Total U.S. Nuclear Power Generation
Of the 99 nuclear reactors currently in operation in the U.S., Oyster Creek is the oldest and was connected to the grid back in December of 1969. Since then, U.S. nuclear plants have operated for a total of 26,369,130 hours and generated almost 24 billion MWhrs of electricity. This is enough electricity to meet U.S. demand, at a 2017 consumption level, for about six years.
Moreover, since 1969, had it not been for nuclear power the U.S. likely would have been building baseload coal plants to meet increasing electricity demand. Instead, because of nuclear power, the U.S. avoided CO2 emissions equivalent to over 8 years of CO2 emissions from the U.S. power sector.
We’re fooling ourselves if we think that without nuclear power we can meet carbon-reduction goals and maintain a reliable grid at the global scale of trillions of dollars in economic activity and billions of people in emerging economies needing more electricity.
It won’t happen.
What nuclear power has done for the U.S. is what nuclear power can do for the world.