Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nuclear Power, By the Numbers


Nuclear power, the most expensive technique for boiling water ever invented, is perhaps best described by the numbers.

Amount that a dollar spent on energy efficiency and renewable energy goes toward reducing CO2 emissions compared to a dollar spent on nuclear power: 7 to 10 times

Number of dirty, coal-fired plants required in Kentucky to operate two uranium enrichment plants: 4

Percentage increase in ovarian and testicular cancer among children in Navajo lands adjacent to uranium mining operations performed in the 1950's: 1,500

Year that India's first commercial nuclear power reactor went on line: 1969

Year that India performed its first test of a nuclear bomb: 1974

Number of days the $10-billion French faster breeder reactor, Superphenix, operated during an 11-year span before being permanently shut down following a massive leak of sodium coolant: 287

Number of French reactors that shut down during the heat wave of 2003 because of a rise in the temperature of cooling water from rivers: 17

Number of tons of plutonium oxide powder transported annually to French MOX fuel reprocessing facilities in Belgium and southern France: 10

Number of metric tons of plutonium stored worldwide as of 2003: 240

Number of pounds of plutonium required to make a nuclear weapon: <20

Percentage of CFC-114 gas released into the air as a result of uranium enrichment in the U.S.: 90

Number of times that CFC is more potent as a heat trapper and global warmer than CO2: 10,000 - 20,000

Percentage of citizens in France polled in 2006 who favor a phase-out of nuclear energy: 61

Number of peak early fatalities predicted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in their Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences study if the Salem 2 nuclear plant in New Jersey suffered a meltdown: 100,000

Property damage estimated in the CRAC 2 study from a Salem 2 meltdown (in 1980 dollars): $155,000,000,000

Number of energy companies that Don Hintz, President of Entergy, says can afford the $1.5 - 2 billion cost of building a nuclear reactor right now: 0

Draw your own conclusions...