The Growing Importance of Clean Energy
Nuclear energy already accounts for 37 percent of California's carbon-free power. It is the largest energy source that does not emit greenhouse gases during the production of electricity. In the next 10 years, California will face the challenge of simultaneously growing its economy, meeting rising electricity demand and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
California has led the country in climate change initiatives, supporting clean energy projects and enacting stringent greenhouse gas standards. The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station helps meet these rising air quality standards and California's long-term goal for cleaner air, and reliable emission-free power.
Compared to fossil fuel generation, San Onofre has helped avoid 100,000 metric tons of smog producing pollutants and 180,000,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. Unlike nuclear plants, fossil fuels burn their fuel sending particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions up their smokestacks and into the atmosphere. Carbon emissions are a primary contributor to the greenhouse gas effect. Nuclear plants do not burn their fuel and therefore virtually no air emissions are produced.