Plans For New Reactors Worldwide

(Updated March 2013)

  • Nuclear power capacity worldwide is increasing steadily, with over 60 reactors under construction in 13 countries.
  • Most reactors on order or planned are in the Asian region, though there are major plans for new units in the USA and Russia.
  • Significant further capacity is being created by plant upgrading.
  • Plant life extension programs are maintaining capacity, in USA particularly.

Today there are some 435 nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries plus Taiwan, with a combined capacity of over 370 GWe. In 2011 these provided 2518 billion kWh, about 13.5% of the world's electricity.

Over 60 power reactors are currently being constructed in 13 countries plus Taiwan (see Table below), notably China, South Korea and Russia.

Each year, the OECD's International Energy Agency (IEA) sets out the present situation and also reference and other, particularly carbon reduction scenarios. Following the Fukushima accident, the World Energy Outlook 2011 New Policies scenario has a 60% increase in nuclear capacity to 2035, compared with about 90% the year before. "Although the prospects for nuclear power in the New Policies Scenario are weaker in some regions than in [WEO 2010] projections, nuclear power continues to play an important role, providing base-load electricity. Most non-OECD countries and many OECD countries are expected to press ahead with plans to install additional nuclear power plants, though there may be short-term delays as the safety standards of existing and new plants are reviewed. Globally, nuclear power capacity is projected to rise in the New Policies Scenario from 393 GW in 2009 to 630 GW in 2035." In this scenario the IEA expects the share of coal in total electricity to drop from 41% now to 33% in 2035. Electricity generation increases from 20 to 36 trillion kWh.

It is noteworthy that in the 1980s, 218 power reactors started up, an average of one every 17 days. These included 47 in USA, 42 in France and 18 in Japan. These were fairly large - average power was 923.5 MWe. So it is not hard to imagine a similar number being commissioned in a decade after about 2015. But with China and India getting up to speed in nuclear energy and a world energy demand double the 1980 level in 2015, a realistic estimate of what is possible (but not planned at this stage) might be the equivalent of one 1000 MWe unit worldwide every 5 days.

See also Nuclear Renaissance paper for the factors driving the increase in nuclear power capacity.

Increased Capacity 

Increased nuclear capacity in some countries is resulting from the uprating of existing plants. This is a highly cost-effective way of bringing on new capacity.

Numerous power reactors in USA, Belgium, Sweden and Germany, for example, have had their generating capacity increased. 

In Switzerland, the capacity of its five reactors has been increased by 13.4%. 

In the USA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved more than 140 uprates totalling over 6500 MWe since 1977, a few of them "extended uprates" of up to 20%.

Spain has had a program to add 810 MWe (11%) to its nuclear capacity through upgrading its nine reactors by up to 13%.  Some 519 MWe of the increase is already in place.  For instance, the Almarez nuclear plant was boosted by 7.4% at a cost of US$ 50 million.

Finland Finland boosted the capacity of the original Olkiluoto plant by 29% to 1700 MWe. This plant started with two 660 MWe Swedish BWRs commissioned in 1978 and 1980. The Loviisa plant, with two VVER-440 (PWR) reactors, has been uprated by 90 MWe (10%).

Sweden's utilities have uprated all three plants. The Ringhals plant was uprated by about 400 MWe over 2006-11, and plans will take it to 660 MWe uprate over 25 years. Oskarshamn-3 was uprated by 21% to 1450 MWe at a cost of EUR 313 million, and a 27% uprate of unit 2 is in progress. Forsmark 2 had a 120 MWe uprate (12%) to 2010.

Nuclear Plant Construction

Most reactors currently planned are in the Asian region, with fast-growing economies and rapidly-rising electricity demand.

Many countries with existing nuclear power programs (Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Rep., France, India, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, South Africa, Ukraine, UK, USA) have plans to build new power reactors (beyond those now under construction).

In all, about 160 power reactors with a total net capacity of some 177,000 MWe are planned and over 320 more are proposed. Energy security concerns and greenhouse constraints on coal have combined with basic economics to put nuclear power back on the agenda for projected new capacity in many countries.

In the USA there are plans for 13 new reactors, and two combined construction and operating licences for these were issued early in 2012 while five more are under review. All are for late third-generation plants, and a further proposal is for two ABWR units.  it is expected that some of the new reactors will be on line by 2020.

In Canada there are plans to build up to 2200 MWe or more of new capacity at Darlington in Ontario.

In Finland, construction is now under way on a fifth, very large reactor which will come on line in 2014, and plans are firming for another large one to follow it.

France is building a similar 1600 MWe unit at Flamanville, for operation from 2016, and a second may follow it at Penly.

In the UK, four similar 1600 MWe units are planned for operation by 2019, and a further 6000 MWe is proposed.

Romania's second power reactor istarted up in 2007, and plans are being implemented for two further Canadian units to operate by 2017.

Slovakia is completing two 470 MWe units at Mochovce, to operate from 2014.

