Skip to main content

5 Surprising Facts About Nuclear Energy

In putting together our new website section on nuclear energy's unmatched reliability, we uncovered some facts that the folks who aren't familiar with our industry might find surprising. Feel free to share them, and the below infographic, on social media.

1. Nuclear power plants are the most efficient source of electricity, operating 24/7 at a 90 percent average capacity factor.

2. A nuclear plant refuels once every 18 months, in spring or fall, replacing one-third of the fuel each time—so just-in-time fuel deliveries are never an issue.

3. One uranium fuel pellet creates as much energy as one ton of coal or 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

4. A typical nuclear plant generates enough electricity for 690,000 homes without creating air emissions.

5. Nuclear energy generates more electricity than any other source in Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.


trag said…
Great. Now how about putting that page in Time, Newsweek, local newspapers, etc.

The only folks who are going to see it here either don't need convincing or are only visiting to sharpen their anti-nuclear skills.
Anonymous said…
Fun Fact: Living near a nuclear power plant increases the amount of radiation you come in contact by 0.01 mrem per year. Which is nothing when normal Americans recieve 300 mrem per year. Also, you receive 3 times more radiation when living near a coal plant than nuclear plant.
Anonymous said…
trag: WE'RE the ones who will have to put that page in Time, Newsweek, local newspapers, etc. -- or wherever we can.

The NEI is a trade organization, and is not suited for public activism. In fact, its ties to ALEC would cripple it as an agenda-setter. (I hope NEI severs their connection with the Kochs, but that's ultimately a business decision they'll have to make, not an advocacy one.)

Still, how many people do YOU know who trust ANYTHING a corporate body or a trade group says?

Nuclear energy will only succeed if a wide range of people demand it -- not just engineers, techies, Greenie-bashers, and enthusiasts like us. I'm glad that NEI will continue to support us with accurate information and a forum like this, but the battle is ours alone. But "ours" will eventually comprise a very big number, indeed.

trag said…

The organizations which were merged to create the NEI included the public outreach and promotion organization which is supposed to take care of getting this kind of information in front of the public.

And while some of the public distrusts corporate and trade group messages, not everyone does. There's huge value in getting your message out just to let the public know that there's still a battle to be fought. If I had not worked hard to find these web sites (and no, they're not easily found) I would think that the anti-nuclear forces had won and that the entire game was over.

One never hears **anything** positive about nuclear power in the media, without an overwhelming "equal time" comment from paid liars about how terrible it is.

NEI needs to start shifting the conversation. Show the public that there is support for nuclear electricity, regardless of the source, and contradict the lies, even if they aren't entirely trusted at first.

Correct the lies that are easily checked with any physics text, and the public will see that the antis have been lying. Once the public sees one lie from the antis, that's a chink in their trust.

No, this isn't my job. I don't have the resources. NEI is the organized gathering of interest that should be doing this job and is not. It takes money and time. Individuals don't have that. Trade groups do. If NEI won't for political reasons, then it's a lousy trade group.
Anonymous said…
Interesting to see that nukes refuel in either spring or autumn. I did wonder how they handled the US winter. Obviously, they simply operate 24/7 to stop people freezing.

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…