Bob Higgins

Nuclear Power Reactors In The United States And A Few Words On A Way Out

Posted in Environment, History, Nuclear Power, Politics, Science by Bob Higgins on March 17, 2011
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We continue to throw great piles of money down the bottomless pit of energy subsidies for already obscenely flush corporatio­­ns in the oil, gas and nuclear industries­­; are we insane or just stupid?

Why don’t we take at least half of that, say 25 billion annually and start a crash program for the rapid developmen­­t and installati­­on of renewables like solar, wind, tidal, current, wave and other emerging technologi­­es like biofuels from non food and waste sources.

The Manhattan Project was completed in four years for 2 billion. Adjust that number for today’s dollars and take it back from the energy criminals that we’ve allowed to push us around for so long and make them pay for the technology that will put them out of business.

We simply need to stop making excuses for inaction, fossil fuels are killing us, nuclear is showing itself as enormously expensive and unmanageab­­le and likely to kill us even faster and the whole mess is killing the planet on which we should be relaxing and enjoying this little hayride around the Sun.

A Manhattan Project for making a major portion of the shift to clean renewable fuels could probably get us half way home in 5 to 10 years, perhaps faster.

We lack nothing but the will, something we had in 1942.

Bob Higgins

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The remaining material on this page is from the NRC website

Boiling Water Reactors

In a typical commercial boiling-water reactor, (1) the core inside the reactor vessel creates heat, (2) a steam-water mixture is produced when very pure water (reactor coolant) moves upward through the core, absorbing heat, (3) the steam-water mixture leaves the top of the core and enters the two stages of moisture separation where water droplets are removed before the steam is allowed to enter the steam line, and (4) the steam line directs the steam to the main turbine, causing it to turn the turbine generator, which produces electricity. The unused steam is exhausted in to the condenser where it condensed into water. The resulting water is pumped out of the condenser with a series of pumps, reheated and pumped back to the reactor vessel. The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite power is lost emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps, which can be powered by onsite diesel generators. Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need electric power. Boiling-water reactor’s contain between 370-800 fuel assemblies. See also our animated diagram and pdf file of generic diagrams that detail elements of the boiling-water reactors.

Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)


The Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)

BWRs actually boil the water. In both types, water is converted to steam, and then recycled back into water by a part called the condenser, to be used again in the heat process.

Since radioactive materials can be dangerous, nuclear power plants have many safety systems to protect workers, the public, and the environment. These safety systems include shutting the reactor down quickly and stopping the fission process, systems to cool the reactor down and carry heat away from it, and barriers to contain the radioactivity and prevent it from escaping into the environment. Radioactive materials, if not used properly, can damage human cells or even cause cancer over long periods of time.

Return to Students Nuclear Reactors Page
Return to Boiling Water Reactors Page


Pressurized Water Reactors

In a typical commercial pressurized light-water reactor(1) the core inside the reactor vessel creates heat, (2) pressurized water in the primary coolant loop carries the heat to the steam generator, (3) inside the steam generator, heat from the steam, and (4) the steam line directs the steam to the main turbine, causing it to turn the turbine generator, which produces electricity. The unused steam is exhausted in to the condenser where it condensed into water. The resulting water is pumped out of the condenser with a series of pumps, reheated and pumped back to the reactor vessel. The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite power is lost emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps, which can be powered by onsite diesel generators. Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need power. Pressurized-water reactors contain between 150-200 fuel assemblies. See also our animated diagram.

Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)


The Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)

The Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)

PWRs keep water under pressure so that it heats, but does not boil. Water from the reactor and the water in the steam generator that is turned into steam never mix. In this way, most of the radioactivity stays in the reactor area.

Return to Students Nuclear Reactors Page


List of Power Reactor Units
For more information, see Map of Power Reactor Sites and our annually published Information Digest, Appendix A.

