Saturday, September 10, 2016

Can Nuclear Power Slow Down Climate Change? An analysis of nuclear greenhouse gas emissions | The Helen Caldicott Foundation

Can Nuclear Power Slow Down Climate Change  
(click title to access link to PDF of full report)
By Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen Ceedata Consultancy
Commissioned by the World Information Service on Energy (WISE) Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 2015
Supporting organizations:
Sortir du Nucléaire, France, Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS), USA, Ecodefense, Russia, Global 2000 (Friends of the Earth), Austria, Bürgerinitiative Lüchow-Dannenberg, Germany, Folkkampanjen mot Kärnkraft-Kärnvapen, Sweden
This report is sponsored by: the Greens in the European Parliament
The author would like to thank Mali Lightfoot, Executive Director of the Helen Caldicott Foundation, for her valuable suggestions and comments.
Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen, MSc
With this study WISE hopes to contribute to a thorough debate about the best solutions to tackle climate change. Nuclear energy is part of the current global energy system. The question is whether the role of nuclear power should be increased or halted. In order to be able to fruitfully discuss this we should at least know what the contribution of nuclear power could possibly be.

Summary and conclusions (for complete report click on the link  above or go directly to the report on the WISE site which is downloadable)
Starting point
Nuclear power is claimed to be nearly carbon-free and indispensable for mitigating climate change as a result of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.
Assuming that nuclear power really does not emit carbon dioxide CO2 nor other greenhouse gases (GHGs), how large is the present nuclear mitigation share and how large could it become in the future? Could the term ‘indispensable’ in this context be quantfied? These issues are assessed from a physical point of view, economic aspects are left outside the scope of this assessment.
How large is the present nuclear mitigation share?
The global GHG emissions comprise a number of different gases and sources. Weighted by the global warming potential of the various GHGs 61% of the emissions were caused by CO2 from burning of fossil fuels for energy generation. Nuclear power could displace fossil-fuelled electricity generation, so hypothetically the maximum nuclear mitigation share would be 61% if the global energy supply were to be fully electric and fully nuclear.
In 2014 the nuclear contribution to the global usable energy supply was 1.6% and consequently the nuclear mitigation share was 1.0%.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) asserts that the nuclear contribution to the global energy supply was 4.6% in 2014. However, this figure turns out to be based on a thermodynamically inaccurate statistical trick using virtual energy quantities.
How large could the nuclear mitigation to climate change become in the future according to the nuclear industry?
We found no hard figures on this issue, for that reason this study analyses the mitigation consequences of the envisioned developments of global nuclear generating capacity. During the past years the International Atomic Energy Agency and the nuclear industry, represented by the World Nuclear Association (WNA), published numerous scenarios of global nuclear generating capacity in the future, measured in gigawatt- electric GWe. Four recent scenarios are assessed in this study, as these can be considered to be typical of the views within the nuclear industry...

more: The Helen Caldicott Foundation | Can Nuclear Power Slow Down Climate Change? An analysis of nuclear greenhouse gas emissions.

whats up: #BustTheMyth – nukes are NOT carbon-free, clean, safe, green, or affordable!

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