#4 Nuclear power contributes to the preservation of aquatic ecosystems

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Published on 03/01/2022

(by limiting the acidification of water, but not only by that)

How does nuclear contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal #14: Preserve aquatic life?

Marine biodiversity is in significant decline across the world in direct connection with human activity. The acidification of the oceans caused by CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuels has adverse effects on marine life and poses a particularly serious threat to coral reefs around the world.

These coral reefs are the nurseries of the oceans and more than 25% of all marine life depends on them, although they occupy less than 1% of the seabed. It is estimated that they feed hundreds of millions of people, and provide services (food, jobs, protection against storms and erosion) worth more than $375 billion each year.

Nuclear energy plays a major role in limiting the acidification of the oceans and protecting their immense biodiversity, both thanks to its particularly low carbon footprint, and the fact that it does not cause chemical emissions which pollute rivers unlike many other sources of energy.

Nuclear and isotopic techniques can also help to understand aquatic ecosystems, monitor pollution, and assess the effectiveness of cleaning and remediation techniques.

These techniques can also be used to study past changes in ocean acidity, as well as their ability to store carbon and the potential role this will play on climate in the future.

The full report of the World Nuclear Association is available here.