Nuclear Powers to Top of the Table


"NRDC finds nuclear power companies among the cleanest."

Power companies using a lot of nuclear energy have been shown as among America's cleanest by the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) in recently published data.
Benchmarking Air Emissions report uses publicly available data from the Energy Information Administration and Environmental Protection Agency to compile tables of the fuel use, power generation and emissions of the USA's top 100 power producers. The latest edition, based on 2008 performance, was compiled with the help of Ceres, Constellation Energy, Entergy and PSEG.

Companies using generation portfolios dominated by coal were the worst emitters per MWh generated, with Big Rivers Electric and NiSource topping the list with over 2400 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2) per MWh.

By comparison companies with high proportions of nuclear like Exelon and PG&E emitted only 122 lbs and 32 lbs CO2 per MWh respectively. Using over 90% nuclear power means that Exelon ranked as the fifth-biggest generator and also the fifth-smallest CO2 polluter per unit of power produced.

Other clean mixes included large amounts of hydro, like the U.S. Corps of Engineers—actually the 18th biggest power generator in the country but with virtually no carbon dioxide emissions due to its total reliance on hydro. The NRDC report only counts emissions at the source of generation, rather than life-cycle figures.

Related Articles

Get Our Streetwise Reports Newsletter Free

A valid email address is required to subscribe