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Simon Leufstedt posted a article in EnergyA recently published report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace shows that nuclear power cannot solve climate change due to time and safety limits. "After several decades of disappointing growth, nuclear energy seems poised for a comeback. Talk of a "nuclear renaissance" includes perhaps a doubling or tripling of nuclear capacity by 2050, spreading nuclear power to new markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and developing new kinds of reactors and fuel-reprocessing techniques. But the reality of nuclear energy's future is more complicated. Without major changes in government policies and aggressive financial support, nuclear power is actually likely to account for a declining percentage of global electricity generation." According to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2008 nuclear power's share of worldwide electricity generation is expected to drop from 15% in 2006 to 10% in 2030. The report, titled "Nuclear Energy: Rebirth or Resuscitation?", comes to the conclusion that states interested in nuclear energy should be aware of the costs and risks involved in nuclear energy, as well as the time it takes to construct a nuclear plant. "The earliest the first new U.S. reactor could be finished is 2015, but the report notes that it takes about 10 years to put a new plant in service, from licensing to connection to the grid. In two dozen countries that are interested in obtaining civil nuclear energy but have not previously built a reactor, it will take even longer, the report says." The report also comes to the conclusion that nuclear energy will not help countries to reach energy security or independence and that it could risk world security. "In addition, uranium and nuclear fuel come from only a few countries â€“ Canada, Australia, Russia, the United States and France â€“ making nations without resources or technologies as dependent on foreign sources of energy as before, the report notes. Worse still, it says, the need for fuel may drive more nations to develop their own uranium enrichment facilities, raising the risk of the proliferation of nuclear weapons."
Tim Flannery, a well known and respected climate change scientist, has released information about the coming IPCC-report. According to Tim Flannery, this is important so read carefully, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere already now is up in 455 ppm (parts per million). This is a number that the scientist thought we wouldn't reach until year 2017. "We thought we'd be at that threshold within about a decade," Flannery told Australian television late on Monday. "We thought we had that much time. But the new data indicates that in about mid-2005 we crossed that threshold," he said. "What the report establishes is that the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that could potentially cause dangerous climate change." You might wonder why there is so much fuss about 455 ppm? If you havenâ€™t yet figured it out let me try to explain it with one word: pain. And lot's of it. And it's a pain we in the western world have created. "That 200 gigatonnes of carbon pollutant, the standing stock that's in the atmosphere, is there courtesy of the industrial revolution, and we're the beneficiaries of that and most of the world missed out," he said. "So I see that as a historic debt that we owe the world. And I can't imagine a better way of paying it back than trying to help the poorest people on the planet." It doesn't help to change your light bulbs to CFLs or recycle your newspaper. The only solution and the only thing we MUST do is to decrease our CO2 emissions with over 90%, NOW. We can't afford to wait any longer. I'll finish this post with a link to the article in Washington Post and a quote from Al Gore: "I can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power stations." Image credit: JohnLeGear. Image licensed under a Creative-Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.