Publications : Papers

Uranium Mining, Nuclear Power and Sustainability – Rhetoric versus Reality
Published in: 2010
Author: G M Mudd and M Diesendorf
Volume Title: Sustainable Mining 2010

The major greenhouse gas emissions from coal combustion are leading certain people to argue for uranium mining and nuclear power to meet these challenges. Although there is considerable rhetoric around promoting nuclear power as ‘green’ due to its relatively lower greenhouse intensity, a careful study of the data is required to properly underst and the sustainability of uranium mining and nuclear power and whether it can or should have a role in future energy supply scenarios. This paper presents detailed research and analysis on uranium mining, focusing on known economic resources, production, solid waste and water management, pollution issues as well as energy and greenhouse aspects. A particular focus will be on Australia and its operating and prospective uranium mines. Overall, the paper raises fundamental issues concerning the long-term sustainability of uranium mining and nuclear power and documents the greenhouse intensity of uranium production and the nuclear fuel chain.


Mudd, G M and Diesendorf, M, 2010. Uranium mining, nuclear power and sustainability – rhetoric versus reality,
in Proceedings Sustainable Mining 2010, pp 315-340 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).

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