Is nuclear energy really clean?

Nuclear power pollutes

A study by the economic research institute DIW Berlin claims that investment in a new 1GW nuclear power plant leads to average losses of approximately 4.8 billion euros. Furthermore, it argues that the technology’s dangerous radioactivity emissions and the risks of weapons material proliferation and radiation release, as the accidents at Harrisburg (1977), Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011) show, do not qualify it as a “clean” energy solution to consider when tackling climate change. Even so, governments are incorporating the technology into their clean energy plans around the world.

The return on investment in nuclear power plants was determined using a business model that is based on a variety of factors including the wholesale cost of electricity (20-80 euros / MWh), specific investment costs (4,000-9,000 euros / kW) and the weighted average cost of capital (4-10%). And the conclusion is that each nuclear power plant built today has a negative net present value, and generates an average loss of €4.8 billion. “Under no realistic circumstances, a nuclear power plant can show a positive net present value, at best, a loss of 1.5 billion euros, and at worst, the loss would amount to 8.9 billion,” says the report.

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Is nuclear energy clean or polluting?

Nuclear energy, when compared to forms of energy derived from the use of fossil fuels, is substantially a clean form of energy in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

For this reason, several countries are currently positioning themselves in favor of this energy source in order to use it as a support for renewable energies that depend on external factors (light or wind) to be able to feed themselves.

The United Kingdom is one of those countries that will start using nuclear energy to support renewables. The British country wants all its energy to be clean by 2035 and currently, almost half of the energy produced comes from renewables and the main source is natural gas.

The best example when it comes to producing nuclear energy is France. Today, its electric power is 96% low in emissions, with nuclear power accounting for almost 70% of its production. Only a quarter of the energy is produced by renewables. This makes it the lowest carbon dioxide-emitting country in the European Union.

Nuclear energy advantages and disadvantages

Nuclear energy is considered a clean energy, which means that it does not generate greenhouse gases that end up polluting the planet. But is it really an environmentally friendly model? Here we tell you more about this way of producing energy that could save us from climate change.

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The operation of a nuclear power plant is similar to the process of conventional energy obtained by burning fossil fuels. However, in a nuclear reactor it is achieved through nuclear fission reactions that release energy by splitting atoms.

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Nuclear energy is renewable

This is good news not only for the planet, but also lays the foundation for a more affordable and accessible energy for everyone. That is why, at Gana Energía, we have been committed to offering the cheapest renewable energy since our inception.

Before analyzing what is the cheapest energy to produce, let’s define what is the energy mix of a country. This term refers to the contribution of the different energy sources to national production. To meet the energy demand, several resources are used: renewable energies, gas, coal, nuclear…

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As you may have guessed, each of the energy production processes has a cost. Burning tons of coal and transporting the energy to its destination is not the same as obtaining energy directly from a solar panel on the roof of your house. So which is the cheapest source of energy? The answer is clear: renewables.

With this evidence that renewables are the cheapest source of energy, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has called for investments to be directed towards renewables. There is no doubt that renewables are more affordable.