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NELCAS, an efficient and relevant tool to assess key environmental indicators for nuclear energy

Abstract : Nuclear energy is anticipated to be one of the possible energy sources which can allow the production of energy at high load with a high level of reliability without significant impact on the environment, specifically in terms of green-house gases It could therefore promote the mitigation of the anticipated global climate change. However, nuclear energy is regularly questioned about its overall environmental impact and footprint, in particular after the Fukushima accident. However, very little information is available on the actual footprint of current and future nuclear systems. In order to bring insights on this issue, we developed a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) simulation tool NELCAS based on the French nuclear system which allows the calculation of representative key environmental indicators and potential impact indicators for the whole nuclear systems. Indicators were chosen based on their occurrence in literature. Calculations were performed while considering the whole fuel cycle from ore-mining to geological repository and for each of the plant, the contribution from their construction, their operation and their future cleaning and dismantling. Transports were also considered all along the fuel cycle. All the matter and energy fluxes were considered and normalized versus the electric production. Whenever it is possible, actual and recent data were chosen. In particular we widely used the Transparency and Safety Annual reports issued for each fuel cycle plant in France. Finally, statistical influence of the severe accidents was also considered based on the recent Fukushima accident.This presentation will detail the methodology and the overall results obtained for the different indicators. A specific emphasis will be given on the relative benefice of the nuclear energy by comparison to other energy sources.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 24, 2020 - 2:49:08 PM
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  • HAL Id : cea-02489505, version 1

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S. Bourg, C. Poinssot, N. Ouvrier, J. Serp. NELCAS, an efficient and relevant tool to assess key environmental indicators for nuclear energy. GLOBAL 2015, Sep 2015, Paris, France. ⟨cea-02489505⟩

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