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11 Facts About Nuclear Energy

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  1. Nuclear power plants use “nuclear fission” (the process of splitting an atom in two). “Nuclear fusion” (the process of combining atoms into one) has the potential to be safer but has not yet been developed to operate within a large power plant.^[Duke Energy Corporation. "Fission vs. Fusion – What’s the Difference?" 2013. Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  2. Nuclear energy comes from uranium, a nonrenewable resource that must be mined.^[U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Nuclear Energy." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  3. Every 18 to 24 months, a power plant must shut down to remove its spent uranium fuel, which becomes radioactive waste.^[U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Nuclear Energy." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  4. Nuclear power plants generate about 20% of U.S. electricity.^[Ebright, Robert. "Nuclear Power - an Environmental Friendly, Clean, Reliable and Safe Electrical Power Source for Today and for the Future." American Electronic Power. Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  5. Nuclear energy is being used in more than 30 countries around the world and even powers Mars rovers.^[World Nuclear Association. "Nuclear Basics." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  6. Nuclear power plants use large quantities of water for steam production and for cooling. Some nuclear power plants remove large quantities of water from a lake or river, which could affect fish and other aquatic life.^[U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Nuclear Energy." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  7. More than 70% of America’s emission-free power comes from nuclear energy sources.^[Duke Energy Corporation. "Background: Nuclear Power." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  8. 1 in 5 households and business in the US are electrically powered by nuclear energy.^[Duke Energy Corporation. "Background: Nuclear Power." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  9. United States power plants produce 2,000 metric tons of radioactive waste every year.^[U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Solid Waste Generation." Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  10. Electricity generated by nuclear energy is not as susceptible to fluctuations in coal and gas prices.^[Consumer Energy Alliance. "Why does the U.S. need an All of the Above Energy Plan?" Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
  11. American nuclear energy facilities are the highest regulated plants in the world, subject to scrutinous observations and regulations.^[Consumer Energy Alliance. "Why does the U.S. need an All of the Above Energy Plan?" Web Accessed April 25, 2015.]
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