2006-11-12

Nuclear energy is a waste of time and energy

Nuclear power might be the most extreme example of the "chimney effect" ie by building a large chimney the waste is "removed" from the factory site.

With most "economically viable" uranium ore deposits around 0.5-2kg/tonne one produce ca 98 to 99.5 tonnes of waste per tonne uranium. This waste is ground rock into fine sand so that it leaches out much more easier than the original rock. This is also contains ca 10% of the original uranium not to mention a host of other radioactive compouns like thorium and metals (like lead and arsenic).

If not properly contained (and is very seldom is) it can spread through normal erosion by rain fall into the water system. One could expect that the waste and netralised (sulphuric acid is used in the extraction) and surface strip mines covered up to retain near initial conditions. But this would be so expensive in that it will cost 4 times the energy coming out from the nuclear power plant...

As already noted only 3% of the worlds energy productions rely on nuclear power. Some western countries wants to increase their nuclear transformation. The problem is also along securing uranium to be used. Uranium is also a finite resource. Estimates in the "economically viable" deposits is ca 25-50 years at current extraction rate. After that granite is one option, but with only 4ppm (4 grams per ton!) and less it would be needed 30 times more (and more!) energy input than actually will be converted in the nuclear plant. Another option is extraction from the oceans at 3 times energy expense of energy input including a host of the use of toxic chemicals.

Much of the discussion of biofuel is the comparison of energy output ratio in comparison with fossil fuels. It seems that a decently run nuclear extraction would always lose in such a comparison!

In any case, with less than 0.1% uranium the carbondioxide emission will be higher than the expected savings in relation to fossil fuel driven power plants for an expected quarter century life time of a nuclear power plant.

Read more on the The Ecologist article Nuclear Power Dossier - Uranium Mining and Milling

1 Comments:

At November 17, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

The Sun is a waste of time...i allways said that :P

Kiding, anyway we cant forget about those wastes that nuclear energy allways produces...and time also ;)

 

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