Chemistry 2011.org
Chemistry2011.org
All About Chemistry... 2011 and beyond

Related Stories

Nuclear should be in the energy mix for biodiversity

Leading conservation scientists from around the world have called for a substantial role for nuclear power in future energy-generating scenarios in order to mitigate Climate-Change'>climate change and protect biodiversity.

In an open letter to environmentalists with more than 60 signatories, the scientists ask the environmental community to "weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources using objective evidence and pragmatic trade-offs, rather than simply relying on idealistic perceptions of what is 'green' ."

Organized by ecologists Professor Barry Brook and Professor Corey Bradshaw from the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute, the letter supports their recent article 'Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation', published in the journal Conservation Biology.

"Full decarbonization of the global electricity-generation sector is required soon to avoid the worst ravages of Climate-Change'>climate change," says Professor Bradshaw, Director, Ecological Modelling at the Environment Institute and recently appointed Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate-Change'>Climate Change.

"Biodiversity is not only threatened by climate disruption arising largely from fossil-fuel derived emissions, it is also threatened by land transformation resulting from renewable energy sources, such as flooded areas for hydro-electricity, agricultural areas needed for biofuels and large spaces needed for wind and solar farms."

In the article, the researchers evaluated land use, emissions, climate and cost implications of three different energy scenarios: 'business as usual' fossil-fuel dominated; a high renewable-energy mix excluding nuclear; and an energy mix with a large nuclear contribution plus some renewable and fossil-fuel sources.

They also used "multi-criteria decision-making analysis" to rank seven major energy types based on costs and benefits, testing the sensitivity of their rankings to bias stemming from philosophical ideals.

"When compared objectively with renewables, nuclear power performs as well or better in terms of safety, cost, scaleability, land transformation and emissions," says Professor Barry Brook, Chair of Climate-Change'>Climate Change at the Environment Institute for this study, and now Professor of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania.

"Not only does next-generation nuclear power provide emissions-free electricity, it is a highly concentrated energy source that consumes legacy waste and minimises impacts to biodiversity compared to all other energy sources."

They argue that there is strong evidence for supporting advanced nuclear power systems with complete fuel recycling as part of a portfolio of sustainable energy technologies that also includes appropriate use of renewables, Energy-Storage'>energy storage and energy efficiency.

"Idealized mixes of nuclear and renewables are regionally dependent, and should be compared objectively without prejudice or preconceived notions of what is 'green'," says Professor Bradshaw.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Share this story with your friends!

Social Networking

Please recommend us on Facebook, Twitter and more:

Other social media tools

Global Partners
Feedback

Tell us what you think of Chemistry 2011 -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?

About us

Chemistry2011 is an informational resource for students, educators and the self-taught in the field of chemistry. We offer resources such as course materials, chemistry department listings, activities, events, projects and more along with current news releases.

Events & Activities

Are you interested in listing an event or sharing an activity or idea? Perhaps you are coordinating an event and are in need of additional resources? Within our site you will find a variety of activities and projects your peers have previously submitted or which have been freely shared through creative commons licenses. Here are some highlights: Featured Idea 1, Featured Idea 2.

About you

Ready to get involved? The first step is to sign up by following the link: Join Here. Also don’t forget to fill out your profile including any professional designations.

Global Partners