The NFRC was established in 2002 to promote the construction and operation of nuclear reprocessing facilities. NFRC promotes reprocessing commercial spent nuclear fuel that is generated by commercial nuclear power plants.

Reprocessing dramatically reduces the amount of high-level radioactive waste that would have to be stored in a geologic repository. We also support reprocessing plutonium and highly enriched uranium from nuclear warheads into fuel for use in commercial nuclear power plants.

Monday, April 8, 2013

James Hansen: 1.84 Million Lives Saved By Nuclear Power

A landmark study has put the figure of 1.84 million on the number of lives saved by the worldwide use of nuclear power instead of fossil fuels. The report presents a dramatic new case for nuclear energy.

Entitled Prevented mortality and greenhouse gas emissions from historical and projected nuclear power, it was published as a 'just accepted' peer-reviewed paper in Environmental Science & Technology on 15 March.  It begins by taking historic generation data from the nuclear sector and estimating emissions from fossil fuels that would likely have met the same generation role if nuclear had not been used. Nuclear plants with poorer performance below 65% capacity factor were swapped for gas generation while higher performers were swapped for coal, which worked out as a mix of 95% coal and 5% gas replacing nuclear.

"In Germany, which has announced plans to shut down all reactors by 2022, we calculate that nuclear power has prevented an average of over 117,000 deaths from 1971-2009"
James Hansen and Pushker Kharecha
The results are projected total emissions that would have probably led to the deaths of 1.84 million people between 1971 and 2009 based on average mortality estimates from fossil combustion pollution. This is probably an underestimate, said Hansen and co-author Pushker Kharecha, noting that the life-cycle mortality estimates are the biggest source of uncertainty in the report: Some coal units produce three times more dangerous pollution than the average they have used. The higher estimate for lives saved by nuclear energy was over 7.5 million - and these figures do not count a range of serious respiratory illnesses, cancers, hereditary effects and heart problems.

In the recent time period of 2000-9 nuclear power plants avoided pollution which would otherwise have caused around 76,000 deaths per year, said the report. (World Nuclear News)

EPA Updating Radiation Protective Action Guides

EPA is seeking public comment on a proposed revision of the current PAG Manual: The update, titled “PAG Manual: Protective Action Guides and Planning Guidance for Radiological Incidents,” includes new science, expands the document relevancy to more than just nuclear power plants and incorporates recent guidance on re-entry, cleanup and waste disposal.

In the event of a radiological emergency, responders can instruct the public to take protective actions such as staying indoors to prevent exposure to unhealthy amounts of radiation. EPA developed a manual of Protective Action Guides to help responders plan for radiation emergencies.

Protective Action Guides (PAGs) suggest precautions that state and local authorities can take during an emergency to keep people from receiving an amount of radiation that might be dangerous to their health. EPA developed the PAG Manual to provide guidance on actions to protect the public, such as having people evacuate an area or stay indoors.

EPA developed the PAG Manual-- to provide guidance on protective actions and when to take them. The manual contains radiation dose guidelines that would trigger protective actions like evacuation or staying indoors. The PAG Manual is a planning guide for emergency responders, and does not change federal, state or local environmental standards. Emergency responders can use the manual for any radiation incident, such as spills of radioactive material, the detonation of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) or “dirty bomb” or an accident at a nuclear power plant. (EPA)