How Nuclear Energy Plants Work
As with coal, oil, or gas-fueled plants, nuclear power plants use heat and steam to generate power. Nuclear energy is created from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. Fission releases energy that can be used to make steam, and the steam is used to power a turbine to generate electricity. Watch how nuclear energy is created in the video below.
The Benefits of Nuclear Energy
One great advantage to nuclear power is that it is emission-free energy. Since nuclear power plants use so little fuel, the volume of nuclear waste is much smaller than the volume of waste from fossil fuel power plants. Even though nuclear waste is radioactive, its small volume enables safe removal from our communities.
In addition, the technology to create nuclear energy is readily available and has proven to be a safe and effective way of generating power. Nuclear power is economically competitive with coal, and generally considered much cheaper than oil or natural gas. Nuclear power plants provide high amounts of electrical energy, which help in meeting energy demands while keeping costs low.
Our Nuclear Energy Plants
Georgia Power's nuclear facilities, Plant Hatch and Plant Vogtle, are two of the three nuclear facilities in the Southern Company system. Plant Vogtle was built with the option to expand, and we have recognized that it is time to enlarge the plant to meet Georgia's energy needs.
Plant Vogtle Expansion Project
The two new units being built at Plant Vogtle are the first new nuclear units in the United States in 30 years. The new units will be the first in the U.S. to use the Westinghouse AP1000 advanced pressurized water reactor technology.
At the peak of construction, more than 5,000 workers will be needed on-site to build the units and all of the accompanying facilities. In addition to the construction personnel, Southern Company will hire more than 800 permanent employees to operate and maintain the new units.
Vogtle Units 3 and 4 are the first new nuclear units built in the U.S. in the last three decades.
Plant Vogtle Job Opportunities
Plant Vogtle is the largest job-producing project in Georgia. At the height of construction, it will employ approximately 5,000 people and, once operational, will offer 800 permanent jobs for Georgians. See Plant Vogtle See Plant Vogtle job opportunities.
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