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Pros & Cons of Nuclear Energy

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Geography: Nuclear Energy

* (FYI) Nuclear energy is one of many technologies used to generate electricity. It is a clean, safe, and an economic energy source that does not contribute to smog, or emit acid gases or greenhouse gases that are linked to climate change

* Nuclear energy continues to produce clean electricity and lightens the burden of greenhouse gases on the planet. There are 441 nuclear plants in 31 countries supplying about 17% of the world's electricity.

* According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), there were 30 new nuclear plants under construction, and another 32 planned, mostly in Asia and Eastern Europe, as of May 2004.

* A nuclear reactor is a device that produces heat. In a nuclear power station, the reactor performs the same work as a boiler in a coal, gas, or oil-fired station. Heat is required to turn water into steam. The steam spins large turbines that drive the generators to produce electricity.

* Although there are many types of nuclear reactors in the world, all operate on the same basic principle. A reactor produces heat through the splitting of uranium atoms. This process is called 'fission'.

* Nuclear energy has many benefits, particularly in the areas of environment and health. Nuclear energy emits no combustion by-products, no acid gases and no greenhouse gases. It is a clean, safe, and economical energy source that does not contribute to air pollution, global warming or acid rain.

* There are many benefits associated with the use of nuclear technology as well. These benefits are found in the areas of medicine, industry, agriculture, and research. For example, about 50,000 nuclear medicine procedures, such as cancer treatment, and diagnostics, are carried out around the world every day.

* Nuclear energy accounts for about 0.1% of all radiation received, an amount less than a standard dental X-ray.

* Nuclear energy is the only proven, non-carbon-based source of energy capable of generating enough electricity for large-scale industrial, residential, and commercial needs, and all with no air pollution.



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