Electricity isn’t just used for flipping the lights on in your house, charging your newest smart phone or heating your home on a cold night. Electricity is critical to the operation of key industries such as manufacturing, food production, agriculture and computer products—industries that together form the foundation of the American economy.
The industrial sector in the United States consumes more energy than in any other country. The chemical industry is the largest consumer of electricity in the United States. Chemical companies need the power of 17 large power plants annually to make chemicals used in agriculture, medicines and more. In one year, the computer and electronics industry alone can consume the amount of electricity generated from four nuclear power plants. (Nuclear’s Reliability Vital for Industrial Users, NEI, August 2014)
So how does nuclear power fit into the growing electricity needs of the industrial sector? Reliability of electricity is important to avoid interruptions of power that can halt the production of goods, damage equipment and result in economic losses.
The average nuclear energy facility produces power 90 percent of the time, providing large amounts of electricity around the clock. Nuclear power is not affected by changing weather and climate conditions or fluctuating fuel prices, allowing for reliable and low-cost electricity.
Industrial energy consumption is expected to grow an average of 1.4 percent each year through 2040. Nuclear power plants have the ability to meet this growing demand and power the industries that drive US and global economies.