Jobs. Security. Environment.
Nuclear produces reliable energy as well as well-paying jobs. Just ninety-nine commercial reactors generate nearly 20 percent of the country`s electricity, all of it free of carbon emissions. It contributes half a million jobs and $60 billion dollars to our economy each year. Most importantly, nuclear is the most reliable of any energy source, producing power around the clock – no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
Short answer, yes.
Long answer, yes, operators of nuclear energy facilities in the United States have taken steps to make our nuclear power plants among the safest and most secure industrial facilities in the nation. The industry’s commitment to comprehensive safety procedures means stringent federal regulation and automation of physical as well as operational security. Today’s nuclear power plants have layers of redundant protection to ensure the safety of workers, the public and the environment.
Our communities. Our environment. Our health. Our economy.
Not only do nuclear plants provide over 500,000 jobs and 60 billion dollars to the US economy annually, they are also responsible for 62 percent of the emission-free power we use. Beyond providing valuable jobs and significantly reducing CO2 from energy production, nuclear plants are the most reliable of any energy source, promising the most sustainable option across the different needs of future energy.
If we make the right policy choices, yes.
By 2040, the US will require 22 percent more electricity, while much of the nation’s existing electric-generating capacity will have retired by then. Nuclear has the capability to meet the increased electricity demand – however, the policy choices we make now will determine the future of this promising technology. As Senator Booker outlined “we need to figure out greater ways to drive investment, to remove the bureaucratic barriers, and to allow one of the greatest things we have going for us as a country – those innovators and those investors – to unleash the promise of new nuclear technologies.”
Nuclear power is cost competitive with other forms of electricity generations…
…but not in a market skewed by direct access to low-cost fossil fuels and subsidies for other forms of clean power. In order to reduce greenhouse gases, we need to incentivize the purchase of clean-air electricity the same from all sources that are carbon-free. As we bring more reactors online and as nuclear energy increases production to achieve global climate goals, we will need to build a market in which all clear energy is valued.
The same way as coal, oil and gas – without the carbon-emissions.
Nuclear plants, like plants that burn coal, oil and natural gas, produce electricity by boiling water into steam. This steam then turns turbines to produce electricity. The difference is that nuclear plants do not burn anything. Instead, they use uranium fuel, consisting of solid ceramic pellets, to produce electricity through a process called fission.
Nuclear power plants obtain the heat needed to produce steam through a physical process. This process, called fission, entails the splitting of atoms of uranium in a nuclear reactor. The uranium fuel consists of small, hard ceramic pellets that are packaged into long, vertical tubes. Bundles of this fuel are inserted into the reactor.