Nuclear Energy is NOT Clean, Green, Renewable, or Sustainable

Nuclear energy is not clean, renewable, or sustainable.

  • The public does not pay the true cost of nuclear energy because government subsidizes nuclear energy in two ways: liability and disposal of spent fuel rods. Government limits the liability of a nuclear power plant. Government assumes the responsibility of disposing spent fuel rods. These are unknown costs not included in the consumers’ utility bill. The cost is shifted to the tax payer.
  • According to Bo Nordell of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden, nuclear power does not produce carbon dioxide emissions in the same way as burning fossil fuels, but it does produce heat emissions equivalent to three times the energy of the electricity it generates and thereby contributes to global warming significantly.
  • Nuclear power is not sustainable or renewable because its fuel source is non-renewable. There is only so much uranium in the ground.
  • Uranium mining is one of the most CO2 intensive industrial operations. CO2 emissions are expected to rise as demand for uranium grows and core grades decline.
  • Highly toxic nuclear waste poses new threats from terrorists who would love to blow up a nuclear power plant or nuclear waste facility.
  • Constructing a nuclear power plant requires large amounts of concrete. The process of creating concrete spews tons of carbon into the atmosphere.
  • Most proposed plants won’t come online for decades-long past the window for urgently needed reductions.

When you consider the cleanliness of an energy source, it’s important to consider the cradle-to-cradle life cycle of that energy source. What does it take to create the raw material? What does it cost to build the infrastructure? What does it cost to close the plant and dispose of the byproducts? What is the social and environmental impact of the entire life cycle?

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