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Nuclear Energy Has Environmental Benefits

Through our column by Dave Wilson in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, we generated additional published media by way of a concurring Letter to the Editor by Dr. Carolyn Heising (formerly a Professor of Nuclear Energy at University of Florida and now Professor at Iowa State University). — Jerry Paul LETTERS The Gazette 11/13/2013, Page A06 Nuclear energy has environmental benefits Dave Wilson makes excellent points about the value and safety of the Duane Arnold nuclear plant (‘Lessons from our nuclear plant,’ Nov. 1). There is more, however, and that relates to the global issue of climate change. We are seeing traditionally anti-nuclear energy environmental leaders start to line up behind maintaining and expanding nuclear energy. It is one of the few technologies that can make a real difference in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. They see that even such an incident as the Fukushima accident pales in comparison to the flooding, drought and disease that can result from rising temperatures. The danger today lies in succumbing to cheap energy from what has in the United States become abundant natural gas. Gas is not a clean fuel, as it produces large amounts of polluting nitrogen oxides as well as carbon dioxide, albeit somewhat less than coal. And that does not include the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, still not fully understood. As Wilson notes, nuclear power is far from perfect. But for Iowa and much of the world, it needs to be an important part of a cleaner energy mix. Carolyn D. Heising Professor, Industrial, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Iowa State University

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