Concern about clean air is a main reason that 60 reactors are under construction around the world—including four in the United States.
Nuclear energy is by far the largest clean-air energy source and the only one that can produce large amounts of electricity around the clock.
When Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970, nuclear energy supplied just 1 percent of America’s electricity. Today, 99 reactors in 30 states provide nearly 20 percent of America’s electrical power, replacing fossil-fueled plants that would have been built otherwise. Learn about nuclear facilities in your state.
The film Pandora’s Promise provides a new perspective on the role of nuclear energy to meet our energy and environmental goals. Check out NEI’s “Unofficial Guide To Pandora’s Promise,” a blog post at NEI Nuclear Notes that provides background on the prominent environmentalists profiled in the film who have changed their minds about nuclear energy because of their concerns about realistically addressing global climate change.
To move toward a clean-energy, low-carbon economy, nuclear energy must continue to be a part of the energy mix.
Nuclear energy facilities produce no air pollution that could threaten our atmosphere by causing ground-level ozone formation, smog and acid rain. The principal greenhouse gas emitted by human activities is carbon dioxide, and about 40 percent of our CO2emissions come from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. More nuclear energy means less air pollution.
There is widespread agreement that nuclear energy is part of the climate change solution. Mainstream analyses conducted by independent organizations have shown that reducing carbon emissions will require a diverse energy portfolio and that nuclear energy is the only low-carbon option to help meet forecasted global electricity demand.