Although the ability to rely more heavily on solar, wind and other sources of green energy is quite a few years away, another form of energy that is emission-free not only is being heavily used in most states but actually is the only green source of energy in some states. It’s nuclear energy, and it’s surprising that this form of green energy isn’t getting more attention.
In fact, the United States recently approved the two reactors of Southern Co. at the Plant Vogtle site in Georgia. This actually was the first nuclear plant to be approved by the United States in more than 30 years, partly due to U.S. efforts to put less emphasis on nuclear power in the wake of the Japan earthquake that killed more than 16,000 individuals and led to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant debacle in 2011.
Still, with nuclear power carrying much promise for achieving energy independence in the United States, here are the top 10 states that depend heavily on nuclear energy:
1. Pennsylvania: A whopping 95 percent of this state’s green power is derived from the nuclear industry. Nuclear energy here produces 34 percent of the area’s electricity, and five plants are available in the state. Pennsylvania actually is the second highest-ranking state in terms of its ability to produce nuclear energy.
2. South Carolina: This state gets 97 percent of its emission-free power from nuclear power plants – four of which are present in the region. In addition, half of the electricity generated in South Carolina can be attributed to this green energy source.
3. Connecticut: Although this state features just one power plant, the Millstone, this one plant puts out a great deal of power. It is praised for generating a whopping 97 percent of the state’s emission-free energy and for producing half of Connecticut’s electricity.
4. Florida: Nearly all of the Sunshine State’s green energy – 99 percent to be exact – actually comes from three nuclear power plants rather than solar energy sources. Still, the amount of the state’s electricity that is derived from this source of power lingers only at 11 percent.
5. New Jersey: No green energy in this state comes from any other source but nuclear power plants. The three nuclear plants here also contribute to half of the state’s electricity.
6. Illinois: This state has six nuclear plants that are responsible for almost half of the area’s electricity production and about 1/10 of the total nuclear-powered electricity production in the United States. A total of 95 percent of emission-free energy in Illinois further comes from nuclear sources.
7. Ohio: With just two plants that generate 11 percent of the state’s electricity, Ohio’s figure for the amount of green energy produced via nuclear power plants here reaches 97 percent. The other 3 percent of emission-free power can be linked to wind power and solar power, even as coal remains a top source of electricity generation in the state.
8. Michigan: Just over a quarter of the amount of electricity created in Michigan is linked to nuclear power plants. Still, the three plants here are responsible for 98 percent of the state’s green energy. Still, natural gas is the primary source for heat in this Great Lakes state.
9. Virginia: Not 1 percent of emission-free energy in this commonwealth comes from anything else but nuclear plants. All of this green power is responsible for about 36 percent of the electricity produced in the area, and two nuclear power plants are present here. An earthquake last August actually led to the temporary closing of the North Anna facilities.
10. Mississippi: Just one plant here – the Grand Gulf facility not far from Port Gibson – makes up all of the green energy in this southern state. Still, the plants yield just under 1/5 of the state’s total amount of electricity produced.
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