Skip to main content

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.

Comments

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 nuclearinfo.net 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?

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…