Op-ed: It ain’t lying to say there’s more than one path to net-zero carbon – by Rod Walton (Power Engineering – September 8, 2021)


Nothing sobers you up like getting called a liar. Full confession: I’m almost invariably sober, as a general rule, if maybe tipsy on the joys of doing a job I love. I cover the energy industry and believe it to be the best (and most fun) job-creating element in business.

And another admission: I am part of the all-of-the-above crowd. In my mind, our power generation sector needs renewables like wind, solar and hydro—taking full advantage of the gifts of creation—but also natural gas, trash-to-energy, nuclear and, yes, coal.

Some of our most-read stories in Power Engineering revolve around nuclear power plant projects, from construction at Vogtle, to the promise of small modular reactors, to the even distant whispers of next-gen potentials like thorium.

And when I write those stories, I often note that nuclear power generation is carbon-free. The fuel rods releasing energy to heat water, create steam, and thus power turbines, does not release carbon into the atmosphere.

So far, so accurate. A reader, however, recently challenged me on that, noting the carbon generated in industrial processes such as uranium mining and processing.

For the rest of this article: https://www.power-eng.com/emissions/op-ed-it-aint-lying-to-say-theres-more-than-one-path-to-net-zero-carbon/#gref