Are you confused about whether or not nuclear energy should be considered as part of the just energy transition? Well, scratch your head no more. In this publication Neither Climate nor Jobs: Nuclear Myths about the Just Transition our partners (the Heinrich Boell Foundation and Dr Neil Overy) ‘revisits the evidence to demonstrate that on any metric – reliability, emission reductions, costs, jobs and economic impact – nuclear is inferior to renewables.’

‘The evidence shows, moreover, that a continuing insistence on nuclear will be detrimental to our ability to power a Just Transition: while the few jobs it creates are primarily for the highly skilled, its enormous costs will likely result in austerity policies.’

Busting 7 myths about nuclear energy, Dr Overy asserts that:

  1. Nuclear power reliability WILL be impacted by climatic events.
  2. It is NOT necessary for baseload.
  3. Phase-outs do NOT inevitably lead to GHG emission increases.
  4. Nuclear power is NOT carbon neutral,
  5. And it does not generate as ‘many high paying union jobs’ as renewables].
  6. Furthermore, nuclear power is NOT affordable “[actually it is fantastically expensive and will most likely delay a Just Transition]”.
  7. And finally, based on what we know, nuclear power is NOT safe.

And here are some of the reasons why:

  • First, as nuclear power’s reliance on water makes it particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, it will not be able to provide a reliable source of power.
  • Second, the lengthy time lag between planning to operation of new plants (almost a decade) means that new nuclear will be of little help in mitigating emissions in the crucial decade leading up to 2030.
  • Third, even as a technology that could potentially reduce GHG emissions after 2030, nuclear costs are prohibitively expensive and make for anti-poor policies.
  • Fourth, all evidence shows that renewables create more jobs than nuclear.
  • Fifth, nuclear still provides inferior environmental outcomes.
  • Finally, history shows us that the social and economic consequences of a serious accident occurring at a nuclear power station are devastating to both workers and society at large.

The author, Dr Neil Overy is an environmental researcher, writer, and photographer. He has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 20 years and is particularly interested in the intersection between environmental and social justice issues. He has written extensively about nuclear power in the media, for non-profit organisations and academically.

Follow the link to read more or to download the publication Neither Climate nor Jobs: Nuclear Myths about the Just Transition.

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