Petroleum makes up 35.8% of Mississippi’s total energy use, followed by natural gas at 32.6%, coal at 12.4%,nuclear at 10.1% and renewables at 4.9%.
A single large reactor at Entergy’s Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station near Port Gibson produces nearly 20% of total state electricity and all of the state’s nuclear power.
A recently completed power upgrade project makes Grand Gulf the largest single reactor in the United States in capacity at 1,443 megawatts. The project also makes Grand Gulf the largest single-unit nuclear plant in the United States, and the fifth largest in the world.
The U.S. needs a solution to the storage, disposal or reprocessing of spent nuclear fuels. Currently spent fuel is held in interim storage at nuclear reactor sites, awaiting federal government development of a permanent repository site. Mississippi has salt dome geologic formations that may be suited for storage of high level nuclear waste.
As a state that is home to major utility companies (such as Entergy, Southern Company and TVA), Mississippi may have potential for new reactor development. In the long-term this may involve next generation reactor designs or, perhaps, small modular reactors. If Mississippi was the first state to successfully put into production new reactors there would likely be significant economic development potential around a “first mover” advantage and associated knowledge.