Emissions

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Of all the large-scale energy sources used today, nuclear has probably the lowest impact on the environment. In contrast to fossil fuel-powered plants, nuclear power plants do not emit any greenhouse gases or air pollutants such as SO2, NOx, and particulates. Thus, the use of nuclear energy helps to keep the air clean, to mitigate Earth's climate changes, avoid ground-level ozone formation, and prevent acid rains. Although not emphasized to the public, in 2003, U.S. nuclear power plants saved us from the emission of 3.4 million tons of SO2, 1.3 million tons of NOx, and from 680 million tons of CO2 entering the Earth's atmosphere [87]. Air pollution, especially from SO2 emissions and sulfate aerosols produced in large quantities in coal-burning power plants, is estimated to be the cause of approximately 40 000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone [88] - a number which must be compared with that of no casualties due to the operation of commercial nuclear reactors in the U.S. over a period of almost 50 years. Coal also contains mercury, cadmium, arsenic and selenium and, as mentioned above, even radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium, all of which are released into the atmosphere or are present in coal ashes. Because there is virtually no regulation regarding the millions of tonnes of coal ashes produced every year, these can be dumped almost anywhere without much concern for public health. To generate electricity, coal is clearly much more dangerous to use than nuclear power. Even natural gas - the cleanest fossil fuel - still generates large quantities of CO2 and NOx. In the context of increased concern about the greenhouse effect and global climate changes due in large part to CO2 emissions, "clean" nuclear energy will therefore have an increasing role to play.

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Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

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