1. Nuclear Energy: Safe, Clean, and Reliable
The benefits and misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
2013 SWE Conference
• Panelist Introductions
• Exelon Corporation Overview
• Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
– Nuclear energy is bad for the environment.
– Most Americans don’t support nuclear power.
– Nuclear energy is not safe.
– The events at Fukushima prove that Nuclear energy is not safe.
– Americans get most of their yearly radiation dose from nuclear power plants.
– Nuclear waste cannot be safely transported.
– There is no solution for huge amounts of nuclear waste being generated.
– Used nuclear fuel is deadly for 10,000 years.
– Nuclear energy can’t reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
• Additional Benefits
– Reliable Electricity
– Economic Benefits
Nuclear Energy: Safe, Clean, and Reliable1
3. Panelist Introductions
Marilyn Kray (moderator), VP Nuclear Project Development
Elizabeth Haupin, First Line Supervisor Maintenance Scheduler
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station
Lily-An Korbeil, Reactor Engineer
Limerick Nuclear Power Station
Lynn Newton, Manager Maintenance Planning
Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Station
Lisa Zurawski, Principal Regulatory Engineer
Byron Nuclear Power Station
Nuclear Energy: Safe, Clean, and Reliable2
4. Exelon Overview
• Exelon Corporation is the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with approximately $23.5
billion in annual revenues. The Exelon family of companies participates in every stage of the
energy business, from generation to competitive energy sales to transmission to delivery.
• Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon has approximately 26,000 employees and operations and
business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.
• Exelon Generation is the leading competitive power generator in the nation, with owned
generating assets totaling more than 34,700 megawatts. With strong positions in the Midwest,
Mid-Atlantic, and Texas, Exelon is the largest owner and operator of nuclear plants in the United
States and maintains a growing renewable energy development business headquartered in
Nuclear Energy: Safe, Clean, and Reliable3
• The Constellation business unit provides
energy products and services to
approximately 100,000 business and
public sector customers and approximately
1 million residential customers. Exelon’s
utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to
more than 6.6 million customers in central
Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd)
and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO).
5. Exelon Generation Overview
• Exelon Generation is comprised of two primary business units: Exelon Nuclear and Exelon Power.
– Exelon Nuclear operates the largest nuclear fleet in the United States and the third largest in the
world. Exelon’s 10 power plants and 17 reactors, located in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey,
represent approximately 20% of the U.S. nuclear industry’s power capacity.
– Exelon Power is responsible for managing, operating, and maintaining the company’s fossil (coal, oil,
and natural gas), renewable (landfill gas, wind and solar) and hydroelectic fleet of generating assets.
Exelon Power can provide over 15,000 MW of safe, efficient and environmentally responsible
baseload, intermediate and peak power generation.
Nuclear Energy: Safe, Clean, and Reliable4
• The Exelon Generation portfolio is unique in its
diversity of geography, markets, fuels and
technologies and includes:
– Nation’s largest commercial nuclear fleet,
which ensures dependable low-carbon
baseload (around-the-clock) power supply
– Wide range of company-owned fossil,
hydroelectric and renewable facilities, to
diversify our fuel mix and help meet peak
6. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
Nuclear energy is bad for the
Nuclear Energy: Safe, Clean, and Reliable5
7. Environmental Benefits
• Nuclear energy produces 63.3 percent of all U.S. emission free electricity.
• In 2011, nuclear energy facilities prevented 613.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, almost
equal to the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from all U.S. passenger cars.
• Nuclear energy facilities also prevented the emission of 1.41 million short tons of sulfur dioxide and 0.54
million short tons of nitrogen oxide in 2011.
• A nuclear energy facility’s life-cycle carbon emissions are among the lowest of any electricity generation
source at 17 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per gigawatts-hour, comparable to geothermal (15 tons) and
wind (14 tons).
• Protecting the environment extends to safely managing used fuel, protecting water quality, and preserving and
improving habitat for plants and wildlife.
• All U.S. nuclear energy facilities have extensive environmental monitoring programs, which are under the
oversight of the NRC and state regulators.
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8. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
Most Americans don’t
support nuclear power.
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9. Support of Nuclear Energy
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10. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
Nuclear energy is not safe.
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11. Nuclear Energy and Safety
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Energy chain Fatalities Fatalities/TWy Fatalities Fatalities/TWy
Coal 2259 157 18,000 597
Natural gas 1043 85 1000 111
Hydro 14 3 30,000 10,285
Nuclear 0 0 31 48
Summary of severe accidents in energy chains for electricity
12. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
The events at Fukushima
prove that Nuclear energy is
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13. Response to Events at Fukushima
• U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2011
• Initiated special, focused inspections
• Verified no safety concerns requiring immediate action
• Made 12 recommendations for enhancements.
• Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) in 2011
• Independently required plant assessments
• The preliminary assessments included protection from seismic and
flooding hazards, an extended loss of power to vital safety systems,
and protection of used fuel in storage at U.S. reactors.
• Nuclear industry proposed to
• Place emergency equipment at diverse locations at each reactor site.
• U.S. plants will be supported by off-site equipment pre-staged at
• Acquired or ordered 300 pieces of backup safety equipment at 104
reactors including diesel generators, pumps and emergency and
• Enhance the ability of nuclear energy facilities to remain safe even if
there is an extended loss of electric power.
