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Al Fin

Al Fin

Al Fin runs a number of very successful blogs that cover, energy, technology, news and politics.

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Nuclear Power: Safer, Cheaper, More Reliable and No CO2

One of the features of nuclear power which is most attractive to a large segment of the population, is the fact that it does not emit CO2. Among all baseload energy sources, nuclear is the cheapest and lowest carbon emitting power source. With the coming of factory-made small modular nuclear plants, nuclear should get cheaper, more reliable, safer to operate, and quicker to install.

Emissions

After analysing a wealth of peer-reviewed studies on market needs, technology
performance, life-cycle emissions and electricity costs, the researchers conclude that only five technologies currently qualify for low-emission baseload generation. Of these, nuclear power is the standout solution. Nuclear is the cheapest option at all carbon prices and the only one able to meet the stringent greenhouse gas emission targets envisaged for 2050.

Only one of these five qualifiers comes from the renewable energy category – solar thermal in combination with heat storage and gas backup. However, on a cost basis, it is uncompetitive, as are the carbon capture and storage technologies.

Professor Barry Brook, director of climate science at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute says: “I am committed to the environment, personally and professionally. The evidence is compelling that nuclear energy must play a central role in future electricity generation. No other technology can meet our demand for power while reducing carbon emissions to meet global targets”. _BraveNewClimate_via_NextBigFuture

More informed energy analysts understand that the true strengths of nuclear power far transcend the feature of no carbon emissions. But if low CO2 emissions can be used as a bargaining point with the carbon hysterics in government regulatory agencies, then by all means, let's do it.

CO2 is a well-mixed atmospheric gas. Plants and algae do not care where their CO2 comes from (China and India), and will not begrudge humans their more sustainable nuclear power -- even if it means less CO2 for them.

By. Al Fin


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Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on December 03 2010 said:
    In my new energy economics textbook I wrote somewhere "When I hear people talking about reducing greenhouse gases with nuclear, I tune out." I tune out because although I am absolutely and totally and completely interested in more nuclear, nuclear by itself will not make it. What is needed is nuclear and a load of renewables - a lot of renewables. That is the arrangement to plug.
  • bristolchick on January 27 2012 said:
    @Anonymous
    "What is needed is nuclear and a load of renewables - a lot of renewables. That is the arrangement to plug."
    You will find, if you visit Professor Barry Brook's blog bravenewclimate.com that is exactly his position.
    He thinks that we need renewables plus nuclear power to solve the climate crisis. Indeed he is not pro-nuclear per se and clearly states that all energy options should be on the table for examination. Whichever produces the lowest CO2 for the lowest cost should be used to replace the fossil fuels coal and gas.

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