Did You Know That...

The following facts have been obtained from the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

NEI is the nuclear energy industry's Washington-based policy organization.

Nuclear Energy Institute
Suite 400
1776 I Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006-3708
202-739-8000

 


Nuclear energy offers the US and the world a clean way of generating electricity to support economic growth without polluting the atmosphere?

 


Unlike coal-, gas-and oil-fired power plants, nuclear power plants do not emit into the atmosphere carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases?

 


From 1973 to1996, nuclear energy's share in meeting the US's electricity demands increased from 4 % to 19 %?

 


In 1996, US nuclear power plants prevented the discharge of 147 million tons of carbon?

 


Without nuclear energy, carbon emissions from generating electricity alone would be 30 percent higher?

 


Nitrogen oxide contributes in the formation of ozone, which is harmful to human health, sulfur dioxide is believed to contribute to acid rain and between 1973 and 1996, US nuclear power plants were responsible for keeping 34.6 million tons of nitrogen oxide and 80.2 million tons of sulfur dioxide out of the our atmosphere?

 


In 1996, US nuclear power plants prevented the discharge of 2.5 millions tons of nitrogen oxide and 5.3 million tons of sulfur dioxide?

 


The increased reliance on nuclear energy in the world has contributed to a cleaner, healthier environment?

 


France generates about 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy and has cut its average carbon dioxide emissions nearly in half since 1973?

 


Current plans call for the addition of more than 95 million kilowatts of nuclear energy to the world's electricity supply by the year 2010?

 


Radiation is a vital and versatile medical tool used in both the detection and treatment of cancer, as well as more routine procedures, such as X-rays and scans?

 


Radioactive materials have been used in virtually every major medical advance over the past 50 years?

 


More than 10 million US citizens every year undergo medical procedures that use radiation, from routine X-rays to highly sensitive myocardial perfusion imaging?

 


More than 28,000 American doctors practice medical specialties that use radiation?

 


More than 80 % of all new drugs submitted for approval to the US Food and Drug Administration are tested with radiation?

 


Every day, radiation is used to sterilize gloves, sutures, syringes, bandages and hospital clothing and that heat cannot be used to sterilize many of these items because it would destroy them?

 


In the operating room, the gamma knife, which aims radiation at an exact spot, has replaced the traditional scalpel for many delicate procedures, including brain surgery?

 


Of the 15 Nobel Prizes granted in physiology and medicine from 1975 to 1989, 10 were based on research using radioactive materials?

 


One-third of the 30 million Americans hospitalized every year undergo medical processes that use radiation?

 


In agriculture, farmers and scientists use radioactive materials to grow hardier crops and more nutritious
food products, breed disease-resistant livestock, and control insect pests without polluting the soil with chemicals?

 


Radioactive isotopes also are used to pinpoint where diseases strike animals, enabling scientists to breed stronger, healthier herds of livestock?

 


California used irradiated insects to save its fruit and vegetable crop when faced with an infestation of the Med fruit fly?

 


More than 40 nations have approved of food irradiation to kill harmful parasites and bacteria, such as salmonella in poultry, trichinosis in pork and cholera in fish?

 


Irradiated food is not radioactive, and the process does not deplete its vitamin or nutritional content any
more than cooking, canning or freezing.

 


Since 1963, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved of irradiation of spices, wheat and flour, potatoes, pork, fruits and vegetables and poultry, plus approval to irradiate beef and seafood may soon follow?

 


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reports 6.5 million cases of serious
food-related illness each year, resulting in 10,000 deaths in the US?

 


More extensive and uniform food irradiation has the potential to prevent many of the above incidents in the future?

 


Food irradiation is recognized as one of the most effective weapons in the fight against the dangerous salmonella and E.coli microorganisms?

 


There are 109 nuclear plants in the US, producing about 20 percent of the it's electricity and worldwide, 432 nuclear power plants are at work, contributing 17 percent of the world's electricity supply?

 


The amount of carbon going into the atmosphere has been reduced since 1973 by more than 1.9 billion metric tons because of nuclear energy?

