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Nuclear Safety

Safety and Security

Our commitment at our nuclear facilities

Nuclear power energy facilities are among the safest and most secure industrial facilities in the United States, and Georgia Power's nuclear facilities are no exception. Nuclear energy plants have operated safely throughout the United States for decades. New plants are built on these tested designs and incorporate additional safety features developed over the past 30 years.

  • The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO)—sets high safety standards for all 100 U.S. nuclear plants—monitoring plant performance and sharing best practices across all plants.
  • INPO certifies rigorous training programs for all nuclear facilities operators: These highly trained nuclear professionals are certified by the federal government and must go through refresher training once every five weeks. The yearly training includes challenging scenarios and simulators, much like airline pilots.
  • Nuclear facilities have a proven performance record. In more than 50 years of operation, not one member of the public has been injured by a U.S. nuclear energy facility.
  • Nuclear energy facilities are among the safest places to work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that working at a nuclear energy facility is safer than working in the financial industry or in real estate.

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.

  • The strength of nuclear energy facilities against aircraft impacts has been repeatedly tested in state-of-the-art computer simulations; results confirm there would be no release of radioactivity as a result of aircraft impacts.
  • In the years since the September 11 attacks, numerous enhancements have been implemented, including significant increases in the number of armed security officers, widespread use of imposing physical security features, intruder detection systems and enhanced security training programs.
  • Since 2001, the U.S. nuclear energy industry has invested more than $2.1 billion in security improvements.

Radiation Facts

  • Even if you lived next door to a nuclear power plant, you would be exposed to less radiation each year than you would in just one flight from New York to Los Angeles. This is because natural radiation is mostly cosmic rays interacting with the Earth's atmosphere, and the closer you are to the cosmos—such as flying in an airplane—the more exposed you are to natural radiation.
  • About 85% of the radiation people receive comes from natural sources such as cosmic rays from space, granite and even food. The remainder of our annual radiation dose comes from artificial sources such as medical x-rays. Less than 0.1% comes from the nuclear industry.
  • Nuclear power plants in the United States supply about 20% of the nation's electricity each year.
  • Nuclear energy is an emission-free energy source. Nuclear power plants produce no controlled air pollutants, such as sulfur and particulates or greenhouse gases. The use of nuclear energy in place of other energy sources helps keep the air clean and prevents acid rain.
  • Throughout the nuclear fuel cycle, the small volume of by-products created is carefully contained, packaged and safely stored. The nuclear energy industry is the only industry established since the Industrial Revolution that has managed its used fuel without harmful impacts to the environment.
  • Water discharged from a nuclear power plant contains no harmful pollutants and meets regulatory standards for temperature designed to protect aquatic life.
  • More than 28,000 American doctors practice medical specialties that use radiation.
  • The use of radiation for medical diagnosis and treatment is so widespread that virtually every U.S. hospital has some form of nuclear medicine unit.
  • Radiation is used to sterilize baby powder, bandages, contact lens solution, plus cosmetics, including false eyelashes and mascara.
  • Uranium is a relatively abundant element that occurs naturally in the Earth's crust. Uranium oxide is more abundant than gold and silver and is as common as tin.

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

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