Nuclear power is not the solution to climate change. Those who tuned into CNN’s town hall on climate change may have been surprised to hear nuclear power come up repeatedly. Nuclear power is often proposed as a solution because, unlike fossil fuels, it does not emit climate changing gases. But, unlike other zero emissions technologies such as solar and wind, nuclear poses enormous risks to the environment and communities, and it’s too costly to boot. Nuclear power raises all the dangers inherent in working with radioactive materials. Mining uranium produces tailings that create radon emissions and also pollutes soil and water with sulfuric acids and cyanic salts. Spent nuclear fuel can remain radioactive for thousands of years. And there is always the risk of a catastrophic accident or terrorist attack that can release enormous amounts of radiation. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima all offer potent warnings of just how much can go wrong. There are already 448 operable nuclear power plants in the world, with 53 under construction. These plants pose significant risks, and adding more would be irresponsible. Some people acknowledge the risks of nuclear but then argue that because the impacts of climate change are so much greater, we need to adopt nuclear power despite the risks. But that argument overlooks the fact that we don’t need nuclear to get to zero emissions energy. Studies, including a recent one from Energy Watch Group of Germany and LUT University in Finland, demonstrate that we can meet 100% of our energy needs with renewable energy.
USA Today 11th Sept 2019 read more »
FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), Xcel Energy, and Arizona Public Service (APS) will demonstrate hydrogen production at three nuclear plants they own starting in 2020 and 2021. The projects, selected as part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Nuclear Energy’s Advanced Reactor Development Project funding pathway, aim to improve long-term competitiveness of the nuclear sector as more cheap natural gas and renewable power resources flood power markets. Funded by the DOE, the demonstrations will take place at FES’ Davis-Besse plant in Ohio, APS’ Palo Verde plant in Arizona, and an Xcel nuclear plant in Minnesota.
Power Mag 11th Sept 2019 read more »