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Clean Air for Olympics

Good news about energy and our environment: Countries can reduce air pollution while generating much-needed electricity with help from nuclear power, which does not emit greenhouse gases.

In fact, the United States' 104 nuclear reactors produce about 20 percent of the Nation's electrical power needs while reducing carbon emissions. Mainland China, as host country for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, is investing heavily in clean air technologies, including nuclear power, to deliver on its promise to host a "green" Olympics and guarantee sufficient electricity supply.

Worldwide electricity demand is projected to double by the year 2023, and cleaner power sources, including natural gas, solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear power, are important components of the energy mix for all countries. In the U.S., nuclear power generates over 70 percent of all carbon-free electricity. Just one nuclear power plant produces enough electricity to meet the needs of a city the size of Boston or Atlanta.

Nuclear energy can produce electricity on large enough scales to meet projected demand while avoiding the release of greenhouse gases and keeping electricity prices competitive.

(Sources: Global Energy Decisions; Energy Information Administration; U.S. Department of Energy; American Wind Energy Association.)

Last updated July 10, 2012, 4:11pm CDT.

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