Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
Many workers in the
nuclear industry
must wear special
protective clothing.
more electricity. Nuclear power could be a big help since
nuclear plants are capable of producing a large amount of
electricity. In 2008, the world had only a few hundred nuclear
plants, but they accounted for 15 percent of its electricity. There
are both large and small nuclear plants. An average plant may
have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (a megawatt is a unit of
measurement for the rate at which electrical energy is used).
That is enough to provide electricity for hundreds of thousands
of homes.
The Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona has three
reactors, each with a capacity about 1,200 to 1,300 megawatts.
The small Fort Calhoun plant in Nebraska has a single reactor
with a capacity of less than 500 megawatts. Power plants in
the United States that use coal vary in capacity from a few
megawatts to more than 2,000 megawatts.
People worry about running out of fossil fuels, but they do
not need to worry about running out of nuclear fuels. Earth
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