#3 Nuclear power limits the impact on natural spaces and biodiversity

Home     Uncategorized     #3 Nuclear power limits the impact on natural spaces and biodiversity
Published on 30/12/2021

(by its sobriety in resources and occupied space, and by the applications of nuclear science)

How does nuclear contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal #15: preserve terrestrial biodiversity?

Human activities have transformed the face of our planet. Unsustainable practices in activities such as fuel extraction or agriculture, as well as climate change, pose a significant threat to biodiversity around the world.

Forests, which absorb a third of all CO2 emissions, are essential to moderating global warming. However, logging, including for the production of biomass energy, land alteration and desertification degrade forests around the world, which in turn leads to further desertification, degradation and loss of biodiversity.

Forests can also be threatened by charcoal mining. The Hambach Forest in western Germany has been almost completely destroyed by the extraction of lignite, the combustion of which emits particularly high amounts of CO2.

Nuclear power is particularly effective in replacing coal-fired power stations which play the same role on electricity grids, but also in preventing the use of forest biomass as a base to produce electricity.

Compared to other energy sources with a low carbon footprint and because of its high density, nuclear energy is the one that requires the fewest resources and the least artificialized space per unit of energy produced, leaving more unaltered land for natural habitats.

Nuclear techniques are also used to assess the quality of soil and study how crops absorb nutrients, helping to develop more efficient soil management and agricultural production methods.

Experts can also track and prevent contaminants from harming the environment using nuclear science, by identifying isotopes in these contaminants to measure their concentration and trace their source.

The full report of the World Nuclear Association is available here.