from David Fleming's Lean Guide to Nuclear
Energy - in brief
If nuclear power can be a major
source of energy which does not contribute to climate
change or any other apocalyptic scenario, it is worth
putting up with some pollution, waste and risk. In this
brief, careful and very readable analysis, David Fleming
questions the current belief that it can even deliver
economically, or with acceptable climate effects.
Options including FBR, thorium,
phosphate and seawater extraction, are explored. Waste
storage may already present an economic time-bomb, and
this should be investigated - fast.
1.The world's endowment of uranium ore is now so depleted
that the nuclear industry will never, from its own resources,
be able to generate the energy it needs to clear up its own
backlog of waste.
2. It is essential that the waste should be made safe and
placed in permanent storage. High-level wastes, in their temporary
storage facilities, have to be managed & kept cool to
prevent fire and leaks which would otherwise contaminate large
3. Shortages of uranium - and the lack of realistic alternatives
- leading to interruptions in supply, can be expected to start
in the middle years of the decade 2010-2019, and to deepen
4. The task of disposing finally of the waste could not,
therefore, now be completed using only energy generated by
the nuclear industry, even if the whole of the industry's
output were to be devoted to it. In order to deal with its
waste, the industry will need to be a major net user of energy,
almost all of it from fossil fuels.
5. Every stage in the nuclear process, except fission, produces
carbon dioxide. As the richest ores are used up, emissions
6. Uranium enrichment uses large volumes of uranium hexafluoride,
a halogenated compound (HC). Other HCs are also used in the
nuclear life-cycle. HCs are greenhouse gases with global warming
potentials ranging up to 10,000 times that of carbon dioxide.
7. An independent audit should now review these findings.
The quality of available data is poor, and totally inadequate
in relation to the importance of the nuclear question. The
audit should set out an energy-budget which establishes how
much energy will be needed to make all nuclear waste safe,
and where it will come from. It should also supply a briefing
on the consequences of the worldwide waste backlog being abandoned
8. There is no single solution to the coming energy gap.
What is needed is a speedy programme of Lean Energy, comprising:
(1) energy conservation and efficiency; (2) structural change
in patterns of energy-use and land-use; and (3) renewable
energy; all within (4) a framework for managing the energy
descent, such as Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs)
Read the last chapter of this book here.
Download your copy here.
Spread the word. Enlist an ethical Saatchi and Saatchi......
this is of an importance that cannot be overestimated.
Current status of commercial nuclear power