Out of frying pan into the nuclear reactor

According to a UK Channel 4 documentary a billion extra tonnes of carbon (note carbon, not carbon dioxide) has been added to our atmosphere because of “opposition to nuclear energy”. The suspiciously round and memorable figure of one billion tonnes of carbon (not carbon dioxide, folks) has been arrived at by smoke and mirrors. It seems that the basis of the calculation is that when people opposed the building of new nuclear energy plants in the 1970s many energy generators turned to building coal powered generating plants. If, the assumption seems to go, every coal plant was replaced with a nuclear plant and we did not calculate the lifetime emissions of nuclear energy including those created by the deep storage of radioactive material and those created by digging up and mining the uranium in the first place, then a billion tonnes of carbon has sullied our atmosphere. Continue reading