Nuclear Energy Explained: Risk or Opportunity


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Anything with the word nuclear next to it usually comes with a fair bit of misunderstanding. Hopefully this video demystifies the process of how nuclear fuels are turned into electricity and how we can use them in combination with renewables in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the effects on the climate that come with high levels of them.

Of course, there are many things that have been left out this video as nuclear energy, just as with any other source, has many different factors that need to be taken into account when making decisions. In order to fully understand the situation and make decisions, I highly recommend that you do some research of your own on the topic, rather than simply base your opinion on a four-minute YouTube video.

It should also be noted that this video has been made from the perspective of the United States in general. Every area on Earth has different natural resources and environments that determine what works best there.

On a lighter note, feel free to keep up with WhatTheWhy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WhatTheWhy1 . Thanks for watching!

Sources*:
20 percent of energy from nuclear power in the U.S.: http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/World-Statistics/World-Nuclear-Generation-and-Capacity

Percent of electricity from each source http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/flow/primary_energy.pdf.

Lifetime Carbon Emissions http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/report/IPCC_SRREN_Annex_II.pdf

Carbon Emissions http://www.c2es.org/technology/factsheet/hydropower

Nuclear Uprating: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/power-uprates.html

Costs http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Economic-Aspects/Economics-of-Nuclear-Power/

Deaths caused by other fuel sources http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928053.600-fossil-fuels-are-far-deadlier-than-nuclear-power.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news#.U4k6SXnctR1

European deaths due to coal use
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jun/12/european-coal-pollution-premature-deaths

Indian deaths due to coal use
http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/indias-coal-power-plants-kill-tens-of-thousands-every-year-study-says/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

http://www.economist.com/node/18441163

http://climate.nasa.gov/news/903

Deaths from coal in the US. http://www.catf.us/fossil/problems/power_plants/

Levelized costs http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr38/en/

http://thebulletin.org/managing-nuclear-spent-fuel-policy-lessons-10-country-study

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Radiation-and-Health/Nuclear-Radiation-and-Health-Effects/

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Safety-of-Plants/Safety-of-Nuclear-Power-Reactors/

Union of Concerned Scientists Death Estimate http://allthingsnuclear.org/how-many-cancers-did-chernobyl-really-cause-updated/

International Agency for Research on Cancer http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2006/pr168.html

Deaths Prevented With Nuclear Fuels http://climate.nasa.gov/news/903/

Interesting Run-through of Chernobyl https://leatherbarrowa.exposure.co/chernobyl

*Not every source listed was used in the end video.


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