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Towards an Ethical and Ecological Approach to Electricity Generation: A Comparative Analysis of Coal and Nuclear Power in the USA

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: According to the US Energy Information Administration, about 4118 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) electricity was generated at large-scale generation facilities in 2019. About 63 of this was from fossil fuels, e.g., coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases. Environmental exposure to particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury, arsenic, radioactive fly ash, and other pollutants are extremely detrimental to the human cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems. Such exposure increases the risk of lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, respiratory infections, and other illnesses. In light of the challenges associated with renewables providing large quantities of base load power, as well as other factors, the benefits offered by nuclear power should be reexamined by policy makers to move the country towards a more ecological and ethical method of electric power production. This paper offers a concise analysis of many of the salient issues, comparing electricity generation from coal plants and light water nuclear reactors.

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