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.

Comments

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.

--dogmug
trag said…
Dogmug,

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

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…