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7.6: South Carolina Energy

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  • Energy Sources

    According to the Department of Energy, the state of South Carolina generates 96.8Twh (tera watt hours= 1012 watt hours) of electrical energy a year. This accounts for only 2% of the country's electrical power. The sources of South Carolina energy production are shown in the table below.

    Source Twh (Terawatt Hours of Energy) Percentage of Electrical Power
    Coal 28.4 29%
    Petroleum 0.1 <1%
    Natural Gas 14.3 15%
    Nuclear 51.1 53%
    Hydroelectric 0.5 <1%
    Other Renewable 0 <1%

    Nuclear Power in South Carolina

    Oconee Nuclear Power Plant is located in Seneca, South Carolina. This facility is owned and operated by Duke Energy. The three pressurized water reactors (PWR) were constructed and then commissioned in the early 1970's. The approximate cost for the building of these three units was 1.96 billion dollars (2007). Each of the three units produces 846 megawatts (106 watts) of energy per year. In total, Oconee Nuclear Station has a maximum output capacity of 2500 megawatts of energy per year. In terms of hours, Oconee Nuclear provides 20,565 Gigawatt (109 watts) hours of power.

    Like all US commercial reactors, Oconee Nuclear Station uses light water as a moderator and coolant. PWR contain between 150-200 fuel rod assemblies. Both BWRs and PWR plants in the United States use low enriched uranium (LEU) embedded in each fuel rod as an energy source.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Image taken from:

    For backup power, Oconee units 1-3 rely on hydroelectric sources provided by Lake Keowee. If this system were to fail, a nearby combustion facility will provide energy to cool the core uncase of emergencies.

    The Fate of V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Oconee reactor image taken from: Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\):Nuclear power plants in South Carolina. Image taken from:

    Blah blah vc summer drama/power bills. cancelled construction