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Nuclear Power

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the average annual level of carbon dioxide emissions produced by a nuclear power plant in the UK. (291347)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: The Nuclear White Paper 2008 set out that the lifecycle emissions of nuclear power, including CO2 emitted during construction, operation and decommissioning of the power station, mining, and transport of fuel, and disposal of waste are in the range of 7-22 g/kWh of electricity generated.

In common with other low-carbon fuel technologies such as wind or hydro, a significant proportion of these lifecycle emissions are derived from the construction and decommissioning phases of the power station's life. There are some CO2 emissions associated with uranium mining, which are small, and which are incorporated in the overall lifecycle emissions.

The World Nuclear Associated has published analyses of lifecycle CO2 emissions from nuclear power generation which reported at: