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Nuclear Power: Carbon Emissions

Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the analysis of the potential contribution of nuclear power for reducing carbon emissions, set out at paragraphs A5-A12 of Annex A to the White Paper on Nuclear Power, Cm 7296, includes an assessment of carbon emissions accruing from (a) uranium mining, milling, processing and environment, (b) the construction and decommissioning of nuclear power plants and (c) the management of radioactive waste arising from nuclear power plants. (180938)

The analysis of the potential contribution of nuclear power to reducing carbon emissions in annex A of the White Paper on Nuclear Power covers emissions arising at the point of generation. The issue of the full life cycle emissions from different electricity generation technologies is covered in the answer to question two from the consultation on nuclear power and is summarised in paragraphs 2.10 to 2.25 of the White Paper. The estimated full life cycle emissions from a nuclear power station (7-22gCO2/kWh) are equivalent to between 2 per cent. and 6 per cent. of those of a gas-fired station for every unit of electricity generated. These include all emissions from uranium processing, through construction and decommissioning to the management of radioactive waste.

The cost-benefit analysis of nuclear power published with the 2007 Energy White Paper included the full costs of nuclear, including those for waste and decommissioning.