Nuclear Energy in South Carolina
Nuclear energy is a vital part of America’s energy portfolio, providing about 20 percent of the country’s electricity. In South Carolina, the Catawba, H.B. Robinson, Oconee and V.C. Summer nuclear energy facilities generate more than 51 percent of the state’s electricity.
In March 2012, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted Combined Construction and Operating Licenses (COLs) to build two new reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, S.C., marking only the second time licenses were granted for new nuclear facilities in 30 years. The under construction facilities represent the “next generation” of reactors and will help the state meet rising electricity demands and emissions reduction goals.
Demand for energy is expected to grow in South Carolina and across the United States, as much as 28 percent by 2040 in the U.S. In order to meet future electricity demands, the United States will need to embrace a broad portfolio of American-produced energy solutions, and nuclear energy must be a part of that mix.
Providing Clean Electricity to South Carolina
Nuclear energy has perhaps the lowest impact on the environment of any other energy source and is one of the nation’s largest sources of electricity that produces virtually no greenhouse gases. Nuclear energy provides about 64 percent of the country’s emission-free electricity, helping to keep our air clean.
South Carolina’s nuclear energy facilities supply the majority of the state’s clean-air electricity. In 2010 alone, these facilities improved air quality by avoiding the emission of:
- 69,302 tons of SO2
- 32,109 tons of NOx
- 42.47 million metric tons of CO2
Moving forward with the next generation of new nuclear energy facilities will ensure economic prosperity and the continued development of sustainable energy in South Carolina and across the United States.
Creating American Jobs and Stimulating the U.S. Economy
American-produced energy sources like nuclear power boost economic growth and support high-paying jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.
- Construction on V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3 is providing 3,000 long-term construction jobs, and once completed, the new units will offer as many as 800 career-long jobs.
- The construction and operation of new nuclear energy facilities will bring billions of dollars to state and local economies, and supply-chain opportunities will expand economic activity to include manufacturers and workers nationwide. About 90 percent of the components and materials used in the U.S.-designed reactors that will be built at V.C. Summer will be produced in America.
- Annually, the nuclear energy industry purchases more than $295 million of materials, services and fuel from more than 1,050 companies in South Carolina.
Sources: Energy Information Administration and NEIDownload a PDF of this fact sheet.