Exploring Just How Green Nuclear Energy Is
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of clean energy but nuclear power is quite green.
Did you know that, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the United States alone managed to save 476 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2019 thanks to its nuclear power plants? Although it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, nuclear energy is a great source of clean energy.
So why is it so often overlooked? It could be because the term is often associated with nuclear weapons but the two could not possibly be more different.
Nuclear provides a lot more power than other sources of clean energy such as renewables (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal) making it a very viable option for decarbonizing our energy sources. A typical 1,000-megawatt nuclear plant needs a little more than 2.6km2 (1 mi²) of land to function.
This means that to get the same output as a nuclear power plant, you would need to replace it with 3 million solar panels or 430 wind turbines. That's impressive, to say the least.
In addition, nuclear power plants produce very little waste and even that waste can be recycled using more advanced reactors such as thorium or salt reactors. Want to find out more about how green nuclear power really is? Watch our video.