Vermont Yankee is committed to keeping Vermont's environment strong and healthy. The safe and clean operation of the plant helps ensure that the state's abundant forests, rivers, and lakes are not damaged by acid rain. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), in 2008, Vermont Yankee avoided the emission of 6,500 tons of sulfur dioxide, 1,400 tons of nitrogen oxides and 2.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
According to NEI, generating electricity is the single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, representing 41 percent of all emissions. As the issue of global warming continues to capture the focus of America and the world, it is vitally important to look at the role nuclear power can play in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that continue to pollute the air and damage our ecosystem.
Nuclear generated electricity avoids almost 650 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year in the U.S. This is nearly as much carbon dioxide as is released from all U.S. passenger cars. In thinking about energy and the powerful role it plays in ensuring the quality of the environment, we are compelled to look at the carbon footprint of various energy sources.
Life-cycle analysis is a mechanism for measuring the total environmental impact of various energy sources. This includes emissions resulting from all aspects of each energy source-construction, operation, dismantling and disposal.
The life-cycle impact of nuclear energy is among the lowest of any form of electricity generation, comparable with renewable technologies such as wind and solar power.