Monday, March 10, 2008

Confused in Namibia About Nuclear Energy

Namibia is seriously exploring nuclear energy, having recently passed legislation to develop a nuclear regulatory framework, but has run into predictable opposition with a local environmental group called Earthlife. While there is nothing terribly unusual or, shall we say, accurate in Earthlife's arguments, this seemed original:

Earth life said last week it was shocked at the Government's approval of plans to build a nuclear power plant because not only was nuclear energy unsafe, dangerous and very costly, but it was also not the answer to climate change.

Well, not the answer certainly but an answer surely. But there's more:

"The whole fuel cycle of nuclear power, from mining uranium, enrichment of uranium to the decommissioning of the power station after its lifespan, releases three to four times more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than renewable energy," Earthlife spokesperson Bertchen Kohrs noted.

It has to be admitted that building a first nuclear energy plant requires energy generated in a different way. After that, not so much. Earthlife doesn't seem to think in terms of the net worth of a given outcome, a sure way to accomplish nothing and benefit no one.


robert merkel said...

Mark, this appears to be a poorly-expressed version of the standard anti-nuclear life cycle emission rant.

These guys are probably making the claim on the basis of Storm van Leeuwin and Smith. As has been amply recorded in the archives of this blog, SLS's emissions model leads to some fairly nonsensical conclusions - incidentally, one noted by Martin Sevior at that may be relevant; if SLS's model was accurate, the Rossing uranium mine in Namibia would use more energy than the whole of Namibia is known to do.

Luke said...

Well, none of these claims are exactly original, are they?