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Situation in global nuclear power

reactors of 371.7 GW total capacity –
world’s nuclear fleet, as of
December 2013

As of December 2013, the IAEA’s data2 show the world fleet of NPPs as including 434 reactors totalling 371.7 GW. During the year, four reactors were ultimately shut down in the USA (Crystal River-3, Kewaunee-1, San Onofre-2 and San Onofre-3), and two reactors were shut down in Japan (Fukushima-Daiichi-5 and Fukushima-Daiichi-6), while one reactor in Spain (Santa Maria de Garoña) was put under a prolonged shutdown. Three new reactors were put on line in the PRC (Hongyanhe-1, Hongyanhe-2, and Yangjiang-1), as well as one reactor in India (Kudankulam-1).

In 2013, construction began on ten new nuclear reactors: in the USA – Summer-2, Summer-3, Vogtle-3, and Vogtle-4; in the PRC – Tianwan- 4, Yangjiang-5, and Yangjiang-6; in the UAE – Bara-kah-2; in the Republic of Korea – Shin Hanul-2; and in Belarus – NPP-1.

The total number of power reactors under construction increased to 71 by the end of the reporting period.

New nuclear build in the world in 2003–2013

Number of reactors being built in parallel




the Republic of Korea


China remains the unconditional leader in building nuclear reactors in parallel (28 power units); it is followed by Russia (10 power units), India (6 power units), the Republic of Korea (5 power units), and the USA (5 power units).

An increase in the rate of new nuclear construction over the past three years, growing interest in small and medium reactors, as well as a gradual increase in the number of countries where energy policy provides for nuclear generation, is evidence of the revival of the positive nuclear power development trend. However, there is not sufficient evidence to declare a new “nuclear renaissance” quite yet.

The consequences of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident and growing competition between nuclear power with other electricity generators has continued to affect the condition and development prospects of this sector of global energy.

This appeared most prominently in Japan, which shut down all its power reactors in September 2013 in spite of new nuclear safety standards introduced in July 2013. The available outlook says that up to ten power reactors in Japan may come on line by the end of 2014.

In the USA, which features the most severe competition between nuclear and natural-gas- and coal-fired generators, the number of operating reactors dropped from 104 to 100 reactors for the first time in many years.

New nuclear construction plans are still frozen in Canada, while nuclear reactors being built in some other countries have suffered major delays, including those in Brazil, Argentina, the Republic of Korea, and Finland. Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland have not changed their positions on their plans to phase out nuclear power. Some countries have adjusted their national long-term energy plans to reduce the nuclear share of their needs.

However, most long-terms outlooks assume a moderate growth of the world’s nuclear power reactor fleet. As per the IAEA’s 2013 review, “Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the Period up to 2050”, the installed power capacity of the world’s nuclear fleet may grow up to 435 GW or up to 722 GW by 2030, reflecting the low and high case projections, respectively.

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