CO2 Smokescreen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse Presentation (GND)

CO2 Smokescreen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse uncovers the ludicrously small impact that nuclear power has on saving the Earth from CO2 emissions in contrast to the promises of the atomic power industry. Well received by fellow experts in the field and filmed by award winning cinematographer Martin Duckworth, the CO2 Smokescreen is the culmination of one year’s worth of research and hard work by the Fairewinds Crew, Fairewinds science advisors, and a group of amazing interns from the University of Vermont (UVM).

CO2 Smokescreen: New Nukes Make Global Warming Worse had its debut presentation at the 2016 World Social Forum at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). Invited to present both a keynote speech and during workshops, Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen and Program Administrator Caroline Aronson attended the Montreal Forum and made presentations at UQAM and McGill University, where Mr. Gundersen shared a condensed version of the “CO2 Smokescreen” keynote and addressed the issue of radiation releases from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean.

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Transcript

English

AG: Bonjour. Thank you for coming. I’d like to thank the people of Montreal and the Province of Quebec for holding this important conference. What you’re about to see is a presentation that’s taken Fairewinds almost a year to develop. We’ve had four University of Vermont students that helped with the analysis, as well as two doctors. One is a double Fulbright and the other is the head of the Environmental Ecological Movement. So the numbers I’m going to give you today have been totally fact checked and are impeccable. The topic today is the CO2 smokescreen. I was in the nuclear industry and built nuclear power plants in the 70’s and the 80’s, and I can assure you that when those plants were built, they had absolutely nothing to do with carbon dioxide and global warming. When we built them – and I was part of the we that built them – we were worried about energy shortage. You may remember gas line shortages and things like that. They were built with the mistaken impression that building nukes would eliminate the energy shortage. But it had nothing to do with carbon dioxide. So now the new focus on nuclear is oh, my gosh, without them we’re going to destroy the world and it’s all going to melt. And my position is that that is a smokescreen. The bottom line here is that 35 years in the future, that this nuclear plants that are proposed are only going to mitigate carbon dioxide by about 6 percent. And what I’d like you to do today – I’m going to ignore for the purposes of this presentation the desecration of native lands from mining, the desecration of Fukushima Prefecture and other areas that might be destroyed from nuclear disasters; and also, of course, the long-term storage for a million years of the nuclear waste. So let’s just set all of those liabilities aside and talk about money. Right now, there is 438 nuclear power plants in the world, and that’s a nuclear industry number from the World Nuclear Association. But I think it’s important to remember that all of those plants were built in the late 60’s, the 70’s and the 80’s, with a few built since then. But the big building process was in the 70’s and 80’s. And at the very end of that, I think what Forbes Magazine had to say about this nuclear buildup is important. Now Forbes, if you’re not familiar with it, is certainly not an anti-nuclear group. They’re a managerial bible throughout the world. And they call this nuclear buildup the biggest managerial disaster in the history of the world. So now we’ve got these 438 plants and the nuclear industry is saying don’t shut them down because the icecaps are going to melt without them. And what I’d like to do for the first half of this presentation is focus on the impact that the nukes that are running right now are having on the environment. So there’s two numbers I’ll be talking about. The first is gigatons. And that’s how many – a giga is a thousand million – you might call it a billion in the U.S. but other cultures don’t use it, so a thousand million is a giga – so a gigaton is a thousand million tons. So that’s the amount of junk that’s thrown into the atmosphere every year. And the second term is PPM which is parts per million. So once you throw this carbon dioxide in the air, it gets disbursed in how many parts per million. So we’ll be talking about gigatons and parts per million throughout this. One’s a concentration and one is just the total number of pounds that go up into the atmosphere. So the first thing to know is that some really bright people dating back into the 60’s decided it would be a really good idea to constantly measure the carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere. And they did this in Hawaii at a place called Mauna Loa. So we’re going to hear about the Mauna Loa data. It’s the oldest continuous sampling of carbon dioxide in history, and it dates back into the 1960’s. So this slide shows that back in 1960, carbon dioxide was at around 310. And now it’s over 400. You notice the saw-tooth nature of the curve – that bump going up and down? In the summer, plants suck carbon dioxide out so the curve drops down a little bit; and then in the winter carbon dioxide goes back up. So what you’re seeing is seasonal – summer going down, winter going up. But the general trend is up. The second piece – and this is much harder to get hold of – the first one was called Mauna Loa data. The second one is how many tons of carbon dioxide are human beings throwing up into the atmosphere every year. We’ve gotten about nine sources for this data so you’ll see the little arrow bars on the data, but as of last year, human beings were throwing up 35.8 gigatons or 35,000 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s a lot. But what’s equally important is, if those 438 nuclear plants had never been built, and in their place had been built gas plants – natural gas plants – what would happen to carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere today. So this is Mauna Loa and parts per million put side by side. The parts per million are growing at about 2 parts per million per year, and the human beings are throwing up about an extra 730 million tons a year – about 7 gigatons a year. Every year it’s going up and up and up – of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Okay. So right now, this is the last year. This is how much carbon dioxide you and me and everybody else on the planet is throwing up into the atmosphere, and that’s at 36 gigaton 36,000 million tons of carbon dioxide. That’s what we’re throwing up as the world right now. Here’s a question – this is audience participation at this point. Now if those 438 nuclear plants had never been built, how much more carbon dioxide would go up into the air? I’m going to ask you to raise your hand. The choices are 5 percent more, 10 percent more, 20 percent more or 50 percent more carbon dioxide. So how many people think that if those 438 nukes had never been built, carbon dioxide would go up by 5 percent? A couple. How about by 10 percent. Couple. How about 20 percent change in carbon dioxide? And a 50 percent change in carbon dioxide? In actuality, all 438 plants – if they had been natural gas instead of nuclear, we’d only increase the amount of carbon dioxide thrown up into the atmosphere by 3.3 percent. I think that’s a profound number to focus on. 438 plants that the nuclear industry will tell you are critically needed, and if we shut them down, we’re going to melt the arctic ice – are only contributing 3 percent. Now to put that in another perspective, let’s think about that Mauna Loa data at 400 ppm, if all those nukes had never been built and in their place we did natural gas – and I’m not suggesting natural gas is a good thing, but in their place we put in natural gas – ppms would only increase by 1 – 1 part per million for all of those nuclear plants. So now we can talk about desecration of native lands, we can talk about the desecration of Fukushima Prefecture, the likelihood of a meltdown in the future, which most scientists put at about 50 percent in the next 20 years for a Chernobyl like meltdown. And of course, the storage of nuclear waste for a million years. And against that 3-percent reduction in carbon dioxide we’re facing all those other risks. The last slide in this series is this one. So there’s 438 plants. If you take 3 percent and divide by 438, that’s the contribution that each plan provides to reduction in global warming. So each power plant reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 7/1000’s of 1 percent. So when you hear - in the states, of course, we’re talking about closing a power plant in Illinois or closing power plants in New York State, and how critical that is to mitigate global warming – it’s just not true. If all of them were shut down, it’d only be a 3 percent improvement, and any individual plant is only 7 1000’s of 1 percent. Literally smaller than a drop in the bucket. So when you hear about nuclear power taking a bite out of global warming, it’s more of taking a nibble out of global warming. All right, so now let’s look at 2050. So 35 years from now, the nuclear industry would like to have a thousand new nuclear plants, which is really 500 new plants, plus the 450 that are out there going to be dismantled, decommissioned. So we’re left with a new build of a thousand nuclear power plants, is what the nuclear industry has said is what the world needs to mitigate global warming. And that comes from the Director General of the World Nuclear Association. Now if you look at another famous person is James Hanson. Everybody heard of him? He’s the NASA guy who’s been big on CO2. And he’s absolutely right on the damage that CO2 does. But he’s absolutely wrong on the fact that nuclear can mitigate it. Now Hanson says we need 2,500 nukes in the next 35 years. If we build a thousand nukes in the next 35 years, that’s the equivalent of more than one a week. What’s that going to cost? Let’s go ahead 35 years now. Right now we’re at 36 gigatons of junk being thrown in the atmosphere. You’ve heard of COP 21, which is the Paris Accords of last December where the nations of the world committed to reducing carbon dioxide. Well, MIT has done a study that shows that even if everybody is committed to reducing their carbon dioxide, the amount of carbon dioxide we throw up into the atmosphere is going to increase to about 64 gigatons per year. This is an MIT number. And this is a university that has a Tokyo Electric Chair as part of its nuclear faculty. So certainly not produced by anti-nukes. So if Paris is implemented successfully, we’re still going to almost double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Why is that? That’s because