Nuclear energy generates a significant amount of low-carbon electricity across the United States. In 2021, that amount accounted for 20% of all electricity generation in the United States. It is seen as a reliable baseload energy source that can support decarbonization efforts and provide long-term workforce opportunities. Nuclear reactors are located in 28 states and advanced nuclear reactor projects are being explored in multiple locations including Wyoming and Washington. The Wyoming advanced reactor project will be led by TerraPower and sited near a retiring coal plant. In Washington, the advanced reactor will be located near an existing large-scale nuclear plant and developed by X-Energy. These projects are both being funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program.
Advanced nuclear reactors are an innovative technology with advanced safety measures and efficient and streamlined designs. State Energy Offices are exploring ways to incorporate advanced nuclear reactors into their programs and policies and better understand the intersections with other key issues such as integration of renewable energy, hydrogen production and just energy transitions.