The selective use of nuclear electricity mitigates the threat from acid rain pollutants produced by fossil fuel power stations and similarly reduces the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere: nuclear power generation produces no carbon dioxide (CO2) or oxides of nitrogen (NOx).
Russia's nuclear power supply system is unique in that about half of all reactors are "heat-and-power" plants, with 29 plants currently in service producing over 90% of all centrally- produced heat and 12% of electricity.
Recent public opinion polls in the Czech Republic found that 63% support nuclear power and 73% want to limit the development of coal-fired power. Very high support was also indicated for non-traditional sources (82%) and the continuing use of hydropower (90%). Opposition by the local authorities to the construction of the new interim waste storage facility at Dukovany has been withdrawn.
In the UK the majority of opinion formers adopt a pragmatic rather than an ideological approach to nuclear power. "In principle" opposition remains low; two-thirds of those questioned in a survey said that they believed that nuclear energy would be important in the years ahead even if they did not particularly like it (48% definitely saying they did not favour nuclear power). For the majority, a significant argument in favour of retaining nuclear electricity is that it is in the national interest to have a mix of power sources.
Nuclear energy is a viable alternative to other renewable energies but it is relatively much more expensive. Moreover, nuclear accidents can be potentially disastrous such as Chernobyl demonstrated, and no nation has so far demonstrated that the wastes arising from the industry can be securely and safely disposed of.