U.S. Nuclear Reactor Power Plant, Seismic Hazard and Historical Earthquakes


Can a Fukushima like nuclear accident happen in the United States?

Yesterday I asked the question, “How many nuclear reactors are there in the United States?” I asked this because after Greenpeace.org published my maps and download link on their blog, a person commented that there are 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S. not 63 as the blog said. At first I figured the confusion came about because some facilities have multiple reactors, but the numbers still didn’t add up. As I looked into it further I was becoming increasingly dismayed because every data set I looked at was a bit different – facilities on one list didn’t appear on others.

After examining lists in various reports and at government and NGO websites, I’ve determined that as of March 2011 there are 65 operating nuclear power facilities in the U.S. Each facility has from 1 to 3 reactors for a total of 104. This number does NOT account for those reactors that are decommissioned, reactors at research and university facilities or all of the nuclear waste at various locations around the United States. In time, I will make shapefiles available of these other nuclear hazards. See below for new maps, an updated nuclear and seismic hazards shapefile and spreadsheet that you may download and use as you wish.

How many nuclear reactors are there in the United States? A few people have noted that their only appears to be around 63 nuclear power plants on the map, yet, they say, there should be 104. At first I thought they were confused because many of the nuclear power plant facilities have more than one reactor. Some have as many as 3. So, I checked with the NRC and found 2 different lists that had 64 plants and 103 reactors, but the lists were not identical. A few plants appearing on one list, did not appear on the other. So, to get at the bottom of this and find the most current list of operating nuclear power plants in the U.S. I am going to compare the two NRC lists with those from Nukeworker.org, IEA and the World Nuclear Association and come up with THE list.

One Response to “U.S. Nuclear Reactor Power Plant, Seismic Hazard and Historical Earthquakes”

  1. Photovoltaics will eventually deliver gains in efficiency and the levels of power product that we require and need to sustain out current power hungry trajectory.

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