Nuclear power in America: Five reasons why it's safe and reliable

Though the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant appears to be stabilizing, the United States is stepping up inspections of the country’s 104 nuclear reactors. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission today announced that inspectors will soon visit all US reactors to ensure they can withstand the kind of “severe accident” that led to Japan’s emergency. That emergency has caused many Americans to wonder about the future of nuclear power. Is it safe and dependable? Yes, says Tony Pietrangelo, chief nuclear officer and senior vice president of the Nuclear Energy Institute. Here’s why:

3. Nuclear is efficient

A 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant operating 90 percent of the time generates enough electricity to power 740,000 homes. Based on information from the US Energy Information Administration, it would take the following use of other resources to achieve the same result:

  • Oil: 13.7 million barrels
  • Coal: 3.4 million short tons
  • Natural Gas: 65.8 billion cubic feet

Utilizing nuclear energy as part of a diverse fleet of electric generation is an efficient use of precious natural resources while doing so with virtually no carbon emissions.

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