Hydropower in New England:

Pumped hydropower
Nuclear power stations are used for providing base load, the electrical power that remains steady around the clock.  To handle peak load, utilities use smaller power plants --- especially, hydropower --- because they can be brought on line in a hurry.

There is little hydropower available in New England.  So how can utilities have any reserves for peak load?  They make use of so-called pumped-hydro.  When power demand is low, nukes provide electricity to pump water up to a reservoir from which it can be released through electrical generators during periods of high demand.  In this way, the nuke is providing peak-load power.

Overheard at a tour of a pumped-hydro station in Massachusetts: "This is really great!  Why don't they generate all electricity this way?"

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