• Develop strategies to mitigate external events beyond the design
envelope for nuclear plants.
• Re-analyze potential flooding and loss of ultimate heat sink scenarios.
• Implement improvements to ensure accessible and reliable hardened
vents for Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactor containments. (Of
America’s 104 reactors, 31 have Mark I or Mark II containments.)
• Improve plants’ ability to monitor water level and temperature in
storage pools for used nuclear fuel during an extended loss of electric
• Assess staff needed to respond to a large-scale natural event at
multiple reactors at a site and to implement strategies contained in
the emergency plan.
• Assess communications and equipment used during an emergency to
ensure that power is maintained during a large-scale natural event.
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There have been no deaths or cases of
radiation sickness from the nuclear accident,
but over 100,000 people had to be evacuated
from their homes to ensure this.
14. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
Americans get most of their
yearly radiation dose from
nuclear power plants.
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15. Radiation Sources
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• We are surrounded by naturally occurring radiation.
• Less than 1 / 1000th of the average American’s yearly radiation dose
comes from nuclear power.
• This yearly radiation dose is 100 times less than we get from coal,
200 times less than a cross-country flight, and about the same as
eating 1 banana per year.
1. National Council on Rad Protection and Measurements No. 92 and 95
2. CDR Handbook on Radiation Measurement and Protection
16. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
Nuclear waste cannot be
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17. Nuclear Waste Transportation
• Radioactive materials have been shipped in this country for more
than 60 years.
• 3 million packages of radioactive materials are shipped each year in
• As when transporting other commodities, vehicles carrying
radioactive materials have been involved in transportation
accidents. However, NO deaths or serious injuries have resulted
from exposure to the radioactive contents of these shipments.
1. U.S. Department of Energy, Transporting Radioactive Materials: Answers to Your Questions, June 1999
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18. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
There is no solution for huge
amounts of nuclear waste
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19. Nuclear Waste
• If all the used fuel produced by U.S. nuclear power plants in nearly
50 years were stacked end to end, it would cover a football field to a
depth of less than 10 yards.
• 96% of this “waste” can be recycled.
• Used fuel is currently being safely stored.
• The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the equivalent scientific
advisory panels in every major country support geological disposal
of such wastes as the preferred safe method for their ultimate
1. Nuclear Energy Institute: http://nei.org/keyissues/nuclearwastedisposal/storageofusednuclearfuel/
2. K.S. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics, John Wiley and Sons, 1988
3. Progress Towards Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste: Where do We Stand? Nuclear Energy Agency,
OECD report, 1999 (http://www.nea.fr/rwm/reports/1999/progress.pdf)
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20. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
Used nuclear fuel is deadly
for 10,000 years.
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21. Nuclear Fuel Radioactivity over Time
• Used nuclear fuel can be recycled to make new fuel and other
• Most of the waste from this process will require a storage time of
less than 300 years.
1. K.S. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics, John Wiley and Sons, 1988
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22. Common Misperceptions of Nuclear Energy
Nuclear energy can’t reduce
our dependence on foreign
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23. Nuclear Energy and Dependence on Foreign Oil
• nuclear power can provide electricity for expanded mass-transit and
plug-in hybrid cars.
• Small modular reactors can provide power to islands (e.g. HI, PR,
Nantucket and Guam) currently burning oil to generate electricity.
• Nuclear power can reduce dependence on foreign oil by producing
hydrogen for fuel cells and synthetic liquid fuels.
1. U.S. Energy Information Administration
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24. Other Benefits of Nuclear Energy
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25. Reliable Electricity
• Nuclear energy is a reliable energy source, providing on-demand baseload electricity
24/7. The average nuclear energy facility is on line 90 percent of the time,
generating on-demand electricity around the clock .
• Nuclear energy facilities have the highest average capacity factor among all U.S.
electricity sources. A facility’s “capacity factor” compares its actual energy
production with how much it could produce at full operating power during the year.
This is a crucial measure of reliability and a plant’s online performance, and it varies
substantially by energy source. 
1. Nuclear Energy Institute (www.nei.org)
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26. Other Benefits of Nuclear Energy
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27. Economic Benefits
• Production costs at nuclear energy facilities in 2011
averaged 2.19 cents per kilowatt-hour, cheaper than coal
(3.23 cents) and natural gas-fueled plants (4.51 cents).
• The average nuclear energy facility pays approximately
$16 million in state and local taxes and $67 million in
federal taxes annually.
• Each nuclear energy facility generates about $470
million annually in sales of goods and services in the
• Approximately $40 million is spent annually in wages at
• Ten license applications are being reviewed by the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission for 16 new reactors.
• Five new nuclear reactors are under construction in three
states: Georgia (Vogtle 3 and 4), South Carolina (V.C.
Summer 2 and 3) and Tennessee (Watts Bar 2).
• Some 19 companies and consortia are studying,
licensing or building more than 30 nuclear power
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•Up to 21,000 high-paying jobs will be created if
all planned nuclear reactors come on line.
•One reactor creates up to 3,500 jobs at peak
•A new nuclear energy facility creates 500
permanent jobs per 1,000 megawatts of
electricity generating capacity, compared to 190
jobs for a coal plant, 50 for a wind farm and 50
for a natural gas plant.
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