ENERGY - Debate on Nuclear Energy

The Environmental Working Group has been founded at the Agora Valletta, Spring 2007. It will cover environmental issues.

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Do you think Nuclear Energy can help reducing Global Warming?

Yes, it's the best option we have right now
Yes, but there are other options that would make possible to avoid the use of Nuclear Energy
No, I don't think it really can make a difference
No, I am against any use of nuclear energy
I don't know / I need more information
Total votes : 17

ENERGY - Debate on Nuclear Energy

by Miguel Gallardo » 25 May 2007 12:42 UTC

Many people think to best way to fight global
warming is to invest in nuclear energy. What do you

This was the question that brought into big activity the Environment-L with a fresh discussion. It has already been apporached from several points of view, some very interesting indeed. A couple of examples: risks (probability and effects); price of different kinds of energy; waste disposal options.

Another very good question was: should we just be happy to make a change AEGEE's point of view, or should we be more ambitious and try to affect the whole society?

It has been stated some times in the debate that we want to have reliable numbers because we need to create our own opinion based on true information. Some links have been posted.

Three articles from George Monbiot, a journalist were posted by Paul Edkins (AEGEE-Warwick): ... /#more-893 ... /#more-997

A report on relationship between Nuclear Power and Global warming was posted by Devin Bahceci (NetCom) ... aryweb.pdf

And the recommendation from László Tamás to read the book "Small is beautiful", of Ernst Friedrich Schumacher.

I am glad to say that, due to the big amount of emails about the topic in the last few days, I cannot copy here all, but you can access all the emails at the list archive (

So, feel free to join this discussion, and if possible, add some more information with the links to the source. We all gain from contrasted information!
Miguel Gallardo

Nuclear Energy

by martien van gool » 27 May 2007 11:45 UTC

I think the opinion that Nuclear Energy could never be a long term solution. It is just as (not) renewable as oil, it is creating a waste problem and creates safety hazards in older plants and when improperly used.

On the other hand the using of nuclear energy doesn't create carbondioxide - apart from building, harvesting and transport, but the same applies for every process in our present economy, including wind mills, solar cells and biodiesel - and creates a huge amount of energy per gram of used material.

The effects of global warming won't wait though.. And neither does the running out of usable fuel reserves and the using of those reserves as a power base for the countries that have them.

If we want to make a difference we should start creating solutions now, and not wait untill there is a perfect solution.

So I think nuclear energy could help us bridge the gap to a cleaner economy, but only if we combine it with other efforts to reduce energy use and develop alternative forms of energy.

Kind regards,

Martien van Gool,
martien van gool

by Kadri Kalle » 27 May 2007 12:21 UTC

I'm finally also reacting to this subject.

Martien said (and some others something similar before as well I think):
nuclear energy could help us bridge the gap to a cleaner economy

Maybe I'm a bit misunderstanding, but if we agree with nuclear power plants, even if only for bridgeing the way to cleaner energy, there will huge amounts of money and other resources spent of nuclear energy and I doubt that after finding some more environmental friendly, but less productive energy production people will switch to that. The new power plants are not built just as "stepping stone" and temporary solution.

But yes, I cannot argue, that nuclear energy could be the only way to satisfy the current energy need (which is still growing!).
But also at the same time, I agree that we should start reducing our energy needs, not look for more energy. Everyone (well, most of people) knows that we live over Earth's capacity. We cannot relay on better technologies solving every problem we cause.

As already mentioned in the list, this issue is quite big and it would be pity just to leave it as a discussion. So I encourage some brave ones to make an event - conference, big discussion, etc - about it. You can just start another under PROJECTS/EVENTS topic or continue here, ask for advise, ideas from other etc - we could form content-team from EnWG members and some antenna could help us with location and logistics. What do you think?

Kadri from Malta
Kadri Kalle

by vincent de bruijn » 27 May 2007 16:06 UTC


Great that we have a forum now to discuss these things ;)

I would just like to say that we shouldn't build more nuclear power plants yet. I agree with kadri that we should now invest in reducing our energy needs, and use more environmental friendly ways of creating new energy.

However, I'm very much in favour of putting a lot of money in the research of nuclear power. In the past decades it has already become cleaner and safer and this trend will continue for sure. Not to mention finding a way for nuclear fusion to be profitable; it will solve all our energy problems ;)

About the event, isn't it more wise to wait for the PDM? I mean there will be a project development meeting in brussels again on this topic, right? In stead of already thinking in terms of 'event' it's better to start bottom up.

vincent de bruijn

by Robin Verschuren » 29 May 2007 12:53 UTC

vincent de bruijn wrote:
About the event, isn't it more wise to wait for the PDM? I mean there will be a project development meeting in brussels again on this topic, right? In stead of already thinking in terms of 'event' it's better to start bottom up.

Waiting for the PDM results would mean top-down, because a whole WG will follow the ideas of 15 people. I prefer to develop some ideas ourselves! Plus, EnWG is not the same as Yearplan Topic. We can and should have independent events. But I guess this discussion is not really in place here so yes lets make a different topic.
Robin Verschuren

by verena schmidt » 01 Jun 2007 14:56 UTC

hey, but which sources of energy would you prefer than if you're opposed to nuclear energy?

-Solar cells still need (too) much energy to be produced themselves, and using solar cells to produce more solar cells would lead to a lack of energy.

- what about using the energy of tides or wind? Do you know sth about their efficiency?

- what about hybrid motors? Couldn't they be used for other machines (besides cars) as well?

- there was something like the use of biomass, but I don't know anything about that... ?? Or the use of waste?

Of course, we need to reduce our use of energy, but this would require the introduction of more machines which use less energy, as it is quite unrealistic that millions of people reduce their amount of energy used, even though they argue that they care about environment.
verena schmidt

instead of nuclear energy

by Tamas Laszlo » 01 Jun 2007 18:29 UTC

And don't forget the geothermical energy!
For example Iceland will be available in a few years to supply its energy demand 100% from geothermal power. Also the traffic -> fuel cell cars

About biomass I can only tell you my experience. In Hungary in the last 3 years the electricity porduction from biomass tripled. But it thought to be supplied from energy forrests. What's now? They are deforresting old forrests, because the price of trunk went up to the sky...because of the increased biomass plants.
Tamas Laszlo

by Nicola Seriani » 02 Jun 2007 16:22 UTC

But in the end I think that we need everything: reducing consumption, renewables ANd nuclear energy. I find therefore the poll misleading: either you choose nuclear as best option or you think that you might avoid it. I think neither is true. Nuclear is probably not better than renewables, but you don't lose the problem by renewables alone.
On the last Economist there are some data about costs of different solutions against global warming (in dollar/ton of CO2 less). I regret I don't have it here right now to report data, but insulating houses is first, nuclear intermediate.
But again, I don't think you you lose by problem by choosing only one among nuclear, renewables, consumption reduction or carbon sequestration.
By the way, does somebody know more about the last?
Nicola Seriani

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