The nuclear power plant catastrophe in Japan and the potential for a reactor meltdown has forced the US to look domestically raising the question of whether or not our nuclear plants are able to withstand earthquakes of a magnitude 9.0 or other natural disasters that--prior to Friday--seemed at most a distant concern.
The United States is dependent on nuclear power just as Japan and other countries. In order to take our nuclear power plants off-line to upgrade safeguards and structural elements, it would be difficult to make up the difference in loss of power generation. While we are more dependent on coal/gas/oil, nuclear power is more prevalent in our country than what we hear in the news even here in Northeastern Ohio.
The Japanese use of nuclear power for electricity is significant but not as much as you might think given the video and pictures you see of the situation after the quake and tsunami. 37% of their energy is from nuclear power. 63% from fossil fuels and other sources.
How much electricial generation in the US is from nuclear power compared to other fuels? We are far more dependent on Coal and gas than nuclear power. Yet our nuclear power produces 20% of our electricity.