Focus on USA

Nuclear power state-by-state

27 August 2009

There are 104 operating nuclear reactors in the USA: 35 boiling water reactors and 69 pressurised water reactors. In 2008 they generated 806.2TWh of electricity, supplying 21% of the country’s total electricity. The remainder came from coal (51%), natural gas (17%), renewables (9%) and petroleum (1%).

In total 31 states have operating reactors. At 80%, Vermont has by far the highest percentage of its electricity generated from nuclear. It is followed by Connecticut, South Carolina, New Jersey and Illinois, each with around 50%, according to government figures from June 2009 (see map attached)

Of the 104 operating reactors in the USA, 54 have had their operating licences extended by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. So far this year the oldest operating nuclear plant in the USA, Oyster Creek, and Vogtle 1&2 have been granted licence renewals. The NRC is currently reviewing applications for another18 units.

Since 1977 the NRC has approved uprates for 124 reactors, totalling 5640MWe. It is now reviewing uprate applications for 11 units and a total of 973MWe. NRC projects an additional 2894MW of electrical capacity to be added by 2013.

Credit: NRC
Cumulative capacity additions at US nuclear facilities

In 2008 the average load factor for US nuclear power plants was 87.4%, according to our 2008 load factor league tables, published in April.

Related Articles
World survey part 1: the Americas

FilesMap showing share of nuclear in each US state

graph graph
Map showing share of nuclear in each US state Map showing share of nuclear in each US state

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