US Boasts 93 Nuclear Power Plants
As of 2021, the United States is home to a total of 93 operating nuclear power plants, which are spread across 30 different states. These power plants play a crucial role in the country’s energy infrastructure, collectively generating about 20% of the nation’s electricity. The capacity of each nuclear plant varies, with some larger plants capable of producing over 3,000 megawatts of electricity, while smaller ones generate around 500-700 megawatts.
Nuclear Power Struggles with Perception, Safety
Despite being a significant source of carbon-free power, many nuclear plants in the U.S. face challenges due to issues of public perception, safety concerns, and high costs. Currently, there are no new nuclear power plant projects in progress, and a few older reactors have been permanently shut down in recent years. However, some existing plants have received license extensions to continue operating beyond their originally planned life spans.
US Investing in Safer, Affordable Nuclear Power
The Department of Energy (DOE) and other organizations in the U.S. are actively researching and investing in nuclear energy development for the future. There is ongoing effort to promote advanced reactor designs that focus on enhanced safety features, reduced waste generation, and potentially lower costs. These advancements aim to ensure the long-term viability of nuclear power as a clean and efficient energy option in the U.S.
U.S. Retires Nuclear Plants Safely
In addition to operating nuclear plants, the U.S. also has a substantial number of decommissioned or retired nuclear power plants. These plants have ceased operations either due to the completion of their planned operational life or other reasons, such as economic factors or regulatory concerns. Proper decommissioning procedures are followed to ensure the safe shutdown, removal, and containment of radioactive materials, so as to minimize environmental impact and potential risks associated with these retired facilities.