Plant Name
Docket Number
Reactor
Type
Location Owner/Operator NRC Region
Arkansas Nuclear 1
05000313
PWR 6 miles WNW of Russellville, AR Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 4
Arkansas Nuclear 2
05000368
PWR 6 miles WNW of Russellville, AR Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 4
Beaver Valley 1
05000334
PWR 17 miles W of McCandless, PA FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. 1
Beaver Valley 2
05000412
PWR 17 miles W of McCandless, PA FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. 1
Braidwood 1
05000456
PWR 20 miles SSW of Joliet, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Braidwood 2
05000457
PWR 20 miles SSW of Joliet, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Browns Ferry 1
05000259
BWR 32 miles W of Huntsville, AL Tennessee Valley Authority 2
Browns Ferry 2
05000260
BWR 32 miles W of Huntsville, AL Tennessee Valley Authority 2
Browns Ferry 3
05000296
BWR 32 miles W of Huntsville, AL Tennessee Valley Authority 2
Brunswick 1
05000325
BWR 40 miles S of Wilmington, NC Progress Energy 2
Brunswick 2
05000324
BWR 40 miles S of Wilmington, NC Progress Energy 2
Byron 1
05000454
PWR 17 miles SW of Rockford, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Byron 2
05000455
PWR 17 miles SW of Rockford, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Callaway
05000483
PWR 25 miles ENE of Jefferson City, MO Ameren UE 4
Calvert Cliffs 1
05000317
PWR 40 miles S of Annapolis, MD Constellation Energy 1
Calvert Cliffs 2
05000318
PWR 40 miles S of Annapolis, MD Constellation Energy 1
Catawba 1
05000413
PWR 18 miles S of Charlotte, NC Duke Energy Power Company, LLC 2
Catawba 2
05000414
PWR 18 miles S of Charlotte, NC Duke Energy Power Company, LLC 2
Clinton
05000461
BWR 23 miles SSE of Bloomington, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Columbia Generating Station
05000397
BWR 20 miles NNE of Pasco, WA Energy Northwest 4
Comanche Peak 1
05000445
PWR 40 miles SW of Fort Worth, TX TXU Generating Company LP 4
Comanche Peak 2
05000446
PWR 40 miles SW of Fort Worth, TX TXU Generating Company LP 4
Cooper
05000298
BWR 23 miles S of Nebraska City, NE Nebraska Public Power District 4
Crystal River 3
05000302
PWR 80 miles N of Tampa, FL Progress Energy 2
D.C. Cook 1
05000315
PWR 13 miles S of Benton Harbor, MI Indiana/Michigan Power Co. 3
D.C. Cook 2
05000316
PWR 13 miles S of Benton Harbor, MI Indiana/Michigan Power Co. 3
Davis-Besse
05000346
PWR 21 miles ESE of Toledo, OH FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. 3
Diablo Canyon 1
05000275
PWR 12 miles WSW of San Luis Obispo, CA Pacific Gas & Electric Co. 4
Diablo Canyon 2
05000323
PWR 12 miles WSW of San Luis Obispo, CA Pacific Gas & Electric Co. 4
Dresden 2
05000237
BWR 25 miles SW of Joliet, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Dresden 3
05000249
BWR 25 miles SW of Joliet, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Duane Arnold
05000331
BWR 8 miles NW of Cedar Rapids, IA Florida Power & Light Co. 3
Farley 1
05000348
PWR 18 miles SE of Dothan, AL Southern Nuclear Operating Co. 2
Farley 2
05000364
PWR 18 miles SE of Dothan, AL Southern Nuclear Operating Co. 2
Fermi 2
05000341
BWR 25 miles NE of Toledo, OH Detroit Edison Co. 3
FitzPatrick
05000333
BWR 6 miles NE of Oswego, NY Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 1
Fort Calhoun
05000285
PWR 19 miles N of Omaha, NE Omaha Public Power District 4
Ginna
05000244
PWR 20 miles NE of Rochester, NY Constellation Energy 1
Grand Gulf 1
05000416
BWR 20 miles S of Vicksburg, MS Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 4
Hatch 1
05000321
BWR 20 miles S of Vidalia, GA Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Inc. 2
Hatch 2
05000366
BWR 20 miles S of Vidalia, GA Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Inc. 2
Hope Creek 1
05000354
BWR 18 miles SE of Wilmington, DE PSE&G Nuclear 1
Indian Point 2
05000247
PWR 24 miles N of New York City, NY Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 1
Indian Point 3
05000286
PWR 24 miles N of New York City, NY Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 1
Kewaunee
05000305
PWR 27 miles ESE of Green Bay, WI Dominion Generation 3
La Salle 1
05000373
BWR 11 miles SE of Ottawa, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
La Salle 2
05000374
BWR 11 miles SE of Ottawa, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Limerick 1
05000352
BWR 21 miles NW of Philadelphia, PA Exelon Generation Co., LLC 1
Limerick 2
05000353
BWR 21 miles NW of Philadelphia, PA Exelon Generation Co., LLC 1
McGuire 1
05000369
PWR 17 miles N of Charlotte, NC Duke Energy Power Company, LLC 2
McGuire 2
05000370
