (July 9) repeat the common misstatement about nuclear power’s “relatively small carbon footprint.”

This inaccurate assertion results from such articles looking only at pollution produced at the nuclear power plant. Naturally its carbon footprint will be small; it’s not burning fossil fuels.

But the pollution produced in manufacturing the fuel must also be considered. In the case of nuclear fission, the energy required to concentrate, enrich and fabricate nuclear fuel requires burning large amounts of carbon-based energy resources, often coal, at fossil fuel power plants. Additionally, the energy expended to safeguard spent fuel must also be considered.

Unless those attempting to assess pollution from nuclear power plants take into account emissions resulting from the entire fuel cycle, not just the power plant, misleading conclusions will result and suboptimal decisions will be made.

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July 17, 2017 - Posted by | general

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