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fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Joshua M. Pearce (2012)
Publisher: MDPI AG
Journal: Sustainability
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: life cycle analysis, nuclear insecurity, TD194-195, Renewable energy sources, nuclear energy, sustainability, TJ807-830, future, nuclear power, GE1-350, nuclear energy; nuclear power; life cycle analysis; green wash; sustainability; nuclear insecurity; future, Environmental sciences, Environmental effects of industries and plants, green wash
jel: jel:Q2, jel:Q3, jel:Q0, jel:Q, jel:Q5, jel:Q56, jel:O13
Identifiers:doi:10.3390/su4061173
This paper provides a review and analysis of the challenges that nuclear power must overcome in order to be considered sustainable. The results make it clear that not only do innovative technical solutions need to be generated for the fundamental inherent environmental burdens of nuclear energy technology, but the nuclear industry must also address difficult issues of equity both in the present and for future generations. The results show that if the concept of <em>just sustainability</em> is applied to the nuclear energy sector a global large-scale <em>sustainable nuclear energy system</em> to replace fossil fuel combustion requires the following: (i) a radical improvement in greenhouse gas emissions intensity by improved technology and efficiency through the entire life cycle to prevent energy cannibalism during rapid growth; (ii) the elimination of nuclear insecurity to reduce the risks associated with nuclear power so that the free market can indemnify it without substantial public nuclear energy insurance subsidies; (iii) the elimination of radioactive waste at the end of life and minimization of environmental impact during mining and operations; and (iv) the nuclear industry must regain public trust or face obsolescence as a swarm of renewable energy technologies quickly improve both technical and economic performance.
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