countries like India and China and Southeast Asia and Africa all want to live like we do. And how can we drive around in our cars and keep the air conditioning on and not expect others to live that way, too? So MIT’s position is even if COP 21 is implemented, the best case – they have worst cases, but the best case is that the amount of carbon dioxide thrown up into the atmosphere is 64 gigatons – an enormous number. So you can see we’re in trouble. So the nuclear industry’s position is that we need to knock that number down by building a thousand new nuclear plants. And here’s what would happen if we built a thousand new nuclear plants. We would decrease carbon dioxide by 6 percent. That’s it. A thousand new nukes would decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 6 percent. On the left of these slides, you’ll see a bunch of numbers, the calculations. All of these are nuclear numbers. This comes from the World Nuclear Association. These aren’t numbers that we dreamed up. So we’re looking at a 6 percent reduction in carbon dioxide if we built a thousand new nuclear power plants. What’s that going to cost? Eight trillion dollars to make a six percent reduction. Now where does that eight trillion come from? It comes from Lazard. Lazard is an investment banker. They don’t have a dog in this fight. They’re just following the money. So is it really worth – the question I put to you is, is it really worth eight trillion dollars to reduce carbon in the atmosphere 35 years out by six percent? There’s a second piece to that. It will take 35 years to build those nuclear plant and carbon dioxide is growing at 2 ppm per year. So that means the average nuclear plant is going to come on line 17 years from now, which means that carbon dioxide is going to grow 2 x 17, or 34 parts per million while we’re waiting for those nuclear power plants to be built. Carbon dioxide is not going to take a vacation while we sit around a wait 35 years for a six-percent solution. That power plant, by the way, is in California. So if it’s gone up 35 parts per million while we’re waiting for these plants to be built, now those power plants not only have to reduce the carbon that we’re living with now, but they’ve got to bend the curve and make it lower than what it was now, which can’t happen. That 6 percent of the nukes will never produce enough carbon dioxide offsets to offset this 35 parts per million that they’re already occurring at a deficit. This next series of 10 slides comes from Rocky Mountain Institute, and I’d like to thank them for giving me permission to use them. What this does on the left is what would happen if you built three gigawatts of nuclear power, and on the right, what would happen if you used photovoltaics instead. A gigawatt is roughly the size of a single power plant. So three gigawatts, which is where we’ll get to at the end of this slide, is the equivalent of building three nuclear power plants. And I might add, these numbers are very optimistic in favor of the nuclear industry. So in year one, you start to license a nuclear power plant, as represented by the paperwork on the left. And on the right is, you build a plant to create solar cells. So left is building these three nukes; right is building photovoltaics. So you’re one:nothing. And the key is to look at the very top of the slide up here. It’s how many gigawatts are generated by photovoltaics versus how many gigawatts are generated by nuclear power. So year one, no gigawatts are produced. Year two, the facility to build solar cells has already built into solar cells to generate one gigawatt. Remember, one gigawatt is the equivalent of one nuclear power plant. So in the first year, while a nuclear plant is still being licensed, you’ve got the equivalent amount of photovoltaics already out there and being implemented. Second year, now you’ve got three gigawatts. That’s this number up in the right-hand corner. Three gigawatts of photovoltaics out on the grid and still the nuclear power plant is still just tying on its sneakers. Year three: six gigawatts to zero for the nuclear. In the fifth year, ten gigawatts; nothing for the nuclear. It’s still being built. Now they’ve put a shovel on the ground and they’re actually building the power plant. Year six: 15 gigawatts; nothing for the nuclear. Year seven: 21 gigawatts, nothing for the nuclear. In year eight, the first nuclear unit of these three finally come online. So we’ve got one gigawatt of nuclear and 28 gigawatts of solar power. And this is what I mean. Global warming is not going to be taking a vacation for these eight years. Carbon Dioxide is going up and up and up, whereas the photovoltaics begin to stop it immediately. Year nine: The second nuclear unit comes on line and photovoltaics – so you’ve got two gigawatts of nuclear and 36 gigawatts of solar. And finally – I’ve run this out for ten years – and you’ve got 45 gigawatts of solar and 3 gigawatts of nuclear. It really talks to this issue of how much lead time is built into these calculations. So in the states, when we hear somebody in Congress say well, in 2030 we’re going to have the first small modular reactor, that’s 15 years from now. Do we really think that global warming is going to sit around and wait for this first small modular reactor, if in fact it ever was affordable? So now there’s one other piece to the puzzle, and that’s money. There’s this thing called the levelized cost of operating a power plant. And it’s basically what it would charge