PWR 17 miles N of Charlotte, NC Duke Energy Power Company, LLC 2
Millstone 2
05000336
PWR 3.2 miles WSW of New London, CT Dominion Generation 1
Millstone 3
05000423
PWR 3.2 miles WSW of New London, CT Dominion Generation 1
Monticello
05000263
BWR 35 miles NW of Minneapolis, MN Nuclear Management Co. 3
Nine Mile Point 1
05000220
BWR 6 miles NE of Oswego, NY Constellation Energy 1
Nine Mile Point 2
05000410
BWR 6 miles NE of Oswego, NY Constellation Energy 1
North Anna 1
05000338
PWR 40 miles NW of Richmond, VA Dominion Generation 2
North Anna 2
05000339
PWR 40 miles NW of Richmond, VA Dominion Generation 2
Oconee 1
05000269
PWR 30 miles W of Greenville, SC Duke Energy Power Company, LLC 2
Oconee 2
05000270
PWR 30 miles W of Greenville, SC Duke Energy Power Company, LLC 2
Oconee 3
05000287
PWR 30 miles W of Greenville, SC Duke Energy Power Company, LLC 2
Oyster Creek
05000219
BWR 9 miles S of Toms River, NJ Exelon Generation Co., LLC 1
Palisades
05000255
PWR 5 miles S of South Haven, MI Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 3
Palo Verde 1
05000528
PWR 50 miles W of Phoenix, AZ Arizona Public Service Co. 4
Palo Verde 2
05000529
PWR 50 miles W of Phoenix, AZ Arizona Public Service Co. 4
Palo Verde 3
05000530
PWR 50 miles W of Phoenix, AZ Arizona Public Service Co. 4
Peach Bottom 2
05000277
BWR 17.9 miles S of Lancaster, PA Exelon Generation Co., LLC 1
Peach Bottom 3
05000278
BWR 17.9 miles S of Lancaster, PA Exelon Generation Co., LLC 1
Perry 1
05000440
BWR 35 miles NE of Cleveland, OH FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. 3
Pilgrim 1
05000293
BWR 38 miles SE of Boston, MA Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 1
Point Beach 1
05000266
PWR 13 miles NNW of Manitowoc, WI FPL Energy Point Beach, LLC 3
Point Beach 2
05000301
PWR 13 miles NNW of Manitowoc, WI FPL Energy Point Beach, LLC 3
Prairie Island 1
05000282
PWR 28 miles SE of Minneapolis, MN Nuclear Management Co. 3
Prairie Island 2
05000306
PWR 28 miles SE of Minneapolis, MN Nuclear Management Co. 3
Quad Cities 1
05000254
BWR 20 miles NE of Moline, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
Quad Cities 2
05000265
BWR 20 miles NE of Moline, IL Exelon Generation Co., LLC 3
River Bend 1
05000458
BWR 24 miles NNW of Baton Rouge, LA Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 4
Robinson 2
05000261
PWR 26 miles NW of Florence, SC Progress Energy 2
Saint Lucie 1
05000335
PWR 10 miles SE of Ft. Pierce, FL Florida Power & Light Co. 2
Saint Lucie 2
05000389
PWR 10 miles SE of Ft. Pierce, FL Florida Power & Light Co. 2
Salem 1
05000272
PWR 18 miles S of Wilmington, DE PSE&G Nuclear 1
Salem 2
05000311
PWR 18 miles S of Wilmington, DE PSE&G Nuclear 1
San Onofre 2
05000361
PWR 45 miles SE of Long Beach, CA Southern California Edison Co. 4
San Onofre 3
05000362
PWR 45 miles SE of Long Beach, CA Southern California Edison Co. 4
Seabrook 1
05000443
PWR 13 miles S of Portsmouth, NH Florida Power & Light Co. 1
Sequoyah 1
05000327
PWR 16 miles NE of Chattanooga, TN Tennessee Valley Authority 2
Sequoyah 2
05000328
PWR 16 miles NE of Chattanooga, TN Tennessee Valley Authority 2
Shearon Harris 1
05000400
PWR 20 miles SW of Raleigh, NC Progress Energy 2
South Texas 1
05000498
PWR 90 miles SW of Houston, TX STP Nuclear Operating Co. 4
South Texas 2
05000499
PWR 90 miles SW of Houston, TX STP Nuclear Operating Co. 4
Summer
05000395
PWR 26 miles NW of Columbia, SC South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. 2
Surry 1
05000280
PWR 17 miles NW of Newport News, VA Dominion Generation 2
Surry 2
05000281
PWR 17 miles NW of Newport News, VA Dominion Generation 2
Susquehanna 1
05000387
BWR 70 miles NE of Harrisburg, PA PPL Susquehanna, LLC 1
Susquehanna 2
05000388
BWR 70 miles NE of Harrisburg, PA PPL Susquehanna, LLC 1
Three Mile Island 1
05000289
PWR 10 miles SE of Harrisburg, PA Exelon Generation Co., LLC 1
Turkey Point 3
05000250
PWR 20 miles S of Miami, FL Florida Power & Light Co. 2
Turkey Point 4
05000251
PWR 20 miles S of Miami, FL Florida Power & Light Co. 2
Vermont Yankee
05000271
BWR 5 miles S of Brattleboro, VT Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 1
Vogtle 1
05000424
PWR 26 miles SE of Augusta, GA Southern Nuclear Operating Co. 2
Vogtle 2
05000425
PWR 26 miles SE of Augusta, GA Southern Nuclear Operating Co. 2
Waterford 3
05000382
PWR 25 miles W of New Orleans, LA Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 4
Watts Bar 1
05000390
PWR 60 miles SW of Knoxville, TN Tennessee Valley Authority 2
Wolf Creek 1
05000482
PWR 3.5 miles NE of Burlington, KS Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp. 4

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