Emission-Free Energy from Nuclear Fission (from NEI 2020)
The world needs deep decarbonization to meet hit our climate goals. Nuclear power can get us there. As our largest source of clean energy, nuclear power is critical to reduce carbon emissions. Wind, solar and geothermal are on the rise, but the smartest policies will ensure these technologies complement, not replace, nuclear’s clean energy production. Protecting and growing the world’s use of nuclear technologies is an important way to make a dent in greenhouse gases and help us make meaningful progress to address climate change.
Nuclear energy provides nearly 55 percent of America’s carbon-free electricity
Clean energy sources—nuclear, hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar—work together to reduce greenhouse gases in our the atmosphere. According to the Energy Information Administration, nuclear energy is the largest clean energy source in the United States, producing more carbon-free electricity than all other sources combined. 2018 figures show that nuclear energy generates more than 55 percent of America’s emission-free electricity. That is more than 2.5 times the amount generated by hydropower, nearly 3 times the amount generated by wind, and more than 12 times the amount generated by solar.
- The electric output of the SMR-160 makes it a perfect fit to replace carbon-exuding coal or combined cycle plants with clean green energy with minimal impact to the existing infrastructure at the site. It is a right-sized power, clean energy plant for replacing many small and medium fossil plants around the world, particularly situated in or close to urban population centers.
- SMR-160 is designed for use in domestic and global markets for safe, carbon-free power generation, process heat, desalination, and other industrial applications. The primary application of SMR-160 is electricity production with optional cogeneration equipment (e.g., hydrogen generation, district heating, or seawater desalination). The design is readily configurable for siting in water scarce locations using Holtec’s air-cooled condenser technology. The SMR-160 is capable of both black start and island-mode operation, rendering the plant ideal for destinations with small or off-grid applications.
- According to the world Nuclear Association, more than 90% of coal-fired plants in operation around the world are under 500 MWe. In the US coal-fired units retired between 2010-12 averaged 97 MWe while those expected to retire over 2015-25 average 145 MWe. SMR-160 is ideally sized for significant small power plant markets needing to replace carbon emitting generation with safe, clean load following replacement generation, and to integrate with grids containing high variable renewable capacity by virtue of its broad load-following capability.