A study of 123 countries by the Sussex University Business School has gathered historical data that bolsters a conclusion often articulated by environmentalists.
New nuclear plants are too slow and too costly to make a rapid or affordable contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. By contrast, energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources can be deployed quickly, substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the very first building season. What’s more, these “green alternatives" cost less money to install and maintain, and create far more jobs per dollar invested than is the case with nuclear power.
The Sussex University study goes further, confirming that even existing nuclear plants have not succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as renewable energy systems. The study also shows that, contrary to the claims made by nuclear proponents, nuclear power and renewables cannot easily co-exist. In Ontario, for example, Premier Ford cancelled all the signed contracts for building renewable energy systems, paying a penalty of over $200 million for breaking those contracts, while financing the multibillion dollar refurbishment of geriatric nuclear reactors at Darlington and Bruce, and simultaneously foregoing the cheaper option of importing massive amounts of surplus hydropower from Quebec. Nuclear power cannot economically bear the competition provided by energy savings and renewable sources.
In a crisis, one should turn to the quickest, surest, and cheapest "green" alternatives first, not the slowest, most expensive — and in many cases the untested and unproven nuclear technologies that are now on the drawing boards.