Profile America: Nuclear Power

USS Seawolf SSN-21 | US Navy

USS Seawolf SSN-21 | US Navy

Tuesday, July 18 — This week 62 years ago in West Milton, New York, an example of turning swords into plowshares was generated. That was when the Atomic Energy Commission sold electric power from a General Electric nuclear reactor. The buyer was the Niagara-Mohawk Power Corporation, purchasing the power for civilian distribution. Some 10,000 kilowatts were supplied from the reactor, which was a prototype for the one used in the nuclear submarine USS Seawolf.

Last year, over 805 million kilowatt hours were generated at nuclear plants — nearly 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity output. There are 158 nuclear power generating establishments employing about 46,000 workers in America’s $532 billion a year utilities sector.

Profile America is in its 21st year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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