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Knowledge Base

The Role of Commercial Nuclear Energy in a National Energy Policy with James Ellis Jr.


Why is energy independence important?

Energy independence is important because it affects foreign politics. Nations that export the resources used to create electricity to other nations gain more political leverage than nations that rely on imported fuels to meet their demands. If a nation refuses to sell oil to other nations, those nations may suffer due to lack of fuel to meet their domestic needs

When was nuclear energy first used?

The first commercial nuclear power stations started operation in the 1950s. Today, nuclear energy provides 11% of the world’s electricity from approximately 450 power reactors. The United States has 99 reactors. 

Which nation produces the most nuclear power?

The United States is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity. The 99 nuclear reactor produced 805 billion kWh in 2017, 20% of total electrical output and 55% of its carbon-free generation.  

How many nuclear power plants are there in the world?

There are 435 nuclear plant in 30 various different countries. 56 nuclear plants are under constructions in 13 countries and 30 countries have expressed interest. 


Nuclear energy - Nuclear energy comes from splitting atoms in a reactor to heat water into steam, turn a turbine, and then generate electricity. Nuclear power helps , fight climate change, produces reliable electricity, protects the environment, and boosts international development. 

Renewable energy - Renewable energy is extracted from natural resources that will replenish in a human timescale. In other words, they are a part of our planet’s ecosystem and aren’t going to run out. The main renewable energy sources are solar, air, wind, biomass, hydro power, geothermal, and biofuels.

Fossil Fuels - Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of dead plants and animals. Fossil fuels, including coal, oil and natural gas, are currently the world's primary energy source. They can also irreparably harm the environment. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for 76 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and could lead to potentially catastrophic changes in the Earth’s climate.

To learn more, click here.

INPO – The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) is to promote the highest levels of safety and reliability – to promote excellence – in the operation of commercial nuclear power plants.

To learn more about INPO, click here

WANO – The World Association of Nuclear Operations (WANO) mission is to maximize the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants worldwide by working together to assess, benchmark and improve performance through mutual support, exchange of information, and emulation of best practices. 

The organization exists purely to help its members accomplish the highest levels of operational safety and reliability. This is achieved through a series of highly-regarded programs, such as peer reviews, and access to technical support and a global library of operating experience. 

To learn more about WANO, click here.