The Toronto Star had an opinion piece about nuclear power versus wind power that referenced a 2009 Scientific American article that said that nuclear power generates 25 times more carbon dioxide than wind power.
The Scientific America article refers to a paper by Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson. I dissected all of the problems with the Mark Jacobson paper back in 2009. However, it boils down to a bunch of big lies.
Second, nuclear energy results in 9-25 times more carbon emissions than wind energy, in part due to emissions from uranium refining and transport and reactor construction (e.g., Lenzen, 2008; Sovacool, 2008), in part due to the longer time required to site, permit, and construct a nuclear plant compared with a wind farm (resulting in greater emissions from the fossil-fuel electricity sector during this period; Jacobson, 2009), and in part due to the greater loss of soil carbon due to the greater loss in vegetation resulting from covering the ground with nuclear facilities relative to wind turbine towers, which cover little ground.
Adding in imaginary wars and 19 years of coal CO2
Mark Jacobson is the Stanford professor who adds the CO2 from burning cities into his calculation of CO2 generated by nuclear power and the deaths from nuclear war from his calculation of deaths from commercial nuclear power. Incidentally, even if there were nuclear wars the calculated CO2 after-effects are about 20 times too high. Many people do not like to dig into those details, but I researched it. It is part of their tactic of piling lies on top of lies. Each lies takes a bit of time to reveal as a lie and by then the casual reader has lost interest and cannot follow the full debunking.
Jacobson assigns CO2 from coal plants against nuclear because he assumes that there will be a 19 year delay in construction, so there is a “CO2 opportunity cost”.
They put in a large amount of CO2 for decommissioning and they also have a high figure for the permanent repository (which has not been built).
Zion reactors being decommissioned relatively cheap and easy. Exelon paying $700 million to Energy solutions who will make $200 million profit. They are burying everything and not sorting low rad from no rad. Just a big landfill. There is not much decommissioning CO2 in what is actually happening. They are imagining some other kind of decommission scenario.
The Anti-nuclear Power people make stuff up and put it into Journals
The Anti-nuclear power people make stuff up and pile the lies into lengthy journal articles and books and then reference the false conclusions. They do not expect anyone to go to the trouble of figuring out how insanely stupid their lies are.
The mainstream media has very few journalists who will go to the trouble of technical verifying any of it. They just get two or three sources and let people compare. It is like getting three price quotes from con-men. No matter which quote is picked you are still getting ripped off.
There is a similar problem with reporting on government budgets and government programs. There is no actual dissection or comparison to what could be chosen if all the quotes were not coming from established but broken processes.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.