Nuclear Power and the Environment

From Thermal-FluidsPedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The major environmental concern with nuclear plants is the disposal of nuclear waste, which will be discussed in the next chapter. Putting this problem aside, after solar and wind, nuclear plants are among the cleanest of all available electricity-generating alternatives. Because no carbon is present in the fuel, it does not generate carbon dioxide or other green house gases. In fact, compared to coal power plants that produce around 1000 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated and natural gas that produce around 500 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated, nuclear plants release only 5 grams per kilowatt-hour electricity. Furthermore, nuclear generating stations occupy much less land space than solar or wind power plants of similar capacity. In smaller countries such as France and Belgium, there is a great incentive to prefer nuclear power over fossils and even renewable resources such as solar and wind.


(1) Toossi Reza, "Energy and the Environment:Sources, technologies, and impacts", Verve Publishers, 2005

Further Reading

Bodansky, Nuclear Energy Principles, Practices, and Prospects, Second Ed., Springer, 2004.

Seaborg, G., T., Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, University Press of the Pacific, 2005.

International Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Design, Direct Science Elsevier Publishing Company, devoted to the Thermal, Mechanical, Material and Structural Aspects of Nuclear Fission.

Journal of Fusion Energy, Springer Netherlands. It features articles pertinent to development of thermonuclear fusion.

External Links

Federation of American Scientists (

International Atomic Energy Agency (

DoE Office of Nuclear Energy, Science & Technology (

American Nuclear Society, (

World Association of Nuclear Operator (WANO) (