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Transitioning hundreds of coal-fired plants to nuclear plants across the country would dramatically increase the supply of clean energy to the grid and dramatically grow efforts to reach net-zero emission goals by 2050. For more information about the benefits of the coal-to-nuclear transition, contact Christine King, GAIN Director, at [email protected] or 650-283-4235.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Based on a case study in the Investigating Benefits and Challenges of Converting Retiring Coal Plants into Nuclear Plants report, greenhouse gas emissions in the region would fall by 86%, or 2.4 billion kilograms, if nuclear power plants replace coal. This reduction is equivalent to taking more than 500,000 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles off the roads.

Surrounding communities will enjoy these environmental benefits despite nuclear power plants employing more than double the individuals than coal power plants. Improved air quality due to the transition, to nuclear could lead to lower incidents of health issues associated with air pollution such as asthma, lung cancer, and heart disease.

By reducing emissions, nuclear would benefit disadvantaged communities that have historically been disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel pollution. Read more about disadvantaged communities and the White House’s Justice40 Initiative.

Park in Fort Collins, Colorado. Photo by Acton Crawford on Unsplash.
A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will make the air cleaner in parks like this in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Transmission lines that help transport power to homes and businesses.
Repurposing existing power plants allows new power plants to connect to current infrastructure — like these transmission lines — rather than disturbing miles of habitat.

Repurposing Existing Power Plants

There are numerous environmental benefits to repurposing coal power plants into nuclear power plants, the most obvious of which is utilizing a site that has already generated electricity, rather than disturbing a new, virgin site.

Additionally, they are already connected to the power grid that supplies customers with valuable electricity. This eliminates the need to disturb miles of habitat required to build the transmission lines and substations, which can often be controversial, costly, and time consuming.

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