once it was built into the grid. We also call it buss bar energy. And it includes three things. The capital cost. And of course, nuclear power plants have a very high capital cost. But you’ll hear them saying that oh, my gosh, once we get it built, the fuel is free or pretty darn cheap. Well, the last time I checked, solar was free, wasn’t it? So solar is cheaper and the fuel is free also. And then the last piece is the cost to operate. A nuclear power plant requires about 700 people; the average salary is about $100,000. So the staff at a nuclear power plant is very, very high. So the cost to send that power out to the grid is what this slide represents. Assuming you spent all that money and assuming you waited for the ten years for that nuclear power plant to be built, let’s compare the cost of solar versus the cost of a nuclear power plant. So the green bars represent contracted costs. These are already committed dollars by almost a dozen different solar power plants that have been built. And on the left is 213 and on the left is 216. And you can see that the contractor price – prices that entrepreneurs are willing to sell you solar electricity at, have dropped from about 7 cents down to about 3 cents a kilowatt. Now the other numbers at the top are four nuclear power plants that are being considered to be built, one of which is under construction right now. That’s Vogel. But North Ana, Turkey Point and Hinckley Point are all proposed to be built. And you can see they’re all at 13 to 18 cents a kilowatt. So the question is why, even if I had eight trillion dollars to build a thousand nukes to offset six percent of the carbon dioxide, why would I do that. It doesn’t make economic sense. The last line on this curve – the blue line that cuts through the green – is the cost conserve. It’s called a negawatt – negative watt. If you’re going to insulate your windows or change your light bulbs, the cost to conserve is around 3 cents. And you can see now, building new solar is actually right around, if not slightly less than, the cost to conserve energy, which I think is an incredible number. It’s actually cheaper to produce solar power than it is to conserve energy based on – again, this comes from Citibank. They’re not exactly an anti-nuclear outfit, either. They have no dog in the fight. They’re an investment banker. So this is from the same Citibank report. They talk about what has to happen in order for solar and renewables to be effective on the grid is that we will have distributed generation. And by that – the paradigm I grew up in when I was building nuclear power plants was that we had large, central station power plants. And 400 of them around the world in nuclear, plus coal and all the others. That concept is a 20th Century construct. The 21st Century doesn’t have to be like the 20th Century, and as a matter of fact, it shouldn’t be. What we’ve got now is a distributed grid. We’re moving toward a distributed grid with many, many small producers of power. So anyway, Citibank says utilities – the traditional people that own these central station power plants – can be winners, but they have to transform with the times. And then they talk about renewables – solar, wind, etc. – despite intermittency. And what that means is, we all know the sun doesn’t shine all the time. But there will be systems built into the grid to accommodate the highs and the lows of solar and wind production. Despite the intermittencies, renewables could operate as smoothly as traditional fossil energies. This is Citibank saying that. So when you have your nuclear people saying we need base load power, it’s like you can’t play hardball with the big boys unless you’re in the nuclear league – that’s really not true. As a matter of fact, thousands of small distributors make a grid that’s more reliable than a few bit power plants. Citibank. The other thing that I suggested at the beginning of this presentation is that, having grown up building nuclear power plants, it was never about CO2. CO2 is a marketing ploy to mask the fact that somebody wants to make eight trillion dollars building power plants to solve six percent of the world’s problem. So I wanted to share this with you. I was quoted – I gave a speech a little over a year ago at Northwestern University, “We all know that the wind doesn’t blow consistently and the sun doesn’t shine every day. But the nuclear industry would have you believe that humankind is smart enough to develop techniques to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, but at the same time, humankind is so dumb, we can’t figure out how to store solar electricity overnight.” So that’s really the bottom line. Do we really want to store toxic nuclear waste? Do we really want to desecrate Native American and First Nation reservations to draw uranium out of the soil? Or do we want to develop a grid that’s distributed? And I submit to you, not only is that interesting and morally appropriate, but it’s economically appropriate, too. Building new nukes doesn’t make economic sense. There’s a thing in economics that’s called the opportunity cost. And what that means is if I commit eight trillion dollars to building nuclear power plants, that eight trillion dollars I can’t spend on solar or wind. So if you tie up eight trillion on nuclear power, you’re actually making the problem worse. Because the alternatives can come on line faster and cheaper than nuclear power ever could. All right, thank you very much and I’ll take questions.

