Nuclear Power plants in Alabama – A competitive and clean energy Source

In the states of the U.S., like Alabama, nuclear power is the second-largest leading source of energy after coal. Nuclear power plants in Alabama can create energy independence among consumers because it partially eliminates the need for foraging for oil, coal, and natural gas.

Nuclear Power plants in Alabama

This guide will examine all about Alabama’s nuclear energy and nuclear power plants in Alabama. And these are the sections that this guide is going to cover.  

  • How Many Nuclear Power Plants In Alabama
  • Where Are The Nuclear Power Plants In Alabama
  • Energy Statics That Each Nuclear Power Plants In Alabama Produces: Current & Future Statics

In recent years, the world has witnessed that the demand for other energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas was nearly four times the growth in these renewables. 

Also, carbon dioxide emission has peaked at the highest points. Less renewable sources and constantly growing demand and pollution are likely to persist in the near future too. 

Renewable energy may increase quickly after some time, but fossil fuels will take decades to meet the demand again.  

Because it is the only large-scale industrial energy source that doesn’t produce carbon emissions while in operation, nuclear power could assist in finding a solution to that issue. 

However, nuclear power is feared by the general people. If nuclear power is to help replace fossil fuels, industries must address and get over this widespread apprehension. Only by persuading the populace that mishaps like Chornobyl and Fukushima are no longer probable can be accomplished.

Nuclear power is the number preferred source of energy due to its benefits like- 

  • Cost competitive and clean
  • Secure and safe to operate
  • No emission of “greenhouse gasses” like carbon dioxide 
  • Utilize the fuel that is already available worldwide
  • And last but not least, it accounts for 75% percent pollution-free electricity.

How Many Nuclear Power Plants In Alabama

Alabama holds sixth place in energy generation among all the U.S. states. Initially, the state had three different nuclear power plants, but now it has two total capacity working atomic plants, the second largest being Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. 

Now, Alabama’sAlabama’s two nuclear power plants, with a total of five reactors. Both plants will generate 32% of the electricity in the state in 2020. From all five, their reactors actively produce energy at TVA, Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in north Alabama.

Let’s know more about all the nuclear plants in the state of Alabama. 

Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant-

It is the second gigantic planet in the nation, named after a ferry that used to operate on the same site. It is also TVA’s first nuclear power plant, approved on June 17, 1966. 

Until 1974, when its initial operation, it remained the largest nuclear plant in the world, but after that, it was dethroned by Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, Japan.

Also, Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant was the first nuclear plant in the world to generate more than 1 gigawatt of power. The lake next to it provides central cooling, and 7 small fan towers guide it during limitations on water temperature. The 600 ft concrete chimney vents gasses. It has three units, each with a maximum operating thermal output of 3,952 MWth.

Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Plant-

The second plant in Alabama is the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Plant. It is a two-unit working plant. Each of its units is capable of producing approximately 900 megawatts for a total capacity of 1,800 MW. The plant works under the supervision of the Alabama Company and is fueled by Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactors.

As this plant is located around the population, the NRC has defined two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants. 

  • A Plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km),
  • A concern primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.

Where Are The Nuclear Power Plants In Alabama

Nuclear plants have carbon footprints compared to other energy sources like the solar system and wind frames. However, these carbon footprints are much lower when compared to fossil fuels, natural gas, and brown coal. 

But despite these significant differences, the location of the nuclear plant matters as the tinny incident in a nuclear plant can endanger lives. So the plants have restrictions on how many people can live within 50 miles of the plant. Only 1 million people can live in the area, but Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant has exceeded this limit. With that information, let’s know where are Nuclear Power plants in Alabama

The Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant stands just alongside the Tennessee River near Decatur and Athens, Alabama, on the north side (right bank) of Wheeler Lake.

The site contains three General Electric boiling water reactor (BWR) nuclear-generating units. With a generating capacity of nearly 3.8 gigawatts. This nuclear plant has 1.4 million residents within 50 miles. 

While Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Plant is located near Dothan, Alabama, in the southern United States, unlike the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, it has a population around it. According to the census of 1020, approximately 11,842 people reside within 10 minutes of the plant, and 421,372 people reside within 50 miles of the plant. 

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Energy Statics That Each Nuclear Power Plants In Alabama Produces: Current Statics

As the U.S is the world’s leading producer of nuclear power, according to the recovered data in 2018 the U.S. generated 850 TWh of nuclear power, which was almost equal to 31.4% of the world’s total nuclear generation. 

By the end of 2021, the United States had 93 operating commercial nuclear reactors at 55 nuclear power plants in 28 states. The total capacity of Nuclear Power Plants of Alabama, Alabama, had a total capacity of 29,256 MW in 2019. 

However the total electrical energy generation mix was 40.1% natural gas, gas, 30.6% nuclear, 18.7% coal, 8.0% hydroelectric, 2.3% biomass, and 0.3% solar. 

Now let’s look at current statistics of the power generation of both nuclear Power plants in Alabama

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant In Alabama- 

  • Each unit in the plant is capable of generating 900 megawatts, a total capacity of 1,800 megawatts. Since 1977, Plant Farrey has generated more than 350 million megawatts of electricity. That’s enough electricity to supply every Alabama Power residential customer for 25 years. 

Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Plant In Alabama

  • The plant produces roughly 19 percent of the energy for the state of Alabama. The two power unit plants can produce-
  • Unit 1: 2,775 MWt
  • Unit 2: 2,775 MWt

Both Nuclear Power plants in Alabama have done a great job till now, but the owner companies of these respective plants are working to improve the energy products as much as possible. 

To improve the power production, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the owner company of Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant In Alabama, has completed a $475 million upgrade at the nuclear power plant to help boost the amount of electricity it produces without carbon emissions.

According to the CEO of TVA, Jeff Lyash, the upgrades can help reduce carbon emissions by 70% by 2030. 

Even the plant’s unit 2 has become the first ever in the world to use the 3D assembly bracks to eliminate industrial pollution. 

Just like the TVA, Southern Nuclear also puts its best efforts into improving the power production and safety of the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Generating Plant. It has signed an agreement to load four lead test assemblies along with the next-generation fuel features in plant unit 2 of plant Vogtle. 

The installation will include innovative pellets and cladding developed within the U.S. Department of Energy’s enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) program to enhance safety and offer operational savings and efficiencies. Besides enhancing the accident tolerant features, the LTAs include the planned installation of enrichments of uranium-235 greater than 5 weight percent in a domestic, commercial reactor.

Permanently Closed Nuclear Power plants in Alabama. 

How Many Nuclear Power Plants In Alabama? Alabama had three nuclear plants, not two. The third nuclear plant that it had once was Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station, also known as BLN. It was situated in Hollywood, Alabama. 

A nuclear reactor was proposed for the site, and the now abandoned site once contained four units. TVA withdrew from the construction of Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station because the federal community did not suspect much potential in the plant. Now the plant is fully dead and has no hopes of being revived again. 

Concerns Related to Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant-

Nuclear plants always need security regulation, but sometimes unexpected things happen. And one of these serious incidents was reported in 2011 in Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant when, after looking into how a valve on a residual heat removal system became locked shut, the U.S. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a rare red finding against the Browns Ferry nuclear power station close to Athens, Alabama.

Since the start of the current supervision program in 2001, the commission has only issued five red findings, the highest serious grading the agency gives to issues discovered in its inspections.

And then, the government decides to perform a serious safety culture performance in the factory. It was discovered that the plant’s cooling system was not working as it should have. So the operation was suspended, and the plant was revealed in the Unit 1 reactor in 2010. Since then, multiple advancements have been made in the plant to improve its safety and its production of the plant. 

Nuclear energy holds the key to the future. It can provide much safer and clean energy compared to other energy sources. TVA and Southern Nuclear are working to improve the products on both of the plants so that Alabama state can have fewer carbon footprints. 

The guide has covered how many Nuclear Power plants in Alabama, nuclear power plants in Alabama, and where are the Nuclear Power plants in Alabama, along with some additional topics to help the reader better understand. 

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