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Is Nuclear Power “Greenwashing”?

by , 14 July 2022
Is Nuclear Power “Greenwashing”?
Sanity prevails…

Or so I hope.

You see, on Wednesday 6 July 2022, the European Parliament voted to back a proposal that labels natural gas and nuclear energy as "green".

This comes at a time where the EU is experiencing a severe energy crunch.

In fact, things are so bad that some EU countries have re-started coal power plants.

But of course, there's strong opposition from many lawmakers and environmentalists decrying the plan as "greenwashing".
“Greenwashing” is a term used when someone conveys a false impression or provides misleading information about how an industry or company (and its products) are environmentally friendly.

Now you may argue that natural gas falls under “greenwashing”. But Nuclear?

Not so much!

Here’s why…


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Nuclear cannot be overlooked…

Ever since, the Chernobyl disaster of 1984, and the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, the prospect of nuclear energy has been greeted with fear.

But the power of nuclear cannot be overlooked.

The truth is there is huge potential for the nuclear energy industry.  And it’s cleaner than you think!

You see, similar to solar and wind, nuclear fission reactors produce no greenhouse gas emissions during operation.

In fact, when accounting for total carbon emissions (such as in the building of a nuclear power plant or solar panels) they have lower carbon emissions than many other renewables.

Nuclear power plants emit just 12 grams of CO2 per kW/h. To put that into perspective, nuclear power plants emit the same CO2 as offshore wind energy.

But…
•    3-4x LESS than solar…
•    2x LESS than hydropower…
•    Nearly 41x LESS than natural gas…
•    And nearly 70x LESS than coal.

Making it a significantly less intensive carbon source than fossil fuels and the majority of renewables.

Nuclear is an extremely reliable and efficient energy source

Renewables like solar and wind depend on variable climate conditions to power their panels and turbines. Yet, nuclear operates at full capacity 93.5% of the time.

And, according to the International Energy Agency, nuclear energy offsets between 1.3 and 2.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide each year under the assumption it replaces either gas or coal-fired generation.

This would be enough to maintain the critical global average temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

What’s more, nuclear reactors can also be a more efficient energy source than renewables. According to the US government, a typical nuclear reactor can produce as much power as either 431 utility scale wind turbines or 3.1 million solar panels.

Nuclear tech is improving!

Governments are starting to embrace nuclear power in various forms.
One way is by developing more advanced reactors, called Small Module Reactors (SMRs).

SMRs have all the benefits of traditional nuclear power plants, but they require less planning and are less capital intensive than their traditional counterparts.
They can be designed to meet specific end-user requirements such as reducing water and waste usage. In addition, they can be compatible with other energy sources and come with enhanced safety features.

This makes them particularly suitable for smaller energy projects. There are currently more than 70 SMR designs at various stages of development in 17 countries.

In short, nuclear technology bring benefits that far outstrip any perceived concerns.

That’s why in our view, one of the most important political policies of the 2020s will be energy independence. And one of the best ways countries can achieve that is through nuclear power.

It’s a great time to be investing in renewable energy

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take a 30 day trial subscription here.

See you next week,

Josh Benton, Real Wealth

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Is Nuclear Power “Greenwashing”?
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