This study examines the role of nuclear power generation and CO2 production (tonnes per person) over the course of 38 years (1970-2008) in four countries each with varying levels of nuclear power production. From 1970 on France and Sweden have invested heavily in nuclear power production while the US has developed more limited nuclear power generation and Turkey has not yet developed nuclear power generation. In the time frame noted, CO2 production in both France and Sweden have consistently dropped from their highest levels in 1979 of 11-10 tonnes of CO2 per person to current levels of 5.5-6.1 tonnes per person, respectively. These consistently decreasing CO2 levels are in contrast to both the US and Turkey’s CO2 production; in the US the highest level of CO2 production were noted in 1973 at 23 CO2 tonnes per person while Turkey produced 1.2 tonnes of CO2 per person in 1970. With limited development of nuclear power, the US has seen a slight decrease in CO2 production to 19 tonnes of CO2 in 2008 while CO2 production in Turkey, with no nuclear power generation, continues to consistently rise to a current level of 4.1 tonnes CO2 per person. This study indicates that while several other factors are likely also at play, generation of nuclear power can result in a dramatic decrease in CO2 production.
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