Sunday, May 04, 2008

Nuclear Reactors and the Carbon Crisis

According to sustainability the world cannot sustain the current levels of economic activity and development. The ship of mother earth is sinking or will be sinking so enough. This then leads to how to slow the activity and reduce the consumption factor. This then leads people to worry about climate change because, as far as I can tell, it is an indication of our ship sinking. Currently the hype is on about Carbon emissions from vehicles, livestock, and factories. Carbon emission, for now, are being ignored from humans (breathing). Nuclear power seemed to be a way out for countries worried about carbon emissions. The thought was the actual power station to produce nuclear energy doesn’t cause any carbon emissions and is therefore only emission producing to get the fuel. Now a report is out which states that there is a rise in carbon emission from producing nuclear fuel. The cheap and easy fuel is gone (or going) which leaves the fuel in places were a lot of mining and transportation will have to be used. This leads the scientist publishing this work to conclude that the nuclear option isn’t going to lead to as low a carbon foot print as previously thought.
Why worry? Energy production is a large contributor to carbon emissions so its reduction would be paramount to the sustainability supports. Transportation is also critical, especially in developed/wealthy countries were personal vehicles are used more. This then leads me to conclude that vehicles will come under this carbon emission problem as well. Vehicles will have to be more carbon friendly in the future (if the world is going to a sustainability). This then means that the carbon foot print of transportation of nuclear fuel will fall and nuclear fuel mining is the only area where carbon production is not guarantee to fall. However, if another method was used, as opposed to government mandate and regulation, then the nuclear option may in fact be viable, according to sustainability. If we tax carbon emissions this will bring the economic efficient outcome of nuclear power stations and lower carbon foot prints to the desired level with the efficient level of carbon and nuclear power. This leads this economist to suggest that instead of looking at all the faults of a particular alternative tax consumption of energy and tax carbon emission from all carbon producing sources (with the possible exception of breath, unless one believes that the population isn’t sustainable either.)

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