Indian Point and the Global Environment – The Single Most Effective Emission Control Strategy

Nuclear power plants like Indian Point produce nearly two-thirds of all electricity that doesn't release greenhouse gases when generating power for American homes and businesses.

Academy-Award-nominated director Robert Stone released a 90 minute film on the “personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process." ‘Pandora’s Promise’ covers the nuclear industry’s greatest debates and highlights the role that nuclear energy plays in the global environment.

Nuclear Power’s Environmental Impact

From construction to operation to dismantling and disposal, the environmental impact over the life-cycle of nuclear energy is one of the lowest among forms of electricity generation, comparable with renewable technologies such as wind and solar power.

Minimizing Pollution

Existing nuclear plants prevented 589 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2013. Those same plants also prevented one million short tons of sulfur dioxide and a half-million short tons of nitrogen oxide, which causes urban smog.

For perspective, the volume of the greenhouse gas emissions prevented at the nation’s 103 nuclear power plants is equivalent to taking all passenger cars off of America’s roadways.

Entergy, the owner and operator of Indian Point, is an industry leader in minimizing carbon emissions. In 2000, Entergy was the first U.S. utility to place a voluntary cap on its carbon emissions – a cap that currently stands at 20 percent below 2000 emission levels.

Climate Change: What is it?

The Earth has warmed by 1ºF over the past 100 years and may advance to 2 to 6ºF over the coming 100 years. Though this may not seem like a lot, you will be surprised to know that the temperature was only 7ºF colder than it is today during the peak of the last ice age, 18,000 years ago. Though there is still debate about its cause, scientists believe that human activities are increasing the earth's temperature and causing climate change.

Carbon Dioxide, the greenhouse gas mainly emitted by human activity, is the major focus of policy discussions to reduce emissions that cause climate change. According to the U.S. EPA, 82 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are carbon dioxide. Mayor Bloomberg's Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions April 2007 projections show that carbon dioxide is projected to increase by 27 percent between 2005 and 2030 due to greenhouse gases released by combustion vehicles, electricity generation and heating fuels.

Increased reliance on non-polluting nuclear energy represents our best chance of meeting the region's emissions-reduction goals. Nuclear power, which accounted for about 60 percent of zero-carbon-emitting power generation sources in the U.S. in 2012, is one of the only sources of both emissions-free and reliable baseload power. This is because nuclear energy is not subject to unreliable weather or climate conditions, unpredictable cost fluctuations, or dependence on foreign suppliers.