The Environment Needs Nuclear
Because nuclear reactors are virtually greenhouse
gas emissions-free, using them to generate electricity
can help arrest the planetary danger of global warming
and radical climate change. Any realistic strategy to
avert this unprecedented threat requires nuclear energy.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main substance associated
with the greenhouse effect and global warming. Fossil
fuels (coal, oil and gas) - whether used for electricity
or to power vehicles - disperse CO2 directly into the air.
Nuclear energy produces almost no emissions of CO2 or any
other greenhouse gas.
Climate experts warn that we must cut overall global CO2
emissions from 25 billion tonnes annually to 10 billion,
even as overall energy production increases.
Today's nuclear reactors (when viewed as an alternative
to coal-generated electricity) are already preventing
emissions of 2.5 billion tonnes per year of CO2 - which
is about half the CO2 emitted by the world's motor
vehicles. Expanded use of nuclear energy could do far
Nuclear energy also relieves general air and surface
pollution. Reactors emit neither the smoke that causes
smog and respiratory problems nor any of the gases
responsible for the acid rain that kills forests and
When evaluated for life cycle ecological impact -
weighing resource use, health effects and consequences of
waste - nuclear energy outranks all other major power
options and is on a par with the best renewables.
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