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Nuclear and the Environment

America’s transition to clean energy requires an emphasis on zero-carbon nuclear power. In fact, 24/7, steady-in-any-condition nuclear power is fundamental to the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources.
Nuclear power makes a clean energy future possible.

We’re always on, with greenhouse gas emissions on par with wind. Nuclear power accounts for 64 of carbon-free electricity in the United States – nearly three times more clean air electricity than hydropower (the next largest source) and exponentially more than wind, solar or geothermal.

Learn how Exelon Nuclear is driving down greenhouse gas emissions.

We monitor the environment around us – as do independent analysts.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires Exelon Generation’s nuclear fleet – and all U.S. nuclear energy plants – to maintain an environmental monitoring program to ensure that radiation levels around the facilities are not above naturally occurring levels.

We monitor the air, water, sediment and food products (milk and crops) extensively around our facilities. Groundwater monitoring plans include quarterly sampling of on-site wells designed to detect unusual levels of radiation in the environment. We also regularly test all water leaving the site.

Optically Stimulated Luminescent Dosimeters (OSLDs) are staged in two locations around each facility to monitor the air, measuring ionizing radiation exposure. Additional OSLDs are placed in areas of special interest. The OSLDs are collected quarterly and analyzed by an independent lab for ambient gamma radiation.

The NRC conducts periodic on-site inspections of each licensed plant’s environmental monitoring program to ensure compliance with NRC regulations.

Exelon safely stores used nuclear fuel consistent with federal regulations.

Relative to some forms of industrial waste, used nuclear fuel is neither particularly dangerous nor hard to manage. Exelon Generation is committed to safety, and we adhere to proven, mature methods for the safe handling of all nuclear materials.

The federal government used funds from nuclear plants to create the Yucca Mountain permanent underground storage site in Nevada, but this project is now on hold. Until the federal government opens Yucca Mountain or decides on a new solution, Exelon Generation safely stores its used nuclear fuel on site at plants in spent fuel pools or dry casks.

The NRC conducts periodic on-site inspections of each licensed plant’s environmental monitoring program to ensure compliance with NRC regulations.

Learn more about Exelon Generation’s used nuclear fuel policy