Is Nuclear Energy Green?

While it is true that the nuclear reactors do not emit greenhouse gases in the same amount as coal or oil powered generating stations, but to conclude that nuclear energy is “an environment friendly source of power” is a far stretch. Nuclear reactors do not stand alone; the production of nuclear electricity depends upon a vast and complex infrastructure known as the nuclear fuel cycle. And the fact is, the nuclear fuel cycle utilizes large quantities of fossil fuels during all its stages, as discussed below.

Carbon emission and the ‘Nuclear Fuel Cycle’
Uranium mining and milling are very energy intensive processes. The rock is excavated by bulldozers and shovels and then transported by truck to the milling plant, and all these machines use diesel oil. The ore is ground to powder in electrically powered mills, and fuel is also consumed during conversion of the uranium powder to yellow cake. In fact, mining and milling is so energy intensive that if the concentration of uranium falls to below 0.01%, then the energy required to extract it from this ore becomes greater than the amount of electricity generated by the nuclear reactor; in other words, the nuclear fuel cycle becomes energetically non-productive. And most uranium ores are low grade; the high-grade ores are very limited.

Similarly, the uranium enrichment process is also very energy intensive. For instance, the Paducah enrichment facility in the USA uses the electrical output of two 1,000 MW coal-fired plants for its operation, which emit large quantities of CO2. 

The construction of a nuclear reactor is a very high-tech process, requiring an extensive industrial and economic infrastructure. Constructing the reactor also requires a huge amount of concrete and steel. All this consumes huge quantities of fossil fuel. After the reactor’s life is over, its decommissioning is also a very energetic process.
Finally, constructing the highly specialized containers to store the intensely radioactive waste from the nuclear reactor also consumes huge amounts of energy. This waste has to be stored for a period of time which is beyond our comprehension — hundreds of thousands of years! Its energy costs are unknown. 

The above article is taken from the book: Unite to Fight Nuclear Madness
If you want to read the whole book you can download it here

And if you are also against Nuclear Energy or other problems which are effecting our society you can be a part of group name : LOKAYAT

You can check out their website: for more info.


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