日本人

CO2$煙幕 新規核発電炉を建造すれば、地球温暖化は悪化する!

【筆者】アーニー・ガンダーセン Arnie Gundersen ヴァーモント大学の地域社会研究フェロー、非営利団体・フェアーウィンズ・エネルギー教育の主任エンジニア

わたしは1971年以来、「核聖職団」[1]の正団員だった。核工学で2つの学位を習得し、資格認定を受けた核反応炉運転員として出発し、業界で頭角を現して、上席副社長にまで出世した。原子力反応炉の建設と運転のお役に立つことによって、わたしは「消費電力の計測が必要ないほど安価」[2]な電力の生産をしているのだと、信仰のように熱っぽく自認していた。1973年の歴史的なガソリン不足に見舞われ、給油スタンドに何百台もの車が並んだ長蛇の列の光景を目にして、わたしをはじめ、同類の核エンジニアたちに、核発電が唯一の「エネルギー不足」解決策であることが明白になった[3]。

1970年代から80年代にかけて、この明白なエネルギー不足解決策は、わたしたちが唯一唱えるマントラだった。当時、化石燃料を地球温暖化や気候変動に結びつける科学データはなかった。わたしたちが目下、体験のさなかにある地球大気中の二酸化炭素(CO2)蓄積と、世界の気候変動にとって恐ろしいCO2蓄積の意味合いを、地球規模の脅威として最初に確認したのは、NASAのジェイムズ・ハンセンであり、1988年のことだった[4]。

アイゼンハワー大統領は1953年、原子の力を地獄の業火から人類の福利に貢献するエネルギーに転換する手段として「原子力の平和利用」計画をたちあげ、2000年までに米国の原子力発電施設を少なくとも1,000基建造するという壮大な幻想を描いてみせた[5]。しかし、1979年のチェルノブイリ惨事よりずっと前に、早くも原子力発電所の建設コストが急騰し、建設工期は常に遅れがちになっていた[6]。米国に原子力反応炉1,000基という目標を設定した1950年代の過剰な熱意もやがて萎えてしまって、結局、110基ほどの反応炉を完工しただけで終わり、その他120基を超える反応炉は1ワットを発電することもなく設計段階で放棄された[7]。

