The U.S. Department of Energy expects the nation’s demand for electricity to increase 28 percent by 2035. Such an increase would require construction of hundreds of new power plants to provide enough electricity to meet demand.
The 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S. generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. To maintain that share of production would require construction of one new nuclear reactor each year, beginning in 2016. More than 15 companies and other entities are considering plans to build more than 30 nuclear plants, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing license applications to build 22 new nuclear power plants.
Nuclear power plants are similar to other thermal plants in that they produce steam that drives a turbine, which in turn powers a generator that produces electricity. The difference is that a nuclear plant produces steam through a nuclear reaction instead of from burning coal, natural gas or other fuels. A major benefit of nuclear energy is that it’s the only source that can generate electricity at all times reliably and efficiently and with no greenhouse gas emissions.
Like other kinds of power plants, nuclear plants rely on large volumes of water. AMERICAN’s product line includes multiple choices for nuclear power plants: ductile iron pipe for make-up and blow-down lines, water and sewer lines and fire protection systems. AMERICAN spiral-welded steel pipe in diameters up to 144 inches is available for circulating water lines.