The Largest Nuclear Power Stations In The United States

Nuclear power plants vary in size.
Nuclear power plants vary in size.

Nuclear power in the US is provided by 99 commercial reactors with a capacity of over 100,000 megawatts. Nuclear power accounts for about 20% of the US total electric energy. The US is also the largest supplier of commercial nuclear power in the world. Nuclear power plays a significant role in the country. The 99 reactors are spread across 30 states and are controlled by 30 different companies. Four more reactors are under construction while the newest reactor entered into service in October 2016. Some of the largest nuclear power stations in the US include:

1. Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is established in western Arizona near the Gila River. It is the largest power station in the US by power output with an average electric power production of over 3 gigawatts. The power from the station serves approximately 4 million people. The nuclear power plant is owned and operated mainly by the Arizona Public Service Company which claims about 29% stake of the company. The power plant cools the steam it produces by the treated sewage water from the neighboring houses and towns. The units at the power station are independent power plants and share few systems.

2. Browns Ferry

Browns Ferry is located in Alabama, near Tennessee River. It is named after a ferry which operated at the site up to mid 20th century. Browns Ferry has three BWR nuclear generating unit. The nuclear plant is fully owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority and was approved for construction in June 1966 with the construction work beginning in September of the same year. It became the largest nuclear plant in the world at the time of its initial operation in 1974. It was also the first power plant in the world to generate over one million gigawatts. In 2016, the licenses for the three units were renewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a further 20 years.

3. South Texas Nuclear Generating Station

The South Texas Nuclear Generating Station is at the southwest of Bay City, Texas and occupies an area of about 12,000 acres on the Colorado River. It made up of two pressurized water reactors and the stem is cooled by the water dam thus, there is no need for a cooling tower. The feasibility study on the construction of the power plant was released in December 1971. The construction work started in December 1975 with unit one going into operation in August 1988 and unit two in June 1989. The capacity of the two units was only surpassed recently by the Palo Verde power station. The power station is under the management of the STP Nuclear Operating Company

4. Susquehanna Steam Electric Station

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station is located along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. The plant has two water reactors and generates about 60 million kilowatts per day. Susquehanna Steam Electric Station has been in operation since 1983 with its license extended in 2009 for an additional 20 years. The nuclear plant uses the water from Susquehanna River to cool the steam. The plant is owned by the Talen Energy but was initially operated by the PPL until June 2015.

The Largest Nuclear Power Stations In The United States

RankPower stationUnitsNet Capacity (MWe)State
1Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station33,942 Arizona
2Browns Ferry33,297 Alabama
3South Texas Nuclear Generating Station22,760 Texas
4Susquehanna Steam Electric Station22,700 Pennsylvania
5Oconee Nuclear Generating Station32,538 South Carolina
6Braidwood Nuclear Generating Station22,500 Illinois
7Byron Nuclear Generating Station22,452 Illinois
8McGuire Nuclear Station22,430 North Carolina
9Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station22,339 Tennessee
10Sequoyah Nuclear Generating Station22,317 Tennessee
11Salem Nuclear Power Plant22,304 New Jersey
12Limerick Nuclear Power Plant22,264 Pennsylvania
13Catawba Nuclear Station22,258 South Carolina
14Diablo Canyon Power Plant22,240 California
15LaSalle County Nuclear Generating Station22,234 Illinois
16Vogtle Electric Generating Plant22,234 Georgia
17Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station22,224 Pennsylvania
18Comanche Peak Nuclear Generating Station22,208 Texas
19Donald C. Cook Nuclear Generating Station22,155 Michigan
20Indian Point Energy Center22,083 New York

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