Global warming puts nuclear power on the hot seat in climate-change struggle

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Nuclear power plants may not emit carbon dioxide but they do produce radioactive waste, with a long lifespan and no permanent storage facility anywhere in the world. Scientists at the government-funded Idaho National Laboratory are working on next-generation nuclear power plant designs, new ways to more safely reprocess spent nuclear fuel, and future uses for nuclear power.

Even if nuclear power does not see a renaissance in the U.S. that does not diminish the role of the research at the Idaho lab since the U.S. wants to maintain a leadership role in nuclear research, even if it benefits other nations first.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has estimated at least 1,000 new nuclear plants would be needed worldwide in the next 50 years to make a dent in global warming and some question whether this would even be possible.

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