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Nuclear Power

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. Bush, in a June 2005 speech delivered to a group of nuclear power plant workers intoned, “The 103 nuclear power plants in America produce twenty percent of the nation's electricity without producing a single pound of air pollution or greenhouse gases.” Experts in the nuclear energy field, both for and against nuclear energy, find this statement lacking credibility. Nuclear energy critics cite the significant amount of greenhouse gases produced by the nuclear fuel cycle in aggregate. Not surprisingly, proponents of nuclear power generation focus on the reactors themselves, which produce nothing but water vapor from the cooling towers.

Nuclear Power and the Environment

As a stand-alone device, nuclear reactors do not emit greenhouse gases. The nuclear reaction is contained and the heat generated is ...

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