Subject Area



The world is currently facing one of the biggest threats to the environment in its history: the warming of the Earth’s surface due to climate change. One major contributor is the release of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere by humans. To reduce these emissions, countries are making a concerted effort to invest in more sustainable energy sources. Nuclear power is one green energy source that can potentially support the transition to lower carbon emissions. Nuclear power plants release no carbon emissions during the generation of electricity. The only emissions are a result of maintenance, such as mining and refining of the uranium ore used (4). Nuclear power plants also produce at the highest capacity factor of any energy source and with a relatively low level of radioactivity (3). However, there is controversy surrounding nuclear energy and its perception by the public. One factor is the well known reactor meltdowns at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Another is nuclear waste, despite it being recyclable. To better understand nuclear power’s relationship with overall carbon emissions, this project explores the effect electricity by nuclear power generation has on carbon intensity (kg per PPP $ of GDP) in different levels of electricity.


Providence College


Spring 5-19-2023





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