Environmental Protection

NCPA Report: Nuclear Power Is Safe, Could Answer Energy Mandates

Since many state governments now require a percentage of their electrical power to come from approved “renewable” energy sources, now is a good time for policymakers to allow the United States to expand the use of nuclear power as a reliable form of energy, according to a new report by the National Center for Policy Analysis.

“The demand for electricity is projected to increase 26 percent from 2007 to 2030,” said H. Sterling Burnett,” NCPA senior fellow and co-author of the report. “Nuclear power is one of the safest and most reliable forms of energy available and it emits no greenhouse gases.”

Nuclear power is also sustainable. The NCPA report explains that recycling spent nuclear fuel could provide an almost unlimited supply of nuclear fuel in the U.S.

“Recycling nuclear fuel would definitely decrease the problem of nuclear waste disposal,” said James Franko, NCPA legislative assistant and co-author of the report. “It can also be a boon to local communities and create a significant amount of jobs.”

Nuclear power should also be considered because it is clean and safe, according to the NCPA report. Nuclear power has among the lowest carbon dioxide(CO2) emissions of all energy sources, emitting only 17 tons of CO2 per gigawatt hour. By contrast, coal emits 1,041 tons and natural gas emits 622 tons. In addition, in more than 50 years of experience with nuclear power in the United States, no deaths or negative health effects have been conclusively linked to nuclear plants or recycled fuel.

“Nuclear power is a viable source of energy, and technology exists today for nuclear power to safely provide a larger percentage of America’s energy needs,” Burnett said. “Policymakers need to consider it as a long-term solution to our energy demands and remove barriers that prevent nuclear energy from being fully utilized.”

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