Of the 30 U.S. states with operating commercial nuclear power plants, 12 states generated more than 30% of their electricity from nuclear power, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.
'Nuclear power plants play an important role in U.S. electricity generation, consistently providing about 20% of total annual generation,' the EIA said in a statement.
Three states generated more than 50% of their in-state electricity from nuclear power in 2019, according to the EIA.
New Hampshire had the largest share of in-state generation from nuclear power at 61%, followed by South Carolina with 56%.
Illinois, which has the most nuclear reactors with 11 reactors and the most nuclear generating capacity with 11.6 gigawatts among states, generated 54% of its in-state generation from nuclear power in 2019.
- Largest plant produces nearly 32 million MWh in 2019
According to the statement, Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson, Mississippi, is the largest single nuclear reactor in the U.S., with a capacity of more than 1,400 megawatts (MW).
However, the Palo Verde nuclear plant in western Arizona, which has three reactors, is the largest power plant in the U.S. by annual generation. In 2019, generating nearly 32 million megawatt-hours, it produced more electricity than any other plant in the country.
Two new nuclear reactors are under construction in Georgia at the existing Vogtle nuclear plant, the EIA said and added that each new reactor has a planned electricity generation capacity of about 1,100 MW.
- Life span of reactor extended from 60 to 80, a first
'The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses nuclear reactors to operate for 40 years. After that, reactors can apply to renew their operating licenses for up to 20 years at a time. All but two reactors in the U.S. have applied for and received license renewals from the NRC,' the statement said.
The Clinton Power Station, which initial license does not expire until 2027, has until 2024 to submit its renewal application, while Unit 2 will not need a license renewal until 2050, according to the EIA.
'In late 2019, the NRC approved a subsequent license renewal for two units of the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating facility, marking the first time a nuclear reactor's lifespan has been extended from 60 to 80 years. The NRC also approved Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station's Units 2 and 3 application to continue operating to 80 years in March 2020,' the statement read.
By Firdevs Yuksel