When you think clean energy, nuclear power is probably not the first thing to come to mind. However, nuclear energy is actually considered a “green” energy source–it benefits the environment because the process of generating electricity doesn’t require the use of fossil fuels. And as more methods are developed to effectively and safely dispose of nuclear waste, nuclear energy is becoming a more appealing option for alternative energy.
There are two nuclear power plants in Ohio: the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station and the Perry Nuclear Generating Station. Both are located in northern Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie.
Nuclear energy plays an important role into meeting the energy needs of all Americans. Electricity generated in nuclear power plants comprises 20 percent of all electricity generated in the country. Together, the Davis-Besse Power Station and the Perry Nuclear Generating Station collectively generate 11 percent of Ohio’s electricity.
A cleaner environment
Nuclear power has, arguably, the smallest impact on the environment of any electricity generation source that is widely used today. This is because almost no greenhouse gases are used in the nuclear energy process.
Nuclear power is also making a difference to the local ecosystem of Ohio. During 2010, the Davis-Besse and Perry Nuclear stations helped the local environment by providing a clean energy alternative. If there wasn’t nuclear energy available in Ohio, the amount of electricity generated during that year would likely have been produced through more conventional means, which would have resulted in the following emissions being released into the atmosphere:
- Over 37,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2)
- Over 13,000 tons of NOx (nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide)
- Nearly 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)
Sustaining the local and national economy
Nuclear power facilities in Ohio collectively support more than 1,400 jobs. These are well paying jobs as well; on average, wages for nuclear energy facility employees are 36 percent higher than the average salary in that area.
On a national level, nuclear energy facilities generate roughly $470 million worth of electricity annually, in addition to pumping $40 million per year into the labor market. In one year, the nuclear energy industry generally purchases over $195 million in materials, fuel, and other service in order to function. These materials and services are purchased from 1,350 companies in Ohio, making nuclear energy facilities a valuable player in Ohio’s economy.
Interested in learning more about nuclear energy in Ohio? Check out this nifty infographic from the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition!