Monthly Archives: February 2007

Power Lies (and truths (and rumors)) (I)

Sorry, but I just can’t leave the recent public discussion about Nuclear Energy (or maybe Nuclear Power would suit better) uncommented. So here comes my first comment/lament about what I’d like to call ‘Power Lies (and truths (and rumors))’.

First of all, for those who don’t know: I grew up in a rural area in the North of Germany, known for its almost untouched nature, its friendly farmers – and a number of facilities for handling radioactive waste. The whole project is under construction since the 70ies (ongoing), but the first containers named ‘CASTOR’ are already delivered since the mid-90ies.
As long as I can think (literally) I just know that Nucluear Power is not only dangerous, but also simply the wrong way to go.

That said I’ll now come to the first (and actually my favourite) ‘Power Lie’: the Carbon Dioxide Reduction Lie:
Yes, it is true that nuclear power plants can help to reduce the production of carbon dioxide – locally. Once a nuclear power plant is all built and then fed with fuel rods (those nasty parts that radiate very actively and that get so hot that you can boil water with ‘em – which makes a nuclear power plant what it is) a it will basically only emit hot water – and therefore it does not emit carbon dioxide directly.
But until a nuclear power plant is actually built and fed with fuel rods a lot of carbon dioxide is emitted – mostly in the countries where the fuel rods are produced. To compare the actual numbers a so called ‘Life Cycle Analysis’ helps to figure out, what the actual CO2-footprint of a technology is. The exact numbers seem to vary very much though – depending on what is actually compared – and also depending on who actually paid the research.
So.. – ..maybe next time you hear someone saying something like “Nuclear Energy helps reducing carbon dioxide emissions” you can add a little “locally!“.

please feel free to browse on:
-> pictures I took of the third ‘Castor-Transport’ to Gorleben back in 1997 (www.bilderbook.org)
-> Greenpeace’s campain page ‘End the nuclear age’ (www.greenpeace.org)
-> Elena’s Motorcyle Ride through Chernobyl (www.kiddofspeed.com)