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Der Prozentsatz der inländischen Elektrizitätserzeugung aus niedrigemissionsquellen.

9.2% des weltweiten Stroms wird aus Kernenergie erzeugt


Was ist Kernenergie?

Nuclear power is the use of nuclear reactions that release nuclear energy to generate heat. The heat is used to turn a steam turbine, which turns a generator, which in turn generates electricity. Most electricity from nuclear power is produced by nuclear fission of uranium and plutonium.

Nuclear energy has been used since the 1950s. France gets 61.4% of its electricity from nuclear power. Nuclear energy was the principal source of decarbonization in several countries in the 1970s and 80s, such as France which increased its nuclear generation from 7.6% in 1976 to 70.5% in 1986, and Belgium which increased from 0.3% in 1974 to 68.8% in 1986. It proves that large-scale low-carbon electricity production is economically possible.

Electricity from nuclear power is generated continuously and therefore does not require electricity storage or backup sources like intermittent energy sources do.

The share of nuclear in electricity worldwide peaked at 17.6% in 1996. Some countries such as Germany and Belgium are planning to shut down all of their nuclear power plants, while others like Mainland China and India are expanding their nuclear energy capacity.

Ist Kernenergie eine kohlenstoffarme Energiequelle?

Ja, aufgrund seiner relativ geringen Lebenszyklusemissionen wird Kernenergie als kohlenstoffarme Energiequelle betrachtet.

Der Median der geschätzten Lebenszyklusemissionen von Kernenergie beträgt 12 gCO2eq / kWh. Woher stammen unsere Emissionszahlen?

Wind11 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffarmer Strom
Kernenergie12 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffarmer Strom
Wasserkraft24 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffarmer Strom
Geothermie38 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffarmer Strom
Solar45 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffarmer Strom
Biokraftstoffe230 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffarmer Strom
Gas490 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffreich / fossile Brennstoffe
Öl650 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffreich / fossile Brennstoffe
Kohle820 gCO2eq / kWhKohlenstoffreich / fossile Brennstoffe

Kernenergie im Vergleich zu anderen kohlenstoffarmen Stromquellen

Erheblichste Erzeuger von Strom aus Kernenergie

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What are the pros of Nuclear energy?

When it comes to reducing global warming, nuclear power offers a number of advantages.

Nuclear can help reduce global warming

First of all, nuclear power can generate large amounts of low-carbon electricity, which does not contribute to global warming. Indeed, it is a low-carbon energy source that emits very low levels of greenhouse gases (12 gCO2eq / kWh) unlike natural gas (490 gCO2eq / kWh) and coal (820 gCO2eq / kWh).

Nuclear generates electricity continuously (without intermittency)

Secondly, nuclear plants produce electricity in a continuous way and therefore do not require storage, as opposed to intermittent low-carbon energy sources such as solar and wind power that depend on daylight and meteorological conditions.

Nuclear has very low fuel costs

Third, nuclear reactors require very small amounts of enriched uranium to produce large amounts of electricity. While 1 kg of coal produces 8 kWh of heat, and 1 kg of oil produces 12 kWh, 1 kg of natural uranium generates 45,000 kWh. As a result, mining along with uranium cost is reduced and represents just 6% of the cost (https://www.euronuclear.org/glossary/fuel-comparison/).

Nuclear is cheap in the long-term

The average price of electricity produced by new nuclear reactors is 69 US$ / MWh according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), compared to 50 US$ / MWh for onshore wind, 56 US$ / MWh for solar, 71 US$ / MWh for gas and 88 US$ / MWh for coal.

Nevertheless, it is by extending the life of existing nuclear power plants that nuclear becomes the most economical way to produce low-carbon electricity, with an estimated average cost of 32 US$ / MWh.

Nuclear is well-known

Fourth, nuclear energy is a well-known technology that has been supplying low-carbon electricity in industrialized countries since the 1950s.

What are the cons of Nuclear energy?

Some radioactive waste must be stored for a very long time.

The most radioactive waste from nuclear reactors needs to be stored for several millennia. Underground disposal in stable geological layers can be a storage solution.

Major nuclear accidents can have catastrophic consequences.

According to OurWorldInData, nuclear energy is one of the safest energy sources in the world at just 0.07 deaths per TWh. It is 467 times safer than brown coal.

Nevertheless, nuclear accidents can have catastrophic consequences. Since the first nuclear reactors were built in 1954, there have been two Level 7 major nuclear accidents.

In Fukushima, Japan in 2011, a tsunami blocked the reactor cooling systems, resulting in a nuclear accident. While around 20,000 people died as a consequence of the tsunami, no official deaths or cancers have been associated with the nuclear accident. Nevertheless, the debate continues about potential links between the accident and thyroid cancer. An exclusion zone was set up around the plant and around 80,000 people were displaced.

In Chernobyl on April 26, 1986, the explosion of a nuclear reactor was caused by a series of human errors (incomplete documentation and lack of training of operators) during a safety test of the plant followed by a technical failure in the emergency shutdown mechanism of the plant. The number of deaths is still being debated. 30 people died during the accident, and an additional 16,000 people may have died from cancer caused by the release of radioactivity into the atmosphere. An exclusion zone around the Ukrainian power plant was set up.


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