 


Nearly 100 Navy submarines and 5 surface ships are propelled by nuclear reactors and protect America and its allies?

 


Nuclear propulsion gives submarines two major advantages -- speed, and range underwater without surfacing and can cruise 400,000 miles, or about 10 years, before refueling?

 


Almost every US industry uses nuclear technology to cut costs, improve product quality or ensure safety?

 


The airline industry has used radiation for years to test for structural cracks and stresses and to check for flaws in jet engines?

 


The automobile industry uses radiation to test steel quality in its cars, and highway contractors measure the density of pavement with radioactive sensors?

 


Manufacturers of paper, sheet metal, aluminum cans and foil, and plastic wrap use highly sensitive radioactive gauges to control the product thickness, reducing waste, ensuring uniform quality, and saving money in the process?

 


Petroleum companies rely on radiation to inspect wells and pipelines for defects and to map geologic contours so as to locate and quantify mineral deposits?

 


Many industries use small amounts of radioactive substances as tracers to track piping system leakages, monitor the rate of engine wear and corrosion of processing equipment, observe the speed of materials through pipes, and gauge system filtration efficiency?

 


Most smoke detectors installed in nearly 90 percent of US homes use a tiny radioactive source
called Americium-241 to sound the alarm when it senses smoke?

 


Radiation is used to sterilize baby powder, bandages, contact lens solution and many cosmetics, which include false eyelashes, mascara and hair products?

 


Non-stick cookware is treated with radiation so that the plastic coating will stick to its surface?

 


Food processors use radiation to test egg shell thickness and to measure the correct amount of air whipped into ice cream?

 


Clothes we wear are treated with radiation to improve their characteristics, such as the ability to repel rain?

 


Small amounts of radiation are at work in photocopiers to eliminate static and prevent paper from sticking together and jamming the machine?

 


Computer disks treated with radioactive sources can "remember better," and electron-beam radiation is used to cure magnetic tapes so as to ensure consistent recording and playback quality?

 


Tire manufacturers use radiation to toughen the rubber in radial tires and to make sure the steel belts in tires are aligned properly?

 


Radiation is used to make reflective traffic signs brighter so they can be seen at night?

 


Nuclear technology has turned in a "stellar performance" for the US space program by providing power for more than 20 NASA spacecraft over the past 25 years?

 


Nuclear energy has given the US and the world a more diverse menu of choices for generating electricity and protecting us from sudden interruptions or price increases in other fuel supplies?

 


Nuclear energy gives us several distinct advantages -- uranium supplies are plentiful around the world, and once a nuclear reactor is fueled it can generate electricity for 18-24 months without needing to be refueled?

 


Since 1973, nuclear power has eliminated the need to burn 3.4 billion tons of coal, 2.3 billion barrels of oil and 12.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas?

 


Nuclear energy keeps US dollars at home and Americans at work with an estimated 400,000 people employed in nuclear-related jobs?

 


In 1995 the nuclear energy industry pumped more than $90 billion into the nation's economy in goods and services and contributed more than $17.8 billion to federal, state and local tax treasuries?

 


Nuclear energy is the only source of producing large amounts of electricity that sustains the world's growing population without polluting the atmosphere?

 


Today, the US consumes almost 23 percent of the world's primary energy, even though we represent only 5 percent of the world's population?

 


Public opinion supports the expansion of nuclear energy, with 2 out of 3 Americans saying they believe it should play an important role in meeting our future energy needs?

 


The energy output of the nation's 109 nuclear power plants reached a record high in 1996— 674 billion kilowatt-hours?

 


In 1996, it cost an average of 1.91 cents to generate a kilowatt-hour of electricity from nuclear energy, 1.82 cents per kilowatt-hour for coal, 3.42 cents per kilowatt-hour for natural gas and 4.14 cents per kilowatt-hour for oil?

 


Hundreds of scientific studies over several decades have shown that there no health effects on people from exposures below 10,000 millirem?