原子の力を平和目的にかなうように飼いならすというアイゼンハワーの夢は、1985年には化けの皮が剥がれて悪夢になり、フォーブス誌は1兆ドルを超える核発電のコスト過剰と助成金を挙げて、この地球規模の建造ラッシュを「史上最大の経営惨事…金の使いかたが上等と思えるのは、目が見えないか、考えかたが偏っている連中だけ」と論評した[8]。電気料金は急騰し、電力会社の顧客はアトムズ・フォー・ピースのピース(かけら)を摘みあげるだけだった[9] [10]。

20世紀中に230基を超える原子力反応炉を建造するとした米国の企てのうち、99基だけが米国でいまでも稼働している。世界原子力協会によれば、2015年時点の世界で合計438基が稼働している[11]。

20世紀に人里の明かりは消えなかったし、恐ろしいエネルギー不足の予言は現実にならなかった。「消費電力の計測が必要ないほど安価」といった経済的ニルヴァーナの世が到来するといった原子力産業の言い分もやはり破綻した。21世紀になると、再生可能エネルギー利用の可能性がいよいよ明白になりはじめ、そこで原子力産業は、その存続の新たな正当化として、地球規模のCO2蓄積の結果、地球の気候変動が起こるというジェイムズ・ハンセンの予測にしがみついた。原子力ロビイストたちはこの新しいマーケティングの小道具で理論武装して連邦議会議事堂に群がり、21世紀の「核ルネッサンス」に資金を注ぎこむ財政支援を求めた。

世界をCO2レベル上昇から救うためだという、この核産業の主張は、精査を積んで提起されているのだろうか? 否! 核反応炉を新規に建造すれば、地球温暖化が悪化することを示す明らかな証拠がある。

データを検討する前に、2つの概念を明確にしておくことが大事である。第一に、石炭や石油などの化石燃料を燃やせば、CO2が放出される[12]。年ごとに大気中に放出されるCO2の量は膨大であり、ギガトン(GT)で測られる。CO2ガスの1ギガトンは10億トンである[13]。二番目の概念は“ppm”、つまり100万分の1の単位で表す粒子の数である。CO2が大気中に放出されると、空気で希釈される。空気中のCO2分子の蓄積は空気の分子100万個で割った分子の数で測られるので、100万あたりの分子の数ということになる。産業革命前の時代の世界CO2レベルの正常値は、280 ppmだった[14]。

最初の大規模な商業用原子力反応炉が発電をはじめたころ、1970年のCO2の世界放出量は約16ギガトン(GT)であり、CO2の大気中蓄積レベルは約320 ppmだった[15]。ジェイムズ・ハンセンと350.orgグループは、破局的な気候変動を避けるためには、世界のCO2レベルを350 ppm以下に保たなければならないと主張しており、このレベルは1980年代の末期に突破されている[16]。手厚い助成金を受けた世界の原子力発電炉が438基以上も建設されてからずっと後の2015年には、化石燃料の燃焼による世界のCO2放出量が36 GTに達していた。CO2の大気蓄積レベルはすでに400 ppmを超えており、年ごとに約2 ppm上昇している。

原子力ロビイストたちと彼らのマーケティング企業は、人類による現在の大気中CO2放出状況は、現在稼働中の発電炉438基がなければ、もっと悪化していたとわたしたちに信じ込ませようとしている。それでは、どれほど悪化していたのだろうか? 世界原子力協会の産業取引部会は、天然ガス火力発電所がそれら438基の発電炉に代わりに電力を供給していたと仮定すると、2015年に発生していた追加分のCO2は1.1 GTに達していたと推計している[17]。

