Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

The external costs of fuel cycles

The ExternE project developed a systematic approach for the quantification and monetarization of environmental and other externalities in energy use. Through the use of the operational accounting framework, different impacts, technologies, and locations in the fuel cycle analysis could be compared on a transparent basis. This allows policy-makers to more confidently assess the health and environmental damages caused by different energy fuel cycles.

Work focused on the development of a methodology for the 'bottom-up' assessment of the externalities of energy systems and the demonstration of the methodology by its application to the coal and nuclear fuel cycles. The high degree of uncertainty existing in a number of areas and several gaps in the available data were identified. Particular ideas identified for further work were the evaluation of the impacts of global warming, the impacts of air pollutants on health, the valuation of mortality and the impacts arising from nuclear accidents. The results also showed that, due to the regional nature of a number of the important impacts, it is necessary to extend the analysis to a geographical area up to 1000 km from the source.

Reported by

AEA Technology
Harwell
OX11 0RA Didcot
United Kingdom