Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Crunching the Numbers on Nuclear Construction and CO2

For a while now we've been seeing desperate anti-nukes making the ridiculous charge that nuclear energy contributes to greenhouse gas emissions once you add in the emissions from construction, mining and processing uranium -- this despite the fact that plenty of studies from third parties have found just the opposite.

Today, U.K.-based engineer Tim Jervis decided to crunch the numbers himself when it comes to construction, and he isn't impressed with the anti-nuke claims:

Let's be harsh again and pick 3 tonnes of CO2 for a tonne of steel. So we have another 200,000 tonnes of CO2 from the steel, or 200 million kg of CO2 from the steel to make a 1 GW nuclear power station.

Sum the steel and concrete CO2 figures: 300 million kg of CO2. If we had been conservative, that would have been 100 million kg CO2.

Energy from a 1 GW nuclear power station

If the power station produces power for a conservative 40 years, and runs for a pathetic 60% of the time (thus we're allowing for maintenance periods), the plant will deliver 210,000 million kWh of electricity.

The ratio is nearly zero

The simple ratio is 300,000,000 kg CO2 / 210,000,000,000 kWh - nearly 0.001 kg CO2 / kWh. Irrelevant.
As we've mentioned before, when it comes to many of the claim made by anti-nukes, it's a lot like dealing with the Wizard of Oz. Once you get too close, there really isn't any there there at all.

1 comment:

Fat Man said...

You need to get together a FAQ with all of this information, so pro-nukes can access it easily.