Nuclear power plants are climate protectors from the uranium mining, through their construction and operation right down to waste disposal and dismantling of the plants to "open countryside".
If one considers not only the CO2-free generation of electricity itself but also the complete life cycle of nuclear power utilization, greenhouse gas emissions are between 5 and 33 grams of CO2-equivalent per kilowatt hour that is generated (electricity generation based on fossil fuels: 399 to 1,231 grams of CO2-equivalent). This has been substantiated by numerous national and international studies, for example by the Öko-Institut, European Commission or the Paul Scherrer Institute. The emission band for nuclear power is due largely to the technology used for uranium enrichment and the types of energy used for this. Life cycle analyses take into account upstream and downstream processes. These essentially consist of the nuclear raw material cycle: uranium mining, uranium conversion, electricity generation, waste treatment and reprocessing; this includes the construction and dismantling of a nuclear power plant.
"Nuclear power thus fully meets the requirements of an environmentally sound generation of power and makes a decisive contribution to protecting the climate. It`s about time we started talking facts again when it comes to energy policy. Untenable arguments help no-one, in fact they do more harm than good.", is how Dr. Hohlefelder, President of the German Atomic Forum e. V. (DAtF), comments on recent utterances from political circles which claim that nuclear power emits more CO2 than brown coal.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Various Energy Sources Taking into Account the Life Cycle Analysis
German Atomic Forum e. V. (DAtF)