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The truth about nuclear must out

A fine editorial as usual (Nuclear nonsense, June 2005), but it appears that the nuclear industry has managed to prevent even you from learning that nuclear power emits a lot of CO2. An expansion of nuclear power would produce an enormous amount of CO2 if the entire life of the reactors is considered.

How can this be? There is not enough rich uranium ore to support low-CO2 nuclear power. Researchers Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Smith in the Netherlands write: "The point is reached when ores become so poor that one would get more energy out of burning fossil fuels directly than by following the roundabout path of using fossil fuels to build, operate, and fuel a nuclear power plant. This is an important fact, because by far the largest part of the uranium reserves are found in very poor ores."

The public must be informed that nuclear power is not a solution to global warming. As your articles and others indicate, the nuclear industry has recently become much more aggressive about promoting its technology. Its primary claim is that nuclear power is a solution to global warming.

The public and many environmentalists and experts in the energy field apparently accept this claim without examining it, or even knowing about the evidence against it. For instance, on June 15 on the American Public Radio program Marketplace, environmentalist Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, said that "nuclear power is as clean as it gets" in his commentary urging the expansion of nuclear as an environmental good.

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