French nuclear less than 4 gCO2e/kWh!

About nuclear power, the debate is still raging. There are those who firmly oppose it. Who would like to see it disappear from our energy mix, considering it detrimental to the development of renewable energies. There are those who support it. who consider it essential in the fight against global warming. Today, science brings a new argument… for sure!

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Opinion polls, opinion polls, there have been. With a clearly drawn majority. The majority of the French think so in issue From Global Warmingnuclear power is at least as responsible as oilThe Gas where is the coal. L ‘Study published by EDF engineers – And it was endorsed by independent experts – Will it succeed in restoring the scientific truth? lets see…

As a preamble, it is perhaps worth recalling that in a nuclear power plant, electricity is produced from turbines – andgenerators Steam driven. This water vapor is created by the heat who emanates from splitting uranium atoms. Neither carbon nor carbon dioxide (CO2), in the whole process.

Yes, but serious analysis cannot stop at the sole production of electricity at a nuclear power plant. It should relate to everything that specialists call the life cycle. Also take into account emissions “upstream”when’uranium It is extracted or enriched. emissions related to manufacture nuclear plant and its work. Finally, emissions related to processing and storage waste.

Lifecycle Analysis

It therefore takes into account all of these emission elements – and follows standardized methods framed by standards ISO – EDF engineers have valued greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the production of nuclear energy in France. The result is clear: 3.7 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced (gCO2e / kWh). Understand that all greenhouse gases combined, our nuclear power plants are responsible for emissions of less than 4 g/kWh. for CO2 On our own, we go down a little more, to 3.1 g/kWh.

EDF engineers provide us with every detail of these emissions. It turns out that the most important position is in the extraction and processing stage raw With emissions then estimated at 1.3 grams of CO22e / kWh. A move that particularly calls for diesel-powered machines. The study also shows that using a file Duration From operating our nuclear power plants which will increase from 40 to 60 years, the balance sheet will decrease further to go down to 3.4 grams of CO22e / kWh.

Less than 4 grams of carbon dioxide2e/kWh, that doesn’t sound like much. But for starters, that doesn’t mean much either. So be aware that the Environment and Energy Administration (Ademe) has done this kind of study for other ways to produce electricity. For coal-fired power plants, it gives 1.058 grams of carbon dioxide2e / kWh. power stations in fuel oilthey display 730 grams of slightly shiny carbon dioxide2e / kWh. Even gas-fired power plants reach 418 grams of carbon dioxide2e / kWh. This is enough to prove that all nuclear energy “climate friendly”. They do not contribute at all as much as oil, gas or coal to anthropogenic global warming.

But it is also interesting to note that Ademe also gives some numbers related to sustainable energy. Thus, we discover that production wind turbines France emits between 14.1 and 15.6 grams of carbon dioxide2e/kWh – depending on whether you have onshore wind power or offshore wind power. For solar photovoltaics, the figure rises to 25.2 gCO2e/kWh for solar panels made in France, 32.3gCO2e/kWh for PV panels produced in Europe and even at 43.9 g CO2e/kWh for solar panels from China – which accounts for the vast majority of cases today.

Something to think about…right?

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