The Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy, A Life-Cycle in Trouble


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"The world's nuclear energy industry will be unable to generate the energy needed to manage its own waste".

The world's supply of uranium ore is now so depleted that the nuclear industry may already have passed the point at which it is able to supply the energy needed even to dispose of its own wastes. In his latest report, The Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy, A Life-Cycle in Trouble, the British energy economist David Fleming details how the nuclear industry will be forced to become a major net user of energy, almost all of it from fossil fuels. 'The evidence is clear: even under the most optimistic scenarios for uranium supplies, the industry will face `energy bankruptcy' in a matter of decades,' says Fleming.

The report calls for an independent audit to evaluate these findings. The audit should establish more precisely how much energy will be needed to make all nuclear wastes safe; the sources of this energy; and the consequences in the likely event of the large worldwide backlog of untreated high-level nuclear waste being permanently abandoned . . .

Fleming also outlines strategies for climate and energy security: "We need to move to a 'lean energy' economy, starting with deep reductions in energy-dependency. Renewables, linked up to more local grids, should be designed for particular energy uses and needs. A framework for reducing energy demand from all users should be established without delay."

Commenting on the report, James Skinner, a trustee of the New Economics Foundation says `Here we have the final proof that nuclear power generation is a dangerous cul-de-sac and that investment should instead be directed to renewable energy.'

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