A second explosion at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has raised fears of a possible meltdown bringing back the haunting memories of the Chernobyl tragedy.
The 9 magnitude earthquake which hit Japan on Friday resulted in an explosion in one of the reactors' on Saturday. A second explosion followed on Monday setting the panic button. A possible occurrence of radiation leak has been stoked by reports of overheating reactors after the cooling systems were knocked by the temblor.
As a precautionary measure 200,000 people from the plant's vicinity have been evacuated. Japan is under scrutiny as it handles the nuclear crisis as the future of nuclear power industry hangs in balance.
Here are some facts about the US nuclear industry:
Facts about US nuclear industry:
--The first US nuclear power plant opened at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, in 1957.
--There are 104 commercial nuclear reactors at 65 nuclear power plants.
--There are 31 states with at least one commercial nuclear reactor.
--Illinois has the 11 reactors the most in US
-- The two largest reactors each with 1,300 megawatts capacity are located at Palo Verde plant in Arizona.
--More than half of the U.S. reactors have at least two reactors and only three US plants have more than two reactors.
--US produce about 19.3 percent of its domestic electricity from nuclear power
--US is the world's largest producer of nuclear power-based electricity, producing 838 TWh (terawatt hour) which is 30.7 percent of the world total of 2731 TWh.
Here is a table of the largest nuclear electricity producers as a percent of the global output (2008):
TWh (terawatt hour)
% of world total
Rest of the world
Source: International Energy Agency (www.iea.org), U.S. Energy Information Administration (ww.eia.gov)