Nukes and Climate Change

The claim that nuclear power is a ‘solution to climate change’ is a total crock. The whole nuclear cycle from mining and milling to reprocessing to transportation to reactor construction and operation to decommissioning to radwaste repository is a VERY carbon intensive process. Routine emissions from ‘normal’ reactor operation not only include greenhouse gases, but are radioactive to boot. What’s so ‘clean’ about that? Check out Beyond Nuclear warns about C-14, urges EPA remove nuclear power from “Clean Power Plan” Proponents of nuclear power always say that one of the big benefits of nuclear power is that it produces no carbon dioxide (CO2). This is completely untrue, as a moment’s consideration will demonstrate that fossil fuels, especially oil in the form of gasoline and diesel, are essential to every stage of the nuclear cycle, and CO2 is given off whenever these are used. See the carbon intensive nuclear cycle in pictures: Does nuclear power produce no CO2 ? by Dave Kimble Nuclear Power – Unqualified to Combat Climate Change, – World Business Academy PDF By Rinaldo S. Brutoco Jeremy Rifkin on the future of nuclear power ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ author Jeremy Rifkin, a futurist and international business consultant, who predicts the coming of a new energy regime he describes as ‘decentralized, distributive and collaborative’ like the internet, summarizes the way he sees the future of nuclear power this way, “From a business perspective, it’s over.” In this he echoes Amory Lovins’ prediction made several decades back that nuclear energy would suffer a slow death ‘from an overdose of market forces.’ Rifkin cites the following reasons for his view: 1. Currently, nuclear generation supplies only 6% of world power 2. Estimates are that would have to be increased to 20% to have any substantial effect on climate change. 3. In practice, that would mean building1600 new plants as well as replacing the 400 existing plants with new ones. 4. That would require building 3 new plants every month for the next 40 years to get to 20%, and by then climate change would have become irreversible. [Not to mention that nuclear plant construction time averages 9.4 years and that all plants currently under construction are far behind schedule, way over budget, and plagued with manufacturing and quality control problems as well as intense public opposition.] 5. Despite over 60 years of trying, no way to deal with the radwaste has been found. 6. Recycling waste to produce mixed oxide or MOX fuel leaves more toxic waste and lots of plutonium available in an age of uncertainty and terrorism. 7. Uranium is getting more and more scarce and 2025 to 2035 will see big shortages and thus high prices. 8. Finally, [and this is a kicker] in a world in water crisis, we just don’t have the water to spare on cooling reactors, which must be located on rivers, lakes or coast lines. In France, Rifkin says for example, 40% of all the fresh water in the country is needed just to cool the reactors, and that water comes out hot [and radioactive] which further exacerbates ecological problems. NIRS reports that “A typical 1000-megawatt pressurized-water reactor (with a cooling tower) takes in 20,000 gallons of river, lake or ocean water per minute for cooling, circulates it through a 50-mile maze of pipes, returns 5,000 gallons per minute to the same body of water, and releases the remainder to the atmosphere as vapor. A 1000-megawatt reactor without a cooling tower takes in even more water–as much as one-half million gallons per minute. The discharge water is contaminated with radioactive elements in amounts that are not precisely known or knowable, but are biologically active.” Naomi Klein Disagrees with James Hansen on Nuclear Power Michael Klare – War & Climate Change Author and peace scholar Michael Klare gave this talk as part of a workshop held ahead of the New York Climate Convergence on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at St. John’s University – New York City. Sponsored by United For Peace and Justice, the workshop was titled “Uniting Our Strategies to Stop War and Save the Planet.” Jackie Cabasso – Nukes & Climate Change Don’t Mix Western States Legal Foundation’s Executive Director Jacqueline Cabasso gave this talk as part of a workshop series held ahead of the New York Climate Convergence on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at St. John’s University – New York City. The series was titled “Deadly Connections: Challenging Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change.” Cabasso’s talk opened the first segment of the workshop which focused on “Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and the Nuclear Disarmament Impasse.” Don’t Nuke the Climate Nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are related to climate change, but they are not solutions, in many ways they make it worse. That’s the message from participants in the nuclear thread of the 2014 New York Climate Convergence. Author and peace scholar Michael Klare traced the connections between climate change and war-making. Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin laid out the eco-logic of peace. Western States Director Jackie Cabasso led a workshop featuring Mayors for Peace. Former CA legislator Tom Hayden spoke on greening the state’s energy policy. Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony deBrum spoke about his nation’s historic legal suit against nuclear nations for not honoring the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Personifying both ends of the DNA-toxic nuclear cycle, Dené/Navajo activist Leona Morgan (uranium mining) and Japanese organizer Yoko Tonohira (Fukushima fallout) team up to raise public awareness about the deadly risks of nuclear energy and weapons.

Don’t Nuke the Climate from James Heddle on Vimeo.

Nukes, War & Climate Change – Making the Connections Ten Reasons Why We Don’t Need To Build More Nuclear Power Plants A Factsheet What the US can learn from Germany’s stunning environmental movement Ben Goossen Background Information on Climate Change and Nuclear Power From The Effect of Nuclear War on Climate By Jeffrey Masters, Ph.D. — Director of Meteorology, Weather Underground, Inc. Confronting a False Myth of Nuclear Power: Nuclear Power Expansion is Not a Remedy for Climate Change by Mary Olson, “Playing chicken with Illinois’ electric rates won’t improve the climate” By Former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford