The Low Carbon Kid Again

It really would help if those telling us all what we should be doing about climate change actually knew what the fuck they were talking about before they did so.

Today\’s example is "The Low Carbon Kid".

The U.K. Government’s 2007 Nuclear Power Consultation accepts estimates that, across its whole life-cycle, nuclear power emits between 7 and 22 g/kWh, but empirical analysis of the energy intensity and carbon emissions at each stage of the nuclear cycle produces much higher figures.

This is shown (for instance) in the Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) by The University of Sydney, which concludes that the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of nuclear power varies within the range 10- 130≈60 g/kWh.


Now note that the numbers the government are using are (just about) within the range given. The very high estimates (over about 80g) come from some highly dubious studies about likely future ore concentrations…and some decades down the pike at that. But OK, let\’s take the Low Carbon Kid\’s statement as being true. Nuclear, over the cycle, emits CO2 (which we all knew anyway) and it averages 60 g /kWh. Which, according to him, means we can\’t use it.

Umm, what are the emissions from solar? Solar PV: 100 to 280, average 190. So we can\’t use that. Hydro? 4 to 236, average 120. So we can\’t use that either.

Even if we take the very much higher figures for nuclear that he provides…\’s still better than hydro or solar.

Kid, want to come back to this when you\’ve caught up on your background reading?

2 thoughts on “The Low Carbon Kid Again”

  1. Let me point out the other error in their logic. The majority of the CO2 emissions they are attributing to nuclear come from the electricity used in the enrichment process. The numbers they use come from the current average based on most electricity coming from coal plants. If the majority of our electricity was actually coming from nuclear plants then the emissions associated with the enrichment process goes down exponentially.

  2. And if there were no nuclear power available, the electricity used in the processes of producing solar and hydro would be even higher.

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