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How Nuclear Power Saves Lives

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The Pros and Cons of Nuclear Power

Nuclear power can be a fickle thing. What other substance on Earth is powered by uranium, supplies energy to Mars and is in one in five U.S. households? Scary as it may sound, the answer is nuclear energy. As of 2014, there are 435 nuclear power plants operating in 30 countries around the world. The controversial energy source comes to life when microscopic atoms unleash a powerhouse of energy through either fusion (combining with other atoms) or fission (splitting from other atoms). When harnessed and wielded for public utilities, factories and even to power cars, the radioactive fuel source can have both amazing and devastating potential. (Sufficed to say, if all nuclear safety inspectors were like Homer Simpson, we'd all be in a lot of trouble.)

So what's the big deal about nuclear energy? Well, in the same way it can stimulate a prosperous alternative energy economy, it can also be used to build weapons and destroy lives. Opponents also question the negative health effects nuclear energy can expose to the public, in addition to the workers who interact with the matter on a daily basis. Still, nuclear energy is produced with a 91 percent rate of efficiency, and without emitting any greenhouse gasses. Are the benefits worth the risks? Jump into your HAZMAT suit and explore for yourself.

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from DNews

The Fukushima disaster reignited the nuclear power debate, but it turns out, even with its faults, nuclear power is saving lives! That's according to new NASA study about the effects of pollution on health. So just how many lives are being saved, and why? Trace has the answers. Read More: "Prevented mortality and greenhouse gas emissions from historical and projected nuclear power" "Using historical production data, we calculate that global nuclear power has prevented about 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes (Gt) CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning." "Nuclear Power Prevents More Deaths Than It Causes" "Climate Change: Study estimates that nuclear energy leads to substantially fewer pollution-related deaths and greenhouse gas emissions compared with fossil-fuel sources" "James Hansen retires from NASA" "Outspoken climate scientist gives up NASA post for advocacy role." "Estimating Seasonal Influenza-Associated Deaths in the United States: CDC Study Confirms Variability of Flu" "Seasonal influenza-related deaths are deaths that occur in people for whom seasonal influenza infection was likely a contributor to the cause of death, but not necessarily the primary cause of death." DNews is a show about the science of everyday life. We post two new videos every day of the week. Watch More Subscribe DNews Twitter Anthony Carboni Twitter: Laci Green Twitter Trace Dominguez Twitter DNews Facebook DNews Google+ DNews Website

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