Non-radiological Environmental Implications of Nuclear Energy

Discussions on environmental implications of nuclear energy have so far been concentrated on radiological aspects: disposal of radioactive wastes, safety of nuclear power production, safe handling of plutonium, and problems associated with uranium mining. There are, however, several environmental issues associated with nuclear power production that are non-radiological in nature: thermal pollution and attendant effects on aquatic life, problems associated with land-use requirements, aesthetic considerations, habitat alterations, and atmospheric effects. These different non-radiological environmental implications of nuclear energy are reviewed.

The paper concludes that, while there are some environmental problems which exist at present, and a few more could emerge in the future, all these problems appear to be solvable with the present state of technological development. The extent of environmental degradation can be significantly reduced by appropriate design and planning.

By Asit K. Biswas, 1980. Article published in Environmental Conservation, Volume 7, Issue 3, pages 229-237. DOI: 10.1017/S0376892900007694

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