U.S. Nuclear Plants


There are no data indicating that one nuclear reactor design is safer than another. In the United States, 69 of the 104 operating nuclear reactors are pressurized water reactors. The other 35 are boiling water reactors. Each design has multiple layers of protection (defense-in-depth) and both designs have performed safely and reliably. They both are licensed by the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission and operated to the same levels of regulatory requirements and safety. The  accident at Three Mile Island involved a pressurized water reactor; the Fukushima nuclear energy accident involved boiling water reactors.
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NEI has posted a new backgrounder to its website:

  • Emergency Preparedness
    Nuclear plant operators and federal regulators know that assuring public safety requires going beyond action to prevent problems; it also requires careful planning to manage unexpected events. Federal law requires that nuclear energy operators develop and exercise sophisticated emergency response plans to protect the public in any extreme scenario. Read More >>

See the main fact sheet Web page for all of NEI’s backgrounders on the Fukushima nuclear energy situation and the U.S. nuclear industry’s response.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • Licensing for new U.S. reactors is proceeding according to schedule, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in letters to electric utilities in Georgia and South Carolina. The agency expects to issue a final safety report this month on Georgia Power’s two advanced reactors to be built at the Vogtle plant in Burke County, Ga. It could approve a construction and operating license before the end of this year. The NRC told South Carolina Electric & Gas that the utility’s application to build two reactors near Jenkinsville, S.C., is complete and that a final safety review should be finished by September. The agency then could approve a construction and operating license for the facility by January.   Read More »

NEW YORK—America’s nuclear energy industry continues to operate safely and reliably, and the industry has a positive outlook, Marvin Fertel, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, told financial analysts today.

Fertel updated the analysts on steps being taken to make safe nuclear energy facilities even safer. He also provided attendees at an NEI-sponsored briefing with the industry’s perspective on recommendations made earlier this month by the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Fukushima Daiichi task force. The recommendations made in the task force’s 90-day report are being considered by the agency’s commissioners.

Read more from NEI’s news release >>

Watch the webcast from the event and see NEI’s main website for the briefing materials.


Ed Halpin

STP Nuclear Operating Co.'s President and CEO Ed Halpin

Guest Commentary by Ed Halpin
President and Chief Executive Officer, STP Nuclear Operating Co.
Member of the Fukushima Response Steering Committee

The sweeping recommendations from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Fukushima task force deserve careful consideration and review from key industry stakeholders.

The U.S. nuclear industry wholeheartedly supports the goal of applying lessons learned from Japan to enhance safety at our nation’s nuclear power facilities. What we must avoid is a rush to judgment. Taking the time to thoroughly review and discuss the recommendations so that the appropriate desired outcomes are achieved will be critical for the industry and our nation’s long-term energy policy. Premature changes to regulatory policy could have far-reaching effects for decades to come.

Our nation’s nuclear facilities operate safely at the highest performance standards in the world. The NRC’s recent evaluation reaffirms that our nation’s 104 nuclear reactors are safe. We believe the commission should take the time necessary to properly evaluate the recommendations from the task force to allow for broad stakeholder input and careful analysis.

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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First