WHY NUKES CAN'T SAVE THE PLANET FROM CLIMATE CHANGE





you can't nuke global warming!



a list of recent articles on nukes & climate



Nuclear Power and Climate: Why Nukes Can't Save the Planet




 Nuclear Power and Climate: Why Nukes Can't Save the Planet. Two-page sheet suitable for downloading/printing on the basic reasons nuclear power is not a global warming solution and, in fact, would be counterproductive at addressing the climate crisis. / NIRS
Background Information on Climate Change and Nuclear Power - NIRS


Can Nuclear Power Slow Down Climate Change? An analysis of nuclear greenhouse gas emissions
Commissioned by the World Information Service on Energy (WISE) Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 2015
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?
• FULL REPORT PDF DOWNLOAD: CLICK HERE


Nukes are NOT "carbon-free"






WHY NUKES CAN'T SAVE THE PLANET FROM CLIMATE CHANGE

-- even though the People's Climate March (2014) is over, i wanted to re-post all of this very important information -- many thanks to Nuclear Information and Resource Service - NIRS!

Reason #1. Too Many Reactors, Not Enough Carbon Reductions
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REASON #1: TOO MANY REACTORS, NOT ENOUGH CARBON REDUCTIONS

Major studies (from MIT, Commission on Energy Policy, and International Atomic Energy Agency, for example) agree that about 1,500-2,000 large new atomic reactors would have to be built worldwide for nuclear power to make any meaningful dent in greenhouse emissions (fewer than 400 reactors now operate globally). If all of these reactors were used to replace coal plants, carbon emissions would drop by only about 20% worldwide. If used as new capacity instead of sustainable technologies like wind power, solar power, energy efficiency, carbon emissions actually would increase.



Reason #2. Nuclear power costs too much.
 
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REASON #2: NUCLEAR POWER COSTS TOO MUCH
Construction of the 1,500 new reactors (200-300 in U.S. alone) needed for nuclear power to have a significant impact on carbon reductions would cost trillions of dollars. New reactors cost some $7 billion to $15 billion each. Use of resources of this magnitude would make it impossible to also implement more effective means of addressing global warming. Energy efficiency improvements, for example, are some seven times more effective at reducing greenhouse gases, per dollar spent, than nuclear power.



Reason #3. Nuclear Power Would Take Too Long.
 
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REASON #3: NUCLEAR POWER WOULD TAKE TOO MUCH TIME
Construction of  the 1,500 new reactors needed to make a meaningful dent in carbon emissions would mean opening a new reactor about once every two weeks, beginning today, for the next 60 years—an impossible schedule and much too late to achieve necessary carbon reductions. The world’s nuclear reactor manufacturers currently are capable of building less than half that amount.  Addressing the climate crisis cannot wait for nuclear power.



Reason #4. New Reactor Designs: Too Slow, No Demand.
 
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REASON # 4: NEW REACTOR DESIGNS: TOO SLOW, NO DEMAND
Some otherwise knowledgeable climate scientists advocate using new, supposedly safer, reactor designs as a climate solution. These untested designs, such as the IFR (Integral Fast Reactor), PBMR (Pebble Bed Modular Reactor), thorium reactors and others, including “small modular reactors,” won’t help either. The designs—all of which have been discussed for decades—exist only on paper and it would take decades more to bring them to commercial operation. To achieve even that would require utilities to want to build them, but none do. Their costs would be even higher than current reactor designs—one reason utilities aren’t interested. Safety-wise, the designs are unproven and would require extensive and time-consuming testing before the federal NRC could license them. Waiting for such reactors to materialize would forestall much faster and cheaper climate solutions.


Reason #5. Too Much Radioactive Waste.
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REASON # 5: TOO MUCH RADIOACTIVE WASTE
Operation of the 1,500+ new reactors needed for nuclear power to make a dent in carbon emissions would create the need for a new Yucca Mountain-sized radioactive waste dump every 3-4 years. Yucca Mt. was studied for 20 years before being dropped by President Obama as a nonviable waste solution. International efforts to site radioactive waste facilities are similarly behind schedule and face substantial public opposition. For this reason, the nuclear industry wants to reprocess nuclear fuel as a waste management tool—a dirty, dangerous and failed technology that increases nuclear proliferation risks.


Reason #6. Too Little Safety.
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REASON # 6: TOO LITTLE SAFETY
Odds of a major nuclear disaster are said to be on the order of 1 in 10,000 reactor-years, but experience shows accidents occur even more frequently. Operation of some 1,500 reactors needed for nuclear power to play a meaningful role in reducing carbon emissions could result in a Fukushima-scale nuclear accident every five years—a price the world is not likely to be willing to pay. And more reactors means more potential terrorist targets.


Reason #7. Too Many Nuclear Weapons.
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REASON # 7: TOO MANY NUCLEAR WEAPONS
Operation of the 1,500 or more new reactors necessary for nuclear power to play a meaningful role in reducing carbon emissions would require a dozen or more new uranium enrichment plants, and would result in the production of thousands of tons of plutonium (each reactor produces about 500 pounds of plutonium per year), posing untenable nuclear proliferation threats.


