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Does nuclear energy provide an answer to global warming?

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Does nuclear energy provide an answer to global warming? Dr Ian Fairlie Consultant on Radiation in the Environment London, United Kingdom www.ianfairlie.org – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Does nuclear energy provide an answer to global warming?


1
Does nuclear energy provide an answer to global
warming?
  • Dr Ian Fairlie Consultant on Radiation in the
    Environment London, United Kingdom
  • www.ianfairlie.org

2
Global Warming
  • widespread concern
  • need carbon-free alternatives
  • many think nuclear a solution
  • comfortable myth

3
Does nuclear provide an answer?
  • not carbon-free
  • only ever make small contribution
  • economically, the worst way

4
How carbon-free is nuclear?
5
Nuclear Fuel Cycle and CO2
  • uranium mining milling
  • UF6 conversion
  • U-235 fuel enrichment
  • nuclear fuel fabrication
  • fuel transportation
  • reactor operation
  • waste encapsulation
  • waste transportation
  • future waste disposal?

6
Nuclear Life Cycle Analyses
  • 300 nuclear LCAs in last decade
  • most aimed nuclear is the answer
  • most worthless
  • only 8 are comprehensive, rigorous

7
CO2 emissions mainly depend on
  • uranium ore grade, ore type
  • U-235 enrichment method
  • future waste method
  • eg underground repository?

8
CO2 and U ore grade
9
nuclear LCAs
10
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11
Three Independent Studies
  • BJ Sovacool 2008 Valuing the GHG Emissions from
    Nuclear Power. Energy Policy, 36, 2940
  • Nugent, Sovacool 2014 Assessing the lifecycle
    greenhouse gas emissions from solar PV and wind
    energy A critical meta-survey . Energy Policy
    65. 229244
  • K Barnam 2015 The Burning Answer, Weidenfeld and
    Nicolson

12
Is nuclear power a cost effective way to reduce
CO2 ?
13
compare
1. Renewable energy 2. High efficiency
technology, eg CHP 3. Biomass 4. Low carbon
fuels, eg gas not coal 5. Greater energy
efficiency in homes etc 6. Nuclear power
14
CO2 saved per spent
15
Nuclear Power?
  • very high construction costs
  • very high generation costs

16
Nuclear construction costs
  • proposed Hinkley C C 48 billion
  • 2 x cost of 2012 UK Olympic Games
  • requires enormous Government subsidies, insurance
    guarantees, RD, and market interventions

17
increasing costs (per kW installed)
18
Renewable Energy Cost Trends November
2005 (levelised sent-out cost of energy in
constant 2005 US, excluding subsidies) Source
US NREL Energy Analysis Office www.nrel.gov/analys
is/docs/cost_curves_2005.ppt
19
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20
Nuclear Generating Costs
  • Also very high due to high capital costs
  • Recent proposed deal with EdF 92.50 per MWh
    double the present cost
  • Higher than all renewables
  • Deal universally panned

21
generating costs cents per kWh
22
nuclear vs photovoltaic
23
Nuclear Renaissance?
  • globally, in last decade, gt30 GW nuclear capacity
    closed
  • 70 GW wind 70 GW solar thermal capacity
    installed

24
Jobs http//energytransition.de/wp-content/themes/
boell/pdf/en/German-Energy-Transition_en.pdf
25
Conclusions
  • v small contribution to CO2 reduction
  • cheaper, more cost effective, quicker, safer,
    options
  • Renewables and Energy Efficiency

26
Which direction?
  • Germany, Switzerland, Italy exiting
  • Siemens, E.ON, RWE exiting
  • Gentilly-2 closed, Pickering to close by 2020
  • Vermont Yankee, San Onofre closed

27
A renewable future
28
  • Öko Institut, Comparison of Greenhouse Gas
    Emissions and Abatement - Cost of Nuclear and
    Alternative Energy Options from a Life-Cycle
    Perspective, January 2006
  • House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee
    Sixth Report Keeping the lights on Nuclear,
    Renewables and Climate Change April 2006)
    http//www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/
    cmselect/cmenvaud/584/58407.htma14
  • Sustainable Development Commission Report The
    role of nuclear power in a low carbon
    economyhttp//www.sd-commission.org.uk/publicatio
    ns.php?id344
  • US Department of Energy. National Renewable
    Energy Laboratory. Energy Analysis Office
    www.nrel.gov/analysis/docs/cost_curves_2005.ppt
  • Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Smith
    (2006) Nuclear power - the energy balance
  • Sovacool (2008), wind and solar PV from Nugent
    and Sovacool (2014), fracking from Hultman et al
    (2011).
  • Daniel Nugent , BenjaminK.Sovacool (2014)
    Assessing the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions
    from solar PV and wind energy A critical
    meta-survey . Energy Policy 65 229244
  • Sovacool BK 2008.Valuing the greenhouse gas
    emissions from nuclear powera critical survey.
    Energy Policy 36(8), 29402953.

29
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