Palo Verde Nuclear Power Complex, Arizona

Largest nuclear power complex in the country, as well as one of the largest in the world. The facility cost nearly $6 billion, and took twelve years to build, with the last reactor completed in 1988. With a net capacity of 3,663 megawatts, the three reactor units generate power for nearly 4 million people, and the complex is a major source of power for Phoenix and Southern California. It is operated by the Arizona Public Service Company, which also operates the Cholla and Four Corners coal-fired plants. Due to the absence of any large, nearby body of water (a problem not uncommon in the desert), the plant uses treated wastewater from five neighboring cities to cool the cores of its reactors.