Nuclear Power in the USA Currently

  • The USA is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power which accounts for more than 30% of nuclear power in the world.
  • There are 99 nuclear reactors in the US in 30 different states operated by 30 different companies. And in 2016 they produced 805 TWh of energy.
  • Over the span of 30 years, few nuclear reactors have been built; however, plans two build two more nuclear reactors should come soon after the year 2020.
  • Since the 1970s the average capacity of nuclear reactors has risen from 50% to 90% in 2002. Since then the capacity hasn’t risen significantly except for a 2% increase in capacity in 2016. It’s also important to note that most of the US nuclear generating capacity comes from reactors built between 1967 and 1990.
  • Until the year 2013 there had been no new construction of nuclear power plants. Some of the reasoning behind stems from gas being the more economically favorable form of energy along with years of strong opposition to the construction of new nuclear reactors.
  • Even though there has been little construction for the past 30 years, the US’s reliance on nuclear power has grown significantly.
  • However, no more than two nuclear reactors will be built before the year 2021. Low gas prices still dominate the industry which dampen demand for nuclear power reactors.

Resources:

“Nuclear Power in the USA.” The Many Uses of Nuclear Technology – World Nuclear Association, Feb. 2018, www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/non-power-nuclear-applications/overview/the-many-uses-of-nuclear-technology.aspx.

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