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Do we need nuclear power for sustainable energy production?
Nuclear energy produces lower amounts of greenhouse gases than other forms of power, mitigating climate change.
CO2 is a significant threat to the environment.
The median lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of coal power plants are
820 g of CO₂ equivalent for every kWh
hour of energy produced (68 times as much as nuclear).
Nuclear power does not produce greenhouse gases while operating. Controlled reaction produces heat, that heats water, that turns to steam and turns turbines.
Sufficient fission reactors cannot be built in time to prevent further climate change.
Greenhouse gases (and by extension climate change) are only one aspect of sustainability. That something does not have greenhouse gas emissions does not automatically make it sustainable.
There is the possibility of what is called
, which suggests that life-cycle emissions may outweigh carbon offsets.
Construction of nuclear power plants, mining and transportation of ore/fuel/waste, and other steps in the nuclear fuel cycle produce greenhouse gases.