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[greenyes] GHG from Nuclear power and hydropower
Thanks to Muna for pointing out my careless wording in that quick response
on the Swedish study that purports to show it's better to burn than recycle.
I should have said that the EPA models assume zero greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions for hydropower and very low figures of .0166 pounds non-biomass
CO2 and .0000367 pounds methane per kwh electricity for nuclear on the
national grid; and .00943 pounds non-biomass CO2 and .000028 pounds methane
for nuclear on the Western Systems Coordinating Council (WSCC)grid (includes
Washington state).  (The differences between national grid and WSCC grid are
likely due in part to greater shipping distances for uranium for reactors in
the east versus the west.  At least that's my guess.)

The figures used by the EPA models in computing the GHG results shown in my
article on the energy conservation and pollution prevention benefits of
curbside recycling versus disposal in Washington state for MSW combustion
generation offsets are 2.01 pounds non-biomass CO2 and .00461 pounds methane
per kwh electricity, versus 1.14 pounds non-biomass CO2 and .00260 pounds
methane for conserving energy through making products from recycled
materials rather than virgin.

Muna wisely notes that the more inclusive the processes, types of pollutants
and types of ecological and human health impacts included in a life cycle
analysis the greater the advantage that likely will be shown for waste
reduction and recycling versus disposal.

John Reindl also notes the assumptions in a previous study that might also
be in the new Swedish study: i.e., some sort of fairly outrageous
assumptions about time and materials used by a household sorting recyclables
and organics from garbage (to which I would counter why not look at it in
reverse as the time spent sorting garbage from the good stuff?)  and then
delivering them to drop off sites in dedicated trips of a car, SUV or pickup
truck.  Another good example of not being able to judge what the results of
a study really mean until we actually know the assumptions, data, and
modeling structures used in the study.

Jeffrey Morris, Ph.D.
Sound Resource Management - Durham
2219 Whitley Drive
Durham, NC 27707

WA: 360-319-2391
NC: 919-401-4444

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