For the last fifty years, nuclear power has provided U.S. consumers with a reliable form of CO2-free electricity generation. Over the last thirty years, U.S. nuclear power plants have consistently produced about twenty percent of the country’s electricity. Nuclear power has remained a popular option for electricity generation despite the large costs associated with new plant construction because nuclear power plants have been able to remain in near-constant operation for many decades. Even though the average reactor in the U.S. fleet is about 40 years old, these plants are able to produce twenty percent of the country’s total electricity generation even though they make up only about nine percent of the total capacity for electricity generation.
Nuclear Power as Green Electricity
AMS' Role in the Nuclear Industry
AMS plays a key-role in facilitating these high production levels by enabling plants to reduce their outage times for refueling and by preventing unexpected shutdowns due to maintenance issues. While the U.S. is working to expand its nuclear fleet through the construction of new reactors and through the development of small modular and other advanced reactors, AMS has been a part of the commissioning of some of the newest nuclear reactors around the world and will be part of the commissioning process when the U.S.’s first two AP1000 reactors come online at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Waynesboro, Georgia. AMS is also working to support the advancement of small modular reactors through the development of new sensors and testing techniques specifically designed to address the unique challenges associated with this new form of nuclear power production.
Learn More About the Nuclear Industry
AMS frequently works to create training programs for plant personnel designed to encourage a general understanding of the practical aspects of nuclear power and nuclear power plant instrumentation, as well as more technical training in the most up-to-date forms of I&C testing and troubleshooting. In this sample of an AMS training program, Senior Research Engineer Alex Hashemian provides a general overview of the nuclear industry, an explanation of the basic components of most modern nuclear reactors, and an examination of different types of next-generation reactors currently under development.