Fuel Choice, Nuclear Energy, Climate and Carbon
33rd Annual CNS Conference - 2012 June 10-13

Presented at:
33rd Annual CNS Conference
2012 June 10-13
Saskatoon, Canada
Session Title:
WFS - Safety & Licensing

Al Shpyth (EcoMetrix Incorporated)


For the second time since the start of commercial nuclear electricity generation, an accident has the world wondering if uranium will be among the future fuel choices in electricity production. Unfortunate when one considers the low-carbon footprint of this energy option. An accident involving a nuclear power plant, or more appropriately the perceived risks associated with an accident at a nuclear power plant, is but one of the issues that makes the impact assessment process related to nuclear energy projects challenging. Other aspects, including the time scales associated with their siting, licensing, operation and decommissioning, also contribute to the challenge. Strategic environmental assessments for future fuel choices in electricity generation, particularly ones that consider the use of life cycle assessment information, would allow for the effective evaluation of the issues identified above. But more importantly from an impact assessment perspective, provide for a comparative assertion for public disclosure on the environmental impacts of fuel choice. This would provide the public and government decision makers with a more complete view of the role nuclear energy may be able to play in mitigating the climate and carbon impacts of increased electricity production, and place issues of cost, complexity and scale in a more understandable context.

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