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Benefits of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is a secure, dependable source of power for the United States. It is not subject to unpredictable weather or climate conditions, and consumers benefit greatly from the fact that nuclear fuel costs fluctuate less often than other fuel sources.

Proven Technology

With more than 50 years of safe and reliable operation in the U.S., nuclear energy is a proven and innovative technology. Georgia Power recognizes the role nuclear power plays in increasing our nation's energy independence, while simultaneously reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Currently, more than 434 reactors in 30 countries provide about 12 percent of the world's electricity. In Europe, nuclear energy is the largest single source of power generation, producing 32 percent of the total generation.

Watch the video below to learn how Nuclear Energy is a part of our balanced energy mix at Georgia Power


Reliability

In 2011, U.S. nuclear energy facilities demonstrated high levels of reliability with a capacity factor—actual output of power—of 89 percent. Safe, reliable operational records like these increase public and political confidence in the nuclear power industry and provide support for license renewal and the construction of new facilities.

Nuclear Energy Provides

  • Much of the world's baseload power. Baseload plants are operated 24/7 to meet a region's continuous energy demand.  They have high reliability and low production costs as compared to other available sources of power. 
  • Uninterrupted electricity for extended periods of time—for as long as 24 months—which is particularly important for baseload plants.
  • Electricity for one in five U.S. homes and businesses, and is a key element in the stability of the U.S. power system.

Cost Effectiveness

Nuclear power is proven to be more economical and cost effective than coal, gas, wind, or solar resources.

Nuclear Energy is

  • Estimated to be between 15-40% less expensive than wind generation.
  • 50-80% less expensive than solar in the southeastern United States.
  • Proven to fluctuate less than other energy sources.
  • Available to meet local energy demand growth in Georgia.

Because of its higher capacity factor, nuclear power makes more efficient use of the transmission system, resulting in lower transmission costs per kilowatt-hour than wind or solar.


Safety & Security

Nuclear energy facilities are among the safest industrial facilities in the United States and have operated throughout the country for decades. New plants under construction are building on these tested designs, and incorporating additional safety features developed over the past 30 years.

Nuclear energy facilities are the best-defended facilities in the nation's industrial infrastructure. Security at nuclear energy facilities must meet the high standards set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Read more about how Georgia Power makes safety and security the top priority at nuclear energy facilities.



Low and High Level spent fuel

Georgia Power safely stores the used fuel from nuclear generation at our plant sites while the U.S. government seeks a location for permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Ratepayers have made substantial financial contributions to the site studies.

Water Usage

Units 1 and 2 at Plant Vogtle use about 1percent of the average annual flow of the Savannah River. Adding two additional units at the site will increase that amount to 2%. Electric power generation consumes about 3.3 percent of U.S. fresh water, less than half the amount of fresh water consumed for residential uses (6.7 percent) according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Environmental Stewardship

Georgia Power has developed waste minimization/pollution prevention plans to make the wisest and most environmentally responsible use of resources. Each nuclear energy site places priority on identifying cost-effective opportunities to prevent pollution from all operations at its facilities. This focus on prevention of pollution at the source, combined with the minimal impact of nuclear energy processes to air, water and land, make nuclear energy a key element of Georgia Power's environmental performance.

For more details on nuclear energy and the environment, visit nei.org.


Wildlife/Land Management

Plants Hatch and Vogtle, operated by Georgia Power, maintain wildlife/land management plans that are certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC). The plans were designed to provide for the development and maintenance of wildlife management and enhancement in the areas surrounding the generating facilities. Ecologically sound management practices benefit wildlife and demonstrate a meaningful, long-term commitment to Georgia's environment and community. In addition, the land management programs support reforestation efforts.

Both facilities actively participate in WHC's Nest Monitoring Program. Nest boxes are located around the nuclear energy sites and at area elementary schools. Information is provided annually on the number of nest boxes in use and eggs that hatch for bluebirds, kestrels, wood ducks, ospreys, and owls.

Safety Is Our Top Priority

Georgia Power keeps safety at the forefront of our nuclear energy facilities. Our public safety information is available in PDF for your reference:
Vogtle | Hatch

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