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THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT GASES (GHGs) FROM NUCLEAR ENERGY

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THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT GASES (GHGs) FROM NUCLEAR ENERGY

"A nuclear reactor produces electricity without any emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse effect gases (GHGs)." This is completely a false message that started circulating in 2001 when the so-called "nuclear renaissance" began.

Without nuclear fuel, a reactor is totally useless. Nuclear fuel cycle is a chain of progression through a series of stages that ranges from uranium mines, "enrichment" plants to waste deposits, which covers the entire world.

During the fabrication of nuclear fuel and its transport very large quantities of GHGs are emitted, and a nuclear reactor itself emits GHGs while generating the electricity, as we will see in the following;

- Uranium is the nuclear fuel, but reactors need a special uranium, the "enriched uranium".

- Why "enriched"? A nuclear reactor cannot generate any heat from uranium if it is not processed.

-About every 18 months, every nuclear reactor must recharge one third of its fuel. The most common model (PWR) has 157 fuel rods in its vessel, and about 64 of them are usually recharged. Those 64 rods contain about 28.8 tons of uranium oxide (UO2).

Let's look at GHGs emissions from fabricating, using only those 64 fuel rods.

- There are several types of fuel assemblies or fuel bundles. In case of PWR reactors, it is a column of 4 meters high by 20 cms of square base. Inside there are 196 rods filled with uranium oxide pellets.

- These pellets are the nuclear fuel, which must be fabricated.

First Uranium has to be extracted. The uranium is rare and scarce mineral and every mine has different concentration. With the acceptable one, some 380,000 tons of rocks must be removed to extract 212.3 tons of raw uranium, from which it will be processed into 28.8 tons necessary to refill 64 rods.

For the extraction heavy machinery; pneumatic hammers, excavators, tractors and trucks; mills to crush the ore; mixers, grinders (including processing with concentrated acid). All work with oil, gasoline, or electricity made from coal, gas or petroleum products is needed, emitting great amount of GHGs.

Now the uranium ore has been processed into "Yellowcakes" which have to be transported to enrichment plants over thousands of kilometres in trucks, ships, and more trucks (or trains). More GHGs.

The only usable for nuclear reactors fuel isotope is Uranium 235 (U235), which consists only 0.71% of uranium ore obtained. Yellowcakes have to be processed to separate U235 and increase the concentration. To be able to separate U235 the yellowcake has to be transformed into uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) and then in a dangerous concentrate, called uranium hexafluoride (UF6). More energy and GHGs.

Now the dangerous UF6 has to be transported to enrichment plant. More travel by truck or boat, emitting more GHGs.

The UF6 is enriched by centrifuges. More electricity. More GHGs. And then the 28.8 tonnes of Uranium Oxide (UO2) are produced to refill. More GHGs.

The UO2 are in form of tiny little cylinders, which must be filled in tubes, and assembled into fuel bundles. This process takes place in different place. Transporting 28.8 tons of UO2 in truck or boat. More GHGs.

In the fuel assembly factory the tubes and other parts were fabricated or transported there. More energy, more travel, more GHGs.

The assembly of each fuel bundle, the column of 4 meters and a square base of 20 cm which contains 196 tubes, consumes more energy and emits GHGs. The total must be multiplied by 64, only for a single recharge.

Now the 64 fuel assemblies have to be transported from the factory to the nuclear reactor. They may be hundreds or thousands of kilometres by truck. More fossil fuels, more GHGs.

Now the nuclear reactor can produce electricity, BUT BE AWARE, about 15 and 20 cubic hectometres of water is needed for cooling every year. Two thirds of the heat that a nuclear reactor generates is lost, only one third is converted into electricity. The cooling produces steam, which also is a powerful greenhouse gas, which absorbs infrared rays. The nuclear power plant itself emits GHGs.

And the auxiliary equipment of the plant consume electricity. More fossil fuels and more GHGs.

After each recharge there are low and medium radioactivity waste that must be transferred to the nuclear cemetery. A hundred or thousands of kilometres in trucks. More GHGs.

HAVING READ THE ABOVE, NOW YOU UNDERSTAND THE STATEMENT THAT NUCLEAR POWER ENERGY IS "CLEAN" AND SERVES TO PALIATE THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IS A LIE. BUT THE MOST SERIOUS THREAT FOR THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE, IS NOT THIS.

Apart from what we have explained the nuclear reactors release large amounts of radioactive particles, contaminating soil, water and air, which enter in our body by the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat. Particles can cause diseases, suffering and death, but this is not explained.

The World Health Organization is subordinate to the International Atomic Energy Agency in any document related nuclear energy illness or death. And they control. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2015), says in paragraph 8 of Article 16.

" 8. The United Nations, its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State member of these organizations or observer before it not party to the Convention, may be represented as observers at sessions of the Conference of the parties serving as the meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement [...] ".

We can add a radioactive planet to disaster and climate chaos if we accept the lie that nuclear energy does not emit CO2 and other GHGs.

 
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