Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Salem Nuclear Power Plant
You’ve heard me discuss it before. I love nuclear power. It’s clean, efficient and enables America to stay ahead of the curve on the increasing demand for energy.
Let’s start with efficiency. One of the most important measurements of energy generation is reported by the federal government is capacity factor. Basically the ratio of actual energy generation compared to the potential output over a period of time.
Not sure what that really means? Simply put, higher is better. Nuclear comes in at a stellar 92 percent compared to about 33 percent for wind and between 22 and 29 percent for solar. Wind and solar take up more land. More time than not is spent not producing any energy. In layman's terms, the sun only shines half the time and the wind isn’t always blowing.
The president of PSE&G Power, Bill Levis, brought us in for a tour of Salem county site for three of NJ’s four nuclear reactors. We spent some time in the control room simulator, on the firing range (yes right there on the site to train the security personnel) and touring the “Protected” area seeing the security and safety measures in place to prevent a Fukushima like disaster and a terrorist attack.
It was a great tour, you really get a strong understanding of how professional and well trained the teams that are responsible for providing half the electricity generation for New Jersey. You also get the knowledge that they are ready to keep the lights on through terrible weather or a deliberate attack.