Nuclear power is the only large-scale, carbon-free electricity source that can widely expand to produce large amounts of electricity.
FREMONT, CA: Nuclear power protects air quality by generating massive amounts of carbon-free power. It powers communities in U.S. states and contributes to several non-electric applications, ranging from the medical sector to space exploration. The Office of Nuclear Energy within the U.S. Department of Energy stresses its research primarily on managing the existing fleet of reactors, creating reactor technologies, and enhancing the nuclear fuel cycle to scale the sustainability of the power supply and strengthen the U.S. economy. Here are the major benefits of nuclear energy.
Nuclear power is a significant source of clean energy in the United States. It creates more than 800 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year and generates more than half of the nation’s emissions-free electricity. This limits more than 470 million metric tons of carbon each year, equal to removing 100 million vehicles off the road. The thermal power from nuclear reactors may also be leveraged to decarbonize other energy-intensive industries like transportation.
Nuclear energy plants run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are developed to operate for longer stretches and refuel every 1.5 – 2 years. In 2019, nuclear power plants run at full power more than 93 percent of the time, making it the most reliable power source on the grid today. The nuclear industry also supports nearly half a million jobs and contributes $60 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product. U.S. nuclear power plants can employ up to 700 workers. They also give billions of dollars annually to economies through federal and state tax revenues.
A strong civilian nuclear industry is essential to U.S. national security and power diplomacy. The United States must manage its global leadership in this sector to influence nuclear technologies' peaceful use. The U.S. government joins hands with countries in this potential to develop relationships and develop new opportunities for the nation’s nuclear technologies.