Limitations of Nuclear Power as a Sustainable Energy Source
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 just sustainability is applied to the nuclear energy sector a global large-scale sustainable nuclear energy system 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.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Branker, K. & Pathak, M.J.M. & Pearce, J.M., 2011. "A review of solar photovoltaic levelized cost of electricity," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4470-4482.
- Voorspools, Kris R. & D'haeseleer, William D., 2000. "An evaluation method for calculating the emission responsibility of specific electric applications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(13), pages 967-980, November.
- Sherman Folland & Robbin Hough, 2000. "Externalities of Nuclear Power Plants: Further Evidence," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 735-753.
- Kenny, R. & Law, C. & Pearce, J.M., 2010. "Towards real energy economics: Energy policy driven by life-cycle carbon emission," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1969-1978, April.
- Clark David E. & Nieves Leslie A., 1994. "An Interregional Hedonic Analysis of Noxious Facility Impacts on Local Wages and Property Values," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 235-253, November.
- Johansson, TB & Williams, RH & Ishitani, H & Edmonds, James A, 1996. "Options for reducing CO2 emissions from the energy supply sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(10-11), pages 985-1003.
- Hondo, Hiroki, 2005. "Life cycle GHG emission analysis of power generation systems: Japanese case," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2042-2056.
- Jeffrey A. Dubin & Geoffrey S. Rothwell, 1990. "Subsidy To Nuclear Power Through Price-Anderson Liability Limit," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 8(3), pages 73-79, 07.
- Zelenika-Zovko, I. & Pearce, J.M., 2011. "Diverting indirect subsidies from the nuclear industry to the photovoltaic industry: Energy and financial returns," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2626-2632, May.
- Adamantiades, A. & Kessides, I., 2009. "Nuclear power for sustainable development: Current status and future prospects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5149-5166, December.
- David E. Clark & Tim Allison, 1999. "articles: Spent nuclear fuel and residential property values: the influence of proximity, visual cues and public information," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 78(4), pages 403-421.
- Fthenakis, Vasilis M. & Kim, Hyung Chul, 2007. "Greenhouse-gas emissions from solar electric- and nuclear power: A life-cycle study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2549-2557, April.
- Trebilcock, Michael & Winter, Ralph A., 1997. "The economics of nuclear accident law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 215-243, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:6:p:1173-1187:d:18200. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.