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Nuclear Energy to Power Super Bowl XLVIII

Jan. 28, 2014—Nuclear energy will help power this year’s Super Bowl.

More than half of the electricity generated in New Jersey, the site of the game, comes from the state’s four nuclear reactors.

The venue, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, will be the first open-air, cold-weather stadium to host the contest.

MetLife Stadium is served by PSEG, which holds 100 percent ownership of the Hope Creek nuclear energy facility and 57 percent of the Salem plant, both in Lower Alloways Creek, N.J. The company also holds 50 percent ownership of the Peach Bottom nuclear facility in Pennsylvania.

Temperatures there are expected to be near freezing, as the third bitter cold snap in four weeks may grip the East Coast.

During the first two record-setting chills, nuclear energy facilities proved more dependable than other types of plants, operating at more than 90 percent of capacity.

The value of the nuclear energy during both bouts of freezing weather was their ability to operate without competition from home heating needs, which stressed natural gas prices and supply.

Natural gas is the second-largest electricity generator in New Jersey.

The supply volatility drove natural gas prices to a record high during the first freeze-out, and the second blast drove them even higher. Dow Jones Business News reported natural gas prices of $135 per million Btus for New York on Jan. 21, a record high. On the Friday before the storm hit, according to the report, prices ranged between $10 and $25 per million Btus. By contrast, nuclear energy fuel costs remained untouched at about $0.50 per million Btus.