Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I encourage you to look to more accurate sources than the ones you list.  The NEA web page is five years out of date, for example.

It's too late in the day for me to point out all the errors here and I hope that Jérôme and others will chime in.

I will just talk about Chernobyl, the worst nuclear disaster in the world in the course of over 50 years of nuclear power and therefore billions of tons of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions avoided.

The reactor at Chernobyl was made of graphite, which,if overheated, catches fire.  Reactors in Europe and the US are not made of graphite.  Chernobyl had no containment dome.  Reactors in the rest of the world do.  The incident at Chernobyl was the result of poor design.  It occurred under the worst conditions.  Bad as it was, the contamination of the surrounding land is not as high in radioactivity as the natural background radiation in Finland.

As for the health report as of 2005, see the World Health Organization's conclusions:


Currently nuclear energy saves the emission of 2.3 billion tonnes of CO2 relative to coal. For every 22 tonnes of uranium used, one million tonnes of CO2 emissions is averted. Energy inputs to nuclear power produce only a few (eg2-5) percent of the CO2 emissions saved.


This webpage of the World Nuclear Association examines many of the usual arguments and replies with documented facts.

To provide around-the-clock electricity rain or shine, you need either hydroelectric dams, fossil fuel burning plants, or nuclear energy.  
--More direct deaths occur a result of dam failures than from any other energy resource.  
--Coal combustion causes many chronic illnesses and hundreds of thousands of premature deaths annually.
--Deaths attributable to nuclear power are extremely low in comparison to these other energy sources.

Shutting down nuclear plants will mean billions of tons more carbon added to the earth's burden.

Wind and solar power are great but they cannot by themselves run our civilization and they will always require a backup.

As for the actual facts about the nuclear fuel cycle and CO2 production:

Studies of the carbon dioxide emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle under the different circumstances prevailing in two different countries show that these emissions are in the region of 0.5% to 4% of the emissions from the equivalent coal- fired generating capacity. Assertions that nuclear power could indirectly produce significant quantities of CO2 depend on a highly improbable scenario.


And you can see the range of sources of the information by looking at the footnotes:

Most emphatically any water that might pass through Yucca Mt. does not leave the geological basin in which it is located.  So contamination of many aquifers, as you claim, is physically impossible.  The probability of contaminated water escaping from the repository over a million years is extremely low.

by Plan9 on Mon Oct 17th, 2005 at 11:43:51 PM EST

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