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The numbers I have are quite different in some of the issues (I hope you will not know if I am for or against it, I just want to check the numbers).

Regarding CO2 production of a nuclear power station (from mining, installation and functioning) I have read a couple of analysis and the numbers range from 1 to 5 % typically (10% in the  worst-case scenario).

Regarding the reserves of high quality Uranium I understood 100 years at present consumption and with present resources. Doubling productions so that all the planet could have the same level of nuclear would reduce it to 50 years roughly.

The number of nuclear fuel with the left-over of Uranium (plutonium and other low-quality fuel) are too diverse and not too serious enough to be taken into account. Numbers range from 50 to 500 years so a proper analysis should be performed (any serious, no-doubt-about-it input here? it will be wellcomed).

Regarding the needs for primary energy, all analysis show that increasing the renewables and reducing consumption is far enough. Nuclear, coal and hydro kept at present levels, the gas  substituted by wind and sun (the increase of power output also coming from wind) and the consumption reduced by 10-20% would produce a world without any primary energy problems in a cnetury easily.

Another completely different issue is transport and private car. There is absolutely no way that wind and sun can produce the energy for a huge mass transport system (necessary if we forbid the car). This is, if we want to get rid of oil (well at least half so that we have foranother couple of centuries) we need electricity to  run trains or generate hydrogen or power the batteries. In this situation, the only sources we have are nuclear and coal. We would have to multiply the present primary energy output two-fold with mass public system (forbidding the car) and three-fold if we alow th presence of private cars (I take into account the development of China, India, South-America, east Europe and their new fleets of fairly efficient cars).
On the other hand coal and nuclear would be able to do it and for, at least, 50 years (three-fold) to 100 years (two-fold).

These are my numbers. Please if I am wrong in any of these numbers, someone please tell me. It is very important to have the basic numbers right.

I am not defending any option, just numbers.

A pleasure.

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Oct 18th, 2005 at 06:01:54 PM EST

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