Publication Detail

Comment on “Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power”

UCD-ITS-RP-13-31

Reprint

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Available online at: doi: 10.1021/es401667h

Suggested Citation:
Sovacool, Benjamin, Patrick Parenteau, M.V. Ramana, Scott Valentine, Mark Z. Jacobson, Mark A. Delucchi, Mark Diesendorf (2013) Comment on “Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power”. Environmental Science & Technology 47 (12), 6715 - 6717

Pushker Kharecha and James Hansen have made a contribution in their article about the benefits of nuclear power. However, issues of technology systems integration deserve added attention as well as addressing a few errors. Though there is some logic underpinning the notion that nuclear power can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions as a “stabilization wedge”, we argue that (a) its near-term potential is significantly limited compared to energy efficiency and renewable energy; (b) it displaces emissions and saves lives only at high cost and at the enhanced risk of nuclear weapons proliferation; (c) it is unsuitable for expanding access to modern energy services in developing countries; and (d) the authors’ estimates of cancer risks from exposure to radiation are flawed.