Nuclear pioneers

Launching the next generation of nuclear technology

Recognized as the world’s largest producer of nuclear power—with a fleet of reactors operated by 30 different power companies in 30 different states—the United States remains a pioneer in the development of nuclear technology.

GE Hitachi is on the vanguard of the newest generation of nuclear reactors in the US with its BWRX-300 small modular reactor, which can be used in both industrial applications and power generation.


U.S. nuclear power plants are essential to achieving President (Joe) Biden’s climate goals, and DOE is committed to keeping carbon-free electricity flowing and preventing premature closures.

Jennifer Granholm,

US Energy Secretary

94.7 GWe

total US nuclear
power output


average US reactor
operating capacity

22 GWe

new nuclear capacity
needed by 2030

SMR benefits

Smarter, safer, faster, more economical

GEH’s BWRX-300 represents the latest evolution of the economic simplified boiling water reactor (ESBWR). Melding proven ESBWR technology with advanced construction solutions and innovative building techniques results in a SMR that is smarter, safer, faster to construct, and less costly to operate.

Frequently asked questions

Certainty comes with experience

Is nuclear power a clean energy technology?

Nuclear’s carbon footprint is miniscule compared to fossil fuels. In fact, if all the world’s coal and natural gas plants were replaced with low-carbon nuclear, global CO2 emissions would be reduced by nearly 13 billion tons annually.

How many nuclear power plants are in the United States?

Yes. 92 commercial reactors provide a total 94.7 GWe, or about 20% of the nation’s total power output. More than a third of those currently operating US plants are boiling water reactors (BWR) based on GEH technology.

Will a nuclear power plant take up a large amount of land?

Nuclear is already the most land-efficient means of electricity production, requiring only 2.4 km²/TWh per year. However, an SMR like the GE Hitachi BWRX-300 is also designed to reduce building volume in plant layout by about 90 percent, resulting in a minimal impact on natural habitats compared to fossil fuels.

Is nuclear power safe?

Many countries have safely used nuclear power for well over 60 years. It is one of the most closely monitored and regulated industries in the world and actually has the lowest rate of fatalities and injuries per unit of electricity compared to all other electric power generation. Cyber security and physical on-site security are top-tier and on guard 24/7/365.

The reactors themselves are built to strident safety specifications, constantly monitored, and layered with multiple redundancy systems to maintain the unprecedented track record of safety the industry has achieved.

How is the nuclear industry regulated in the United States?

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) is tasked with protecting public health and safety related to nuclear energy. It is an independent agency whose responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing reactor safety and security
  • Administering reactor licensing and renewal
  • Licensing radioactive materials
  • Radionuclide safety
  • Managing spent fuel storage, security, recycling, and disposal

Are there other uses for nuclear technology, aside from power?

Many uses for nuclear technology exist beyond power generation, including:

  • Using radiation to kill bacteria, insects, and parasites that can cause food-borne diseases.
  • Production of new crop varieties.
  • Industrial inspection; examining the molecular and macroscopic structure of materials.
  • Nuclear gauges that use a radioactive source to detect item characteristics (that is, thickness, density, or chemical makeup).
  • Desalination to produce clean drinking water.
  • Fuel for various modes of travel.
  • Numerous consumer products—from smoke detectors and cosmetics to frying pans and photocopiers.

There is also research into producing steam supplies for industrial applications and district heating systems.

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