Sunday, 26 August 2007

Go Nuclear - Go Green - Life Cycle Emissions Comparable to Renewables.

Nuclear fuel Cycle
The following is taken from the NEI (Nuclear Energy Institute) Website:

An International Energy Agency (IEA) analysis found that nuclear power’s life-cycle emissions range from 2 to 59 gram-equivalents of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. Only hydropower’s range ranked lower, at 2 to 48 grams of carbon dioxide-equivalents per kilowatt-hour. Nuclear energy’s life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions are lower than wind (7 to 124 grams of carbon dioxide-equivalents) and solar photovoltaic (13 to 731 grams of carbon dioxide-equivalents), according to the agency. The life-cycle emissions from natural gas-fired plants ranged from 389 to 511 grams of carbon dioxide-equivalents per kilowatt-hour.

Many nuclear critics have claimed that new nuclear plants would need to use lower ore uranium, which requires more energy to extract, and therefore would have higher emissions. In response, British Energy conducted a follow-up study that showed even with a very low uranium ore grade, CO2 emissions would remain very small. If Torness used this ore for all its fuel, its emissions would only rise from 5.05 g/kWh to 6.85 g/kWh.

To view a chart showing the the amount of CO2 produced by different forms of energy, click HERE (You need PowerPoint to view this).

To find out more about the life cycle of nuclear energy, click on the graphic above.

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