Nuclear energy does not have the lightest carbon footprint. In fact, the only power related process that has a greater footprint is the extraction and processing of shale oil. A good friend of mine who recently retired from a major power company had taken the entire board of that company to Yellow Knife, Canada, to find the truth in that footprint. They found that the process of ore extraction and the journey to fuel rods left a carbon footprint second only to that left by shale oil extraction and processing. Then, what do you do with the spent fuel rods?
Cooling nuclear plants is another serious problem. They take massive amounts of water in the operation of their cooling towers. A lot of this water is lost to the atmosphere and the remaining water is returned to the source too hot for the environment. There is no excess water to supply the cooling needs of these plants.
Odos Lowery, natural resource specialist, Boise
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