A new study has revealed that the use of nuclear power has led to prevention of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths globally and has also prevented the release of 64 billion tons of greenhouse gases that might have erupted from burning coal and other fossil fuels.
Pushker A. Kharecha and James E. Hansen from the International Energy Agency have said that nuclear power has the ability to aid in controlling of both global climate change and illness and death associated with air pollution.
Both the researchers analyzed nuclear power's benefits in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution deaths keeping in mind Fukushima accident in Japan that could overshadow the benefits of nuclear energy.
The study based upon calculations of prevented mortality and greenhouse gas emissions for the period 1971-2009, confirmed that nuclear power can prevent deaths from 420,000 to 7 million by mid-century, and prevent emission of 80-240 billion tons of the greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
The study that appeared in the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology further proved that large-scale expansion of unconstrained natural gas use will not help in mitigating the climate problem and will cause far more deaths than the expansion of nuclear power.