さあ、算数だ! 実際に放出された36 GTに比べて、追加分の1.1 GWは3%の差でしかない。この3%という値は、タイピングミスではない。世界全体のそれら原子力発電炉全部で年間CO2排出量の3%を削減しただけである。言い換えれば、個別の発電炉438基のそれぞれがCO2削減量の1%の7,000分の1に寄与しただけである[18]。これでは、海水面の上昇を防ぐために、田舎の古びた発電炉を稼働しつづけなければならないと正当化する主張の根拠にはとてもならない。

時期尚早かもしれないが、2050年を展望してみよう。マサチューセッツ工科大学(MIT)は、たとえ2015年のパリCO2協定(COP 21)が施行され、1,000基の新規発電炉が建造されても、世界のCO2排出量は最小限に見積もっても、やはり64 GTに達すると見積もっている[19]。パリ合意に鑑みれば、これほどの増加は信じがたいかもしれないが、インド、中国、東南アジア、アフリカの膨大な人口の諸国民が欧米先進諸国の生活水準に追いつきたいと思っており、これまで抑制されてきたエネルギー需要を背景に目標として設定されているのである[20]。

新規核反応炉は、本当に2050年までのCO2削減に貢献するのだろうか? 残念ながら、過去のできごとは前触れなのだ。世界原子力協会はCO2削減を実現するため、つまりCO2蓄積および気候変動に対処するために、2050年までに新規の核反応炉が1,000基必要になると主張している[21]。MITの判断も、やはり2050年までに1,000基の核反応炉が稼働していなければならないと想定している。核取引の仲間うちで独自の計算を用いれば、新規核反応炉が2050年時点で帳消しにできるCO2は、たった3.9 GTということになる。もう一度、計算だ! 64 GTのうちの3.9 GTは、2050年時点の大気中CO2排出総量の6.1%にすぎず、これでは北極の白熊救出にはとても間に合わない!

それら1,000基の核発電炉が安上がりで工期も短いと仮定すれば、核に投資するのも悪くないかもしれない。ところが、利害関係のないラザード財務顧問・資産管理[22]が作成した試算書によれば、それら新規核発電炉の建設コスト総額は$8,200,000,000,000と見積もられるという。そう、そのとおり、たかが6%のCO2削減に、8兆2000億ドル![23]

この巨額の金をもっと安上がりな代替品に使ったほうが、確かにお買い得! ラザードはまた、ピーク時発電総量をソーラーまたは風力で賄えば80%の安上がりになると見積もってもいる[24] 。

1,000基の核発電炉が完工するのを待つ間、大気中CO2放出は休暇で一服してくれているわけではない。『世界核産業動向報告』2016年版[25]によれば、2006年から2016年までに稼働を始めた46基の核発電炉の平均工期は、工学設計、認可申請、用地選定に要した期間を含めずに10.4年だったという。一般的な産業規模のソーラー発電所の設計と建設に要する期間2年とは大違いである[26],[27]。新規核発電炉1,000基の建造に要する35年間で、大気中CO2レベルは70 PPM近く上昇するだろうし、それらの新規核発電炉が――仮に操業するとしても――とても帳消しにできない増加分である。

核発電推進派は、将来のいつの日か、なんとかすれば、原子力発電炉の建設費はずっと安上がりになり、建設工期の遅延は過去のものになると言い張っている。「これらの新型炉設計が2030年に建造原型炉になるのを待ちながら、もっと設計費をわれわれに寄越せ」と、核推進派は言っているようだ。彼ら核発電教の信者たちは、原子力の可能性はふんだんにありますし、進行波炉の類はいかが、それとも小型モジュラー炉はどうですか、液体ナトリウム炉もありますし、あるいはキセノン気体冷却炉、トリチウム炉もいけますよ、云々と熱心である。核産業と核ロビイストらによれば、彼らのユートピア夢物語を実現するために政府助成金を使うとなれば、原子力発電炉の意匠に不足はないそうだ。

地球の気候変動は、現時点の解決が必要な現時点の問題である[28]。いわゆる原子力によるCO2削減解決策なるものの提案のコストがどれほどになるか、だれにもわからず、実現が2030年だというのに、貴重な資源を割り当てるようなら、諸国政府はCO2問題を悪化させるだろう。幸いなことに、コストが安上がりにつく再生可能エネルギーによる解決策は、大気中CO2濃度の急速な上昇を逆転させるのに必要な時宜にかなって実施することができる。

