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A power reactor is a facility that makes electricity by the continuous splitting of uranium atoms (i.e., a nuclear reaction). This facility is often referred to as a nuclear power plant.

The World Nuclear Association reports as of March 2013 there are 435 commercial nuclear power reactors in 31 countries with 480 more reactors under construction or planned. The U.S. has 100 commercial power plants and Canada has 19 power stations meaning millions of people live within 10 miles (16 km) of an operating reactor. And WNA reports there are 240 research reactors (54 in the U.S.) mainly on university campuses.

Nuclear power in the United States

According to the World Nuclear Association (as of 20 February 2014)

  • The USA is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity.
  • The country's 104 nuclear reactors produced 821 billion kWh in 2011, over 19% of total electrical output. There are now 100 units operable and five under construction.
  • Following a 30-year period in which few new reactors were built, it is expected that six new units may come on line by 2020, four of those resulting from 16 licence applications made since mid-2007 to build 24 new nuclear reactors. However, lower gas prices since 2009 have put the economic viability of some proposed projects in doubt.
  • Government policy changes since the late 1990s have helped pave the way for significant growth in nuclear capacity. Government and industry are working closely on expedited approval for construction and new plant designs.

In 2012, the US electricity generation was 4300 billion kilowatts per hour (kWh) gross, 1640 TWh (38%) of it from coal-fired plant, 1277 TWh (30%) from gas, 800 TWh (19%) nuclear, 298 TWh from hydro and 141 TWh from wind. 

The USA has 100 nuclear power reactors in 31 states, operated by 30 different power companies.

Since 2001 these plants have achieved an average capacity factor of over 90%, generating up to 807 billion kWh per year and accounting for 20% of total electricity generated. Capacity factor has risen from 50% in the early 1970s, to 70% in 1991, and it passed 90% in 2002, remaining at around this level since. The industry invests about $7.5 billion per year in maintenance and upgrades of these.

(Note: Below graphic is a few years old so has a few plants no longer in service. See alphabetic listing below photo to learn more.)

To find information about a particular operating U.S. nuclear power reactor that NRC regulates, select that reactor from the list below, or from the interactive map on NRC site

Arkansas Nuclear 1 (AR)

Arkansas Nuclear 2 (AR)

Beaver Valley 1 (PA)

Beaver Valley 2 (PA)

Braidwood 1 (IL)

Braidwood 2 (IL)

Browns Ferry 1 (AL)

Browns Ferry 2 (AL)

Browns Ferry 3 (AL)

Brunswick 1 (NC)

Brunswick 2 (NC)

Byron 1 (IL)

Byron 2 (IL)

Callaway (MO)

Calvert Cliffs 1 (MD)

Calvert Cliffs 2 (MD)

Catawba 1 (SC)

Catawba 2 (SC)

Clinton (IL)

Columbia Gen. Stn (WA)

Comanche Peak 1 (TX)

Comanche Peak 2 (TX)

Cooper (NE)

D.C. Cook 1 (MI)

D.C. Cook 2 (MI)

Davis-Besse (OH)

Diablo Canyon 1 (CA)

Diablo Canyon 2 (CA)

Dresden 2 (IL)

Dresden 3 (IL)

Duane Arnold (IA)

Farley 1 (AL)

Farley 2 (AL)

Fermi 2 (OH)

FitzPatrick (NY)

Fort Calhoun (NE)

Ginna (NY)

Grand Gulf 1 (MS)

Harris 1 (NC)

Hatch 1 (GA)

Hatch 2 (GA)

Hope Creek 1 (NJ)

Indian Point 2 (NY)

Indian Point 3 (NY)

La Salle 1 (IL)

La Salle 2 (IL)

Limerick 1 (PA)

Limerick 2 (PA)

McGuire 1 (NC)

McGuire 2 (NC)

Millstone 2 (CT)

Millstone 3 (CT)

Monticello (MN)

Nine Mile Point 1 (NY)

Nine Mile Point 2 (NY)

North Anna 1 (VA)

North Anna 2 (VA)

Oconee 1 (SC)

Oconee 2 (SC)

Oconee 3 (SC)

Oyster Creek (NJ)

Palisades (MI)

Palo Verde 1 (AZ)

Palo Verde 2 (AZ)

Palo Verde 3 (AZ)

Peach Bottom 2 (PA)

Peach Bottom 3 (PA)

Perry 1 (OH)

Pilgrim 1 (MA)

Point Beach 1 (WI)

Point Beach 2 (WI)

Prairie Island 1 (MN)

Prairie Island 2 (MN)

Quad Cities 1 (IL)

Quad Cities 2 (IL)

River Bend 1 (LA)

Robinson 2 (SC)

Saint Lucie 1 (FL)

Saint Lucie 2 (FL)

Salem 1 (NJ)

Salem 2 (NJ)

Seabrook 1 (NH)

Sequoyah 1 (TN)

Sequoyah 2 (TN)

South Texas 1 (TX)

South Texas 2 (TX)

Summer (SC)

Surry 1 (VA)

Surry 2 (VA)

Susquehanna 1 (PA)

Susquehanna 2 (PA)

Three Mile Island 1 (PA)

Turkey Point 3 (FL)

Turkey Point 4 (FL)

Vermont Yankee (VT)

Vogtle 1 (GA)

Vogtle 2 (GA)

Waterford 3 (LA)

Watts Bar 1 (TN)

Wolf Creek 1 (KS)


Nuclear power in Canada

According to WNA (as of December 2013)

  • About 15% of Canada's electricity comes from nuclear power, with 19 reactors mostly in Ontario providing 13.5 GWe of power capacity.
  • Canada had plans to expand its nuclear capacity over the next decade by building two more new reactors, but these have been deferred.
  • For many years Canada has been a leader in nuclear research and technology, exporting reactor systems developed in Canada as well as a high proportion of the world supply of radioisotopes used in medical diagnosis and cancer therapy.

Learn more about Canadian reactors on WNA or Canadian Nuclear Association sites.

Also ... learn how to prepare for or respond to a nuclear power plant emergency

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Replies to This Discussion

Great information and backup documentation.

Great Job,

Bob T

Thank you sir! Hopefully it helps people find out what plants are near them so they can make a plan.

This is excellent information Janet, thanks for sharing.


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