Nuclear power plants are powered by Uranium, a rare and naturally occurring element. Some of their environmental impacts include the following:
1. Although airborne emissions from fossil fueled plants are much higher, Nuclear power releases small amounts of radioactive airborne gases.
2. Uranium mining. Uranium is mined in a similar fashion to coal. Even with current mining techniques, toxic contamination of local land and waters surrounding the mining operations tend to occur.
3. Radioactive wastes that are produced from mineral processing of Uranium. These wastes must be adequately stored to reduce environmental impacts from radioactive release.
4. The water requirements for a Nuclear cooling systems are much higher than those of a typical fossil fuel plant. Additionally, a major problem with a Nuclear plant’s cooling system can result in “Nuclear Meltdown.” Nuclear Meltdown has devastating effects on the environment.
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