Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nuclear Power's Effect On Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Some may know this, but my undergrad was actually in Nuclear Engineering.  While I do not necessarily practice it day to day (as I'm sure most people say of their undergrad education), I certainly walked away with a real passion for the benefits of nuclear energy.  It has the ability to generate electricity on the hundred megawatt or even gigawatt level (on par or better than existing fossil fuel plants), produces no carbon dioxide, and properly maintained plants produce no additional radiation to the surrounding area, among many other benefits.

Inspired by +Hans Rosling (the +Tableau Software TCC14 keynote speaker) and the work at Gapminder, I built a dashboard that tells the story of how countries that embrace nuclear energy (especially France) have seen a reduction in their carbon dioxide emissions, while countries that have little or no nuclear presence are seeing large increases in their carbon dioxide emissions.  

If you would like to learn more about nuclear power, there was also a documentary that was shown on CNN called Pandora's Promise, which interviews well known environmentalists that now support nuclear energy and investigates nuclear power from a variety of different angles.

Enjoy and feel free to comment below.