Images-106 Good overview. Unlike burning fossil fuels, using nuclear fission to generate electricity produces no soot or greenhouse gases. This helps keep the skies clean and doesn’t contribute to global warming. The World Nuclear Association estimates that the electricity industry would add 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year if it used coal power instead of nuclear Link.

6 thoughts on “How Nuclear Power Works

  1. Hey, Phillip, you’ve been hanging out at Slashdot too long! You’ve got not one, but TWO dupes up this morning! :) (the ‘toolbox PC’) is the other one.

  2. According to the alternative energy blog, Nuclear power produces *more* greenhouse gas emissions. They’re just produced during the construction of the plant and the processing of fuel, instead of in the reactor.

    (It’s important to look at the whole system, in other words).

    That and the estimate that the earth only has 85 years of fuel at current usage rates means nuclear isn’t really a viable option.

  3. In order to make maximum utilization of “pure” renewables (wind, solar), you need a foundation of “firm and dispatchable power” on the grid. That means power coming from a source that can be varied at will to meet changing conditions such as increase/decrease in supply from variable sources such as wind, and increase/decrease in load (demand). Right now that means either fossil fuels or nuclear fission.

    Nuclear is cleaner.

    At one time I was opposed to nuclear due to the waste disposal issue, but France now has 20 years’ track record in recycling nuclear waste into nuclear fuel. Safely. That is a reasonable solution for most of the nuclear waste, which meets my original objection. Therefore, full steam ahead, pun intended.

    The operational safety issues have been effectively solved via the new advanced reactor designs, so you don’t have to worry about a plant accident causing a serious radiation release. (And by the way, burning coal releases large quantities of radionuclides into the atmosphere, as well as the CO2.)

    And we’d better start building ’em fast, seeing as peak oil is just around the corner.

Comments are closed.

current: @adafruit - previous: MAKE, popular science, hackaday, engadget, fallon, braincraft ... howtoons, 2600...

View more articles by Phillip Torrone