How do nuclear energy plants benefit the economy?
Every dollar spent by the typical nuclear power plant results in the creation of $1.04 in the local community, $1.18 in the state economy, and $1.87 in the U.S. economy, according to an analysis of 23 nuclear plants representing 41 reactors.
Companies operating a typical nuclear plant pay about $16 million in state and local taxes annually. These tax dollars benefit schools, roads and other state and local infrastructure. Each company typically pays federal taxes of $67 million annually.
In addition, nuclear energy facilities typically employ up to 3,500 people during construction and 400 to 700 people during operation, at salaries 36 percent higher than average in the local area. It produces approximately $470 million annually in sales of goods and services in the local community.
The construction of new reactors depends on a robust supply chain to support manufacturing. Nuclear plants are comprised of hundreds of components and subcomponents, whose construction requires a deep and diverse supplier base. More than 22,500 companies provide $14.2 billion in components and services to the U.S. nuclear energy industry each year.
How do suppliers thrive when only 5 nuclear facilities are under construction?
Nuclear energy facilities update their equipment over time and also need replacement parts, providing a steady stream of orders through the supply chain. Beyond this ongoing activity, the U.S. nuclear energy industry competes in international markets. The more successful this effort, the more manufacturers contribute to domestic job creation and economic development.
Who works at nuclear energy facilities?
Nuclear energy facilities employ workers across myriad disciplines. Highly trained and licensed employees operate reactors and are supported by engineers of various types, health physicists, instrumentation and control workers and other professionals, as well as skilled craftspeople such as welders and mechanics.
How do nuclear energy facilities contribute to their communities?
Nuclear power plants often are located in rural communities that benefit considerably from a large industrial complex. Companies that operate nuclear energy facilities are involved in the life of nearby towns and communities, offering college scholarships for related professions, participating in charities and sponsoring other activities. Energy education centers at many facilities teach schoolchildren about nuclear energy as well as about other forms of electricity generation. Because the plants operate over several decades, their presence encourages continuity in their communities by offering employment over more than one generation of families and workers.
Nuclear energy facilities enhance the habitat around the plant, too. Many take an active role in preserving the local flora and fauna, often earning commendations from their communities and from environmental and conservation groups.
For example, the St. Lucie facility in Florida has devoted considerable resources to tracking and preserving the health of sea turtles attracted to breeding areas near the plant. At the Peach Bottom facility in Pennsylvania, Exelon Corp. developed a biodiversity team to mold its riverside site into an even more hospitable residence for its furred and feathered co-inhabitants, including bats, white-tailed deer, turkeys, foxes, bald eagles and osprey.