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Nuclear wastes and other problems – nuclear power not low carbon, not safe

Uncertainties surround spent nuclear fuel disposal   Dr Paul Dorfman, et al
We beg to differ with Jonathan Ford’s view on nuclear waste, that decommissioning and storage should be manageable problems (“Nuclear liabilities need to be put into a clearer perspective”, Inside Business, November 18). As the recent World Nuclear Waste Report 2019, states, no country in the world has a deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel in operation, and there remain significant scientific uncertainties associated with the deep disposal concept. Moreover, with costs of both interim and permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel ramping, no country has either securely estimated costs nor closed the gap between secured funds and cost estimates. The report adds that there is a lack of comprehensive, quantitative and qualitative information on risks associated with nuclear waste, with meta-analyses on the health impacts of nuclear waste notable for their virtual absence.

We also take issue with Mr Ford’s claim that “nuclear power remains one of the few technologies the world has for reliably generating zero-carbon electricity”. The evidence base concludes that, taking account of the nuclear fuel cycle (uranium mining, fuel enrichment, construction of power stations and the waste stream), nuclear has CO2 emissions between 10 and 18 times those of renewables. And, in the light of major accidents, incidents, technical failures and outages, it is difficult to comprehend how the world’s ageing nuclear fleet can conceivably be described as reliable. Dr Paul Dorfman Senior Research Associate, UCL Energy Institute, University College London Prof Andy Blowers Author, ‘The Legacy of Nuclear Power’ Prof Keith Barnham Emeritus Professor of Physics, Imperial College London Paul Brown Co-Editor, Climate News Network Prof Tom Burke Founder and Chair, E3G Prof Steve Thomas Emeritus Professor of Energy Policy, University of Greenwich Dr David Toke Reader in Energy Policy, University of Aberdeen Prof Andy Stirling Science Policy Research Unit, Sussex Energy Group, University of Sussex Prof Brian Wynne Professor Emeritus of Science Studies, Lancaster University  

November 21, 2019 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference, wastes

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