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Nuclear energy plants


We now have 57 commercial nuclear power plants in 29 states operating 95 reactors. Our largest facility is Arizona's Palo Verde power plant. It operates 3 pressure water reactors and consumes nearly 5 million pounds of uranium each year. Nuclear power plants provide about 20% of our electricity even though few have been built in more than 30 years due to concerns over safety and waste disposal. The newest reactor to enter service is Tennessee's Watts Bar Unit 2, which began operation in 2016. In 2020, the average age of our operational commercial nuclear reactors was nearly 40 years. New construction of these plants has been threatened by competition from now-abundant natural gas.

Nuclear power plant supporters say these facilities produce electricity that is cheaper and cleaner than fossil-fueled power plants. Critics claim nuclear-produced power is not more inexpensive if plant construction and decommissioning costs are considered. They also say the cost of quarantining and abandoning large tracks of land contaminated by radioactive fallout has not been factored into these costs. They warn there is no fail-safe way to store or dispose of waste materials which remain deadly for thousands of years. They also warn most of our aging nuclear reactors now need to be replaced or decommissioned since they become more dangerous as they grow old.

Proposed Legislation: H.R.8673 – INSPECT Act (116th Congress)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Mike Levin (CA)












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Poll Opening Date
July 4, 2022
Poll Closing Date
July 10, 2022


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