新規核発電炉の建設は、20世紀のテクノロジーを21世紀の問題に適用することである。そのうえ、CO2削減の見返りに、核発電炉を建設すれば、世界中で原子力廃棄物という毒物の遺産を生み出してしまう。原子力推進派は、人類は利口なので、25万年のあいだ核廃棄物を蓄えておくことができるけれども、同じ人類が愚鈍なので、ソーラー電力を宵越しに蓄えることができないとわたしたちに信じこませようとした。とても、納得できることではない。

この原子力テクノロジーを21世紀にリサイクルして、20世紀の愚かな行為を繰り返すことはやめよう。新規核発電炉は巨額のコストと建造時期の遅れのため、地球の気候変動を悪化させることは、証拠が示している。CO2の煙幕を吹き払って、現時点で導入可能な――迅速に実施できて、大幅に安上がりな――代替エネルギー解決法を採用しようではないか。

【脚注】

[1]アルヴィン・ワインバーグ博士の造語。http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/18/the-nuclear-cult/

[2] 1954年、当時の原子力委員会の委員長、ルイス・ストローズ。

[3] http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/9381/volumes/v04/NA-04

[4] http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha02700w.html

[5] Belief Based Energy Technology Development in the United States, Chi-Jen Yang, Cambria Press, New York, c 2009, The Bandwagon Market, page 161, Figure 16, Projections of nuclear capacity growth vs. reality

[6] https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/23304780818.pdf

[7] http://sustainablog.org/2013/09/us-nuclear-power-in-decline/

[8] Forbes Magazine, February 11, 1985

[9] Bankruptcy filed by leading utility in Seabrook Plant, New York Times, January 29, 1988

[10] Regulatory Opportunism and Investment: Evidence From the U.S. Electric Utility, John W. Mayo, Georgetown University and Thomas P. Lyon ,University of Michigan , November 2004, http://www.erb.umich.edu/Research/Faculty-Research/LyonMayoRAND.pdf

[11] http://www.world-nuclear.org/nuclear-basics/greenhouse-gas-emissions-avoided.aspx

[12] https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases

[13] 米国など、一部の文化圏では10億トンと表記するが、科学界の標準ではギガトン(GT)。http://www.dictionary.com/browse/gigaton?s=t

[14] http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html

[15] Scripps Institution of Oceanography, http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/mlo.html

[16] http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends

[17] http://www.world-nuclear.org/nuclear-basics/greenhouse-gas-emissions-avoided.aspx

[18] 3%/438 = 0.0068 %

[19] http://globalchange.mit.edu/Outlook2015)

[20] http://globalchange.mit.edu/Outlook2015

[21] http://www.world-nuclear.org/press/press-statements/1000-gigawatts-of-new-nuclear-capacity-will-suppor.aspx

[22] ラザードは157年にわたり民間共同経営会社として活動したあと、2000年に公営企業になり、LAZとしてニューヨーク証券取引所に登録されている。ラザードは27か国の42都市にオフィスを構え、まだ成長している。https://www.lazard.com/our-firm/history/

[23] Capital Cost Comparison table, Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis—Version 9.0, https://www.lazard.com/media/2390/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-analysis-90.pdf

[24] Capital Cost Comparison table, Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis—Version 9.0, https://www.lazard.com/media/2390/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-analysis-90.pdf

[25] http://www.worldnuclearreport.org/The-World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2016-HTML.html#_Toc455973189 , The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016, Mycle Schneider et al.

[26] https://cleantechnica.com/2015/07/24/sunpower-build-100-mw-solar-power-plant-nevada/

[27] https://cleantechnica.com/2012/06/14/watch-the-construction-of-a-10-mw-solar-power-plant-in-germany/

[28] http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

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