Saturday, July 11, 2009

From NunnGlow's FAQ's - - FAQ 3 - Don't we need uranium to fuel cheap, clean nuclear power?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) 2003 study and a 2004 University of Chicago study concurred that nuclear power is much more expensive than natural gas or coal for electrical production (MIT's estimated cost of electricity for coal was 4.2kWh/ natural gas 3.8-5.6 kWh/nuclear power 6.7kWh). The MIT study concluded "The potential impact on the public from safety or waste management failure and the link to nuclear explosives technology are unique to nuclear energy among energy supply options. These characteristics and the fact that nuclear is more costly, make it impossible today to make a credible case for the immediate expanded use of nuclear power."

Brice Smith's book "Insurmountable Risks: The Dangers of Using Nuclear Power to Combat Global Climate Change" ( offers facts, figures, reports, and studies that show uranium and its radiation cannot be an answer to greenhouse gas reduction. In addition, for all the potential dangers nuclear energy will expose us to, it will have little effect on global climate stabilization.

Peter Bradford, a former Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, reports that, even if we were to triple today's worldwide nuclear capacity, it would only be equivalent to one third of what we can currently do to decrease greenhouse gas omission through energy efficiency and conservation. (See the nuclear power debate between Bradford, Patrick Moore, and Jim Riccio of Greenpeace USA at

Dr. Helen Caldicott writes in her book Nuclear Power is Not the Answer on page viii: “Nuclear power is not “clean and green,” as the industry claims, because large amounts of traditional fossil fuels are required to mine and refine the uranium needed to run nuclear power reactors, to construct the massive concrete reactor buildings, and to transport and store the toxic radioactive waste created by the nuclear process. Burning of this fossil fuel emits significant quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2)– the primary “greenhouse gas”- into the atmosphere. In addition, large amounts of the now-banned chlorofluorocarbon (as CFC gas) are emitted during the enrichment of uranium. CFC gas is not only 10,000 to 20,000 times more efficient as an atmospheric heat trapper (“greenhouse gas”) than CO2, but it is a classic “pollutant” and a potent destroyer of the ozone layer.”

It is exciting to hear our legislators want Colorado to become an economic hub for RENEWABLE energy. Let us move toward that goal and leave uranium in-situ, in its original place in the earth. A quick profit for a few individuals will have negative impacts, not just in northern Colorado, but globally.

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