Locating Nuclear Energy Data using U.S. Energy Information Administration

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Nuclear energy is the energy contained in the nucleus of an atom. When the atoms are broken apart in the fission process, the energy released can be used to generate electricity. The most common element used in nuclear fission is uranium.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a one-stop shop for all data and statistics on nuclear power. Topics covered include nuclear operable units, electricity generation, storage of radioactive waste, and state of operating nuclear power plants. While the focus of this data is on nuclear power in the United States, there is also data provided for yearly international nuclear electricity generation.

One of the features of EIA is to include Current Issues & Trends. This gives an up-to-date view on the status of nuclear, and other, energy in the U.S. This is especially helpful to library users who wish to gain an overview of the energy topic.

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The data section is of the most use to researchers working in the nuclear energy field. Data on nuclear generation and uranium production are available. Information is available starting when the data was first collected; for many resources this is the 1940s but many earlier dates are covered as well. Additionally, to ease researcher use, where possible data is available in both PDF and XLS formats.

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There are also web based tools to use in analysis of the data. For example, in the Annual Energy Review data table, researchers have the ability to select certain data aspects to produce a graph.

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Selective international nuclear data is also available. These can be viewed by county or over time. A time-lapse graph of nuclear power generation can also be viewed.

EIA also includes data for all types of energy, including renewable, and has appeal to a wide range of users at all levels.

Angela R. Davis, Engineering Liaison Librarian, Penn State, ard21@psu.edu

We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you have a resource that you would like to see highlighted please leave us a comment.

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