Reason #8. Nukes are not carbon-free. 
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REASON # 8: NUKES ARE NOT CARBON-FREE
While nuclear reactors themselves are not major emitters of greenhouse gases, the nuclear fuel chain produces significant greenhouse emissions. This chain includes uranium mining, milling, processing, enrichment, fuel fabrication, and long-term radioactive waste storage. At each of these steps, construction and operation of nuclear facilities results in carbon emissions. Taken together, the fuel chain greenhouse emissions are more than double solar power emissions, which are declining as the industry becomes more efficient, and some six times higher than wind power—not to mention emissions-free energy efficiency technologies.


Reason #9 Nukes are not suited for warming climates.
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REASON # 9: NUKES ARE NOT SUITED FOR WARMING CLIMATES
Unlike solar power, nuclear power does not work well in warming climates. Reactors require vast quantities of water to keep the core cool; changes in water levels, and even water temperatures, can greatly affect reactor operations. Reactors in the U.S. and elsewhere have been forced to close during heat waves, when they’re needed the most. Ever-stronger storms, like Hurricane Sandy, also threaten to inundate both coastal and inland reactors. More frequent tornados, ice storms and related loss-of-power accidents, and other indicators of climate change also imperil reactors. The Fukushima accident was caused primarily by loss-of-power, not direct damage from the tsunami or earthquake. Rising sea levels threaten coastal reactors with flooding even without mega-storms.


Reason #10 A Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free energy system is safer, cleaner, cheaper and faster at reducing carbon emissions.
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REASON # 10: A NUCLEAR-FREE, CARBON-FREE ENERGY SYSTEM IS SAFER, CLEANER, CHEAPER AND FASTER AT REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS
If we could meet our electricity needs without radioactive waste, nuclear meltdowns, releases of carbon and methane and all the other environmental destruction associated with extraction of nuclear and fossil fuels from the Earth, why wouldn’t we? Just a few years ago, solar and wind power weren’t competitive with nuclear power or fossil fuels. Now, both are usually cheaper than the polluting power choices. It is increasingly affordable for homeowners to install solar power plants on their rooftops—a new solar rooftop system is installed in the U.S. every 4 minutes, a number that will drop to every 90 seconds by 2016.

Smart grids, distributed generation and other 21st century technologies enable the large-scale use of renewables despite their variable nature. And advances in battery and other storage technologies mean that both rooftop solar and larger-scale renewable power plants can provide power 24/7—just like the behemoth nuclear and coal “baseload” power plants of the 20th century.

Numerous studies show conclusively that a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system is attainable before mid-century. The technology is not the issue; only political will now stands in the way. Our choice is stark: we can choose nuclear power, or we can address global warming. We can’t do both. Fortunately, the choice is an easy one.



Nuclear Power and Climate: Why Nukes Can't Save the Planet.
NIRS' basic 1 sheet factsheet: Perfect for downloading, printing, and distributing (pdf format).
- includes all the above info, plus this:


Most people don’t realize just how fast clean renewable energy is growing nor how low its costs are plummeting. Just a few years ago, solar and wind power weren’t competitive with either nuclear power or fossil fuels. Now, both are usually cheaper than the polluting power choices.

Increasingly, it is both feasible and economical for homeowners to install their own solar power plants on their rooftops — a new solar rooftop system is installed in the U.S. every four minutes, a number that will reach every 90 seconds during 2016. Smart grids, distributed generation and other 21st century technologies enable the large-scale use of renewables despite their intermittent nature. On one day in May 2014, 74% of Germany’s power was provided by renewables, a level skeptics said could never be reached.

And advances in battery and other electricity storage technologies mean that both rooftop solar and larger-scale renewable power plants increasingly and affordably provide power 24/7—just like the behemoth nuclear and coal “baseload” power plants of the 20th century.

Investing our resources in clean energy— renewables and energy efficiency --gives us much more bang for the buck: instead of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions with nuclear power, we can get a 100% reduction — and that’s a goal worth working for. Numerous studies show conclusively that a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system is both attainable and affordable before mid-century. The technology is not the issue; only political will stands in the way.


Our choice is stark: we can choose nuclear power, or we can address global warming. We can’t do both. Fortunately, the choice is an easy one. --Michael Mariotte, June 2014







DON'T NUKE THE CLIMATE! | COP21

TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015

Today, seven international clean energy organizations launched a major new campaign in support of a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system and to prevent nuclear power from being considered as a climate solution when the world's governments meet at the COP 21 conference in Paris in December 2015.

DON'T NUKE THE CLIMATE

SIGN THE PETITION







Pro-nuclear lobbies and countries want us to believe that the support for nuclear energy - in society and among environmental groups - is growing. In reality that is clearly not the case. But our common position needs to be more outspoken and visible. This petition shows: hundreds of organisations, representing millions of people, saying that nuclear power is a false solution. We will take this petition to Paris, and make sure the negotiators hear our voice!



Sign the petition | Wise International


PEOPLE'S CLIMATE MARCH 2014, NYC












you can't nuke global warming!

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