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Nuclear Power

There are a number of deeply politicized approaches to the issue of nuclear power, which provides nearly 20 percent of electricity in the United States and 15 percent worldwide. Nuclear scientists and engineers frequently argue that nuclear power poses no discernible impact on public health; antinuclear activists point to the potential risk and pollution produced at all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle; advocates for a transition to a less carbonintensive energy economy often argue in favor of “carbon-free” nuclear; and public opinion remains fairly divided on the issue. For example, there is extensive debate over whether nuclear power plants are “safe.” To understand these debates, it is important to know that the history of nuclear power is embedded in the history of nuclear weapons. ...

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