The generation of nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases or air emissions. Together with renewable energy options, nuclear energy is critical to meeting our environmental and energy goals.
In 2006, U.S. nuclear power plants prevented carbon dioxide emissions equal to taking 99% of all passenger cars off America’s roadways.
Efficient and Reliable Energy
Over the past two decades, nuclear plants have achieved increasingly higher capacity factors with the same or greater levels of safety. The average capacity factor for U.S. power plants in operation in 1980 was 56%; in 1990, 66%; and in 2007, 92%.
Since 2001, nuclear plants have achieved the lowest production costs between coal, natural gas and oil. Fuel costs account for 31% of the overall production costs of nuclear plants. Fuel costs for coal, natural gas and oil, however, account for more than 75% of the production costs.
The lost-time accident rate at nuclear plants is among the lowest in the nation at .3% compared to 2.4% for the manufacturing sector.