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Friday, November 6, 2009

Nuclear power is a false solution to climate change

From a guest column by Al Gedicks in the Green Bay Press Gazette:

The argument that nuclear power can contribute to reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that cause global climate change ("Ban on new nuclear power plants should be lifted" Oct. 16, Green Bay Press-Gazette) is flawed for three main reasons.

First, nuclear power is not carbon-free electricity. At each stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining, milling, enrichment to construction, decommissioning and waste storage, nuclear power uses fossil fuels and contributes greenhouse gas emissions that accelerate global climate change. Compared to renewable energy, nuclear power releases four to five times the CO2 per unit of energy produced.

A recent study of solutions to global warming by Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University concluded that over its entire lifecycle, nuclear electricity emits between 68 and 180 grams of CO2-equivalent emissions per kilowatt hour, compared to 3 to 11 grams for wind and concentrated solar.

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