Nuclear energy is a reliable energy source, providing on-demand baseload electricity 24/7. The average nuclear energy facility is on line 90 percent of the time, generating on-demand electricity around the clock.
Nuclear energy is a secure electricity source that we can depend on as a reliable part of America’s electricity mix. It is not subject to changing weather or climate conditions, unpredictable fuel cost fluctuations or over-dependence on foreign suppliers.
Nuclear energy facilities are able to produce electricity with low cost and stable prices using enriched uranium for fuel. One uranium fuel pellet—about the size of the tip of a pencil eraser—produces the same energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons of oil.
Nuclear Energy Most Efficient of All Electricity Sources.
Nuclear energy facilities have the highest average capacity factor among all U.S. electricity sources. A facility’s “capacity factor” compares its actual energy production with how much it could produce at full operating power during the year. This is a crucial measure of reliability and a plant’s online performance, and it varies substantially by energy source.
Nuclear energy has tremendous price stability because fuel accounts for just 28 percent of production costs. Fuel costs are closer to 80 or 90 percent when electricity is produced by burning coal or natural gas. This makes electricity from fossil-fuel plants highly susceptible to fluctuations in coal and gas prices.