Bulgaria is planning to build a large new reactor at Kozloduy.

Belarus is planning two large new Russian reactors at Ostrovets, the first to start in 2019.

In Russia, ten reactors are under active construction, one being a large fast neutron reactor. About 14 further reactors are then planned, some to to replace existing plants, and by 2017 ten new reactors totalling at least 9.2 GWe should be operating. Further reactors are planned to add new capacity. This will increase the country's present nuclear power capacity by 50% in 2020. In addition about 5 GW of nuclear thermal capacity is planned. A small floating power plant is expected to be completed by 2014 and others are planned to follow.

Poland is planning two 3000 MWe nuclear power plants.

South Korea plans to bring a further further four reactors into operation by 2017, and another five by 2021, giving total new capacity of 12,200 MWe. Of these, all but one are the Advanced PWRs of 1400 MWe. These APR-1400 designs have evolved from a US design which has US NRC design certification, and four been sold to the UAE (see below).

Japan has two reactors under construction but another three which were likely to start building by mid 2011 have been deferred. 

In China, now with 15 operating reactors on the mainland, the country is well into the next phase of its nuclear power program. Some 26 reactors are under construction and many more are likely to be so in 2012. Those under construction include the world's first Westinghouse AP1000 units, and a demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant is due to start construction. Many more units are planned, with construction due to start within three years. But most capacity under construction is the largely indigenous CPR-1000 design. China aims at least to quadruple its nuclear capacity from that operating and under construction by 2020.

On Taiwan, Taipower is building two advanced reactors (ABWR) at Lungmen.

India has 20 reactors in operation, and seven under construction (two expected to be completed in 2013). This includes two large Russian reactors and a large prototype fast breeder reactor as part of its strategy to develop a fuel cycle which can utilise thorium. Twenty further units are planned.  18 further units are planned, and proposals for more - including western and Russian designs - are taking shape following the lifting of trade restrictions.

Pakistan has third and fourth 300 MWe reactors under construction at Chashma, financed by China. There are plans for more Chinese power reactors.

In Kazakhstan, a joint venture with Russia's Atomstroyexport envisages development and marketing of innovative small and medium-sized reactors, starting with a 300 MWe Russian design as baseline for Kazakh units.

In Iran  nuclear power plant construction was suspended in 1979 but in 1995 Iran signed an agreement with Russia to complete a 1000 MWe PWR at Bushehr. This started up in 2011 and was grid connected in August.

The United Arab Emirates  has awarded a $20.4 billion contract to a South Korean consortium to build four 1400 MWe reactors by 2020. The first are under construction.

Jordan has committed plans for its first reactor to be operating by 2020, and is developing its legal and regulatory infrastructure.

Turkey has contracts signed for four 1200 MWe Russian nuclear reactors at one site and is negotiating similar capacity at another. Its legal and regulatory infrastructure is well-developed.

Vietnam has committed plans for its first reactors at two sites (2x2000 MWe), to be operating by 2020, and is developing its legal and regulatory infrastructure. The first plant will be a turnkey project built by Atomstroyexport.  The second will be Japanese.

Fuller details of all the above contries curently without nuclear power are in country papers or the paper on Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries.

Plant Life Extension and Retirements

Most nuclear power plants originally had a nominal design lifetime of 25 to 40 years, but engineering assessments of many plants have established that many can operate longer. In the USA over 70 reactors have been granted licence renewals which extend their operating lives from the original 40 out to 60 years, and operators of most others are expected to apply for similar extensions.  Such licence extensions at about the 30-year mark justify significant capital expenditure for replacement of worn equipment and outdated control systems. 

In France, there are rolling ten-year reviews of reactors. In 2009 the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) approved EdF's safety case for 40-year operation of the 900 MWe units, based on generic assessment of the 34 reactors. 

The Russian government is extending the operating lives of most of the country's reactors from their original 30 years, for 15 years, or for 25 years in the case of the newer VVER-1000 units, with significant upgrades.

The technical and economic feasibility of replacing major reactor components, such as steam generators in PWRs, and pressure tubes in CANDU heavy water reactors, has been demonstrated. The possibilities of component replacement and licence renewals extending the lifetimes of existing plants are very attractive to utilities, especially in view of the public acceptance difficulties involved in constructing replacement nuclear capacity.

On the other hand, economic, regulatory and political considerations have led to the premature closure of some power reactors, particularly in the United States, where reactor numbers have fell from 110 to 103, in eastern Europe, in Germany and likely in Japan.

It should not be assumed that reactors will close when their licence is due to expire, since licence renewal is now common. However, new plants coming on line are balanced by old plants being retired. Over 1996-2012, 60 reactors were retired as 66 started operation. There are no firm projections for retirements over the next two decades, but WNA estimates that at least 60 of those now operating will close by 2030, most being small plants. The 2011 WNA Market Report reference case has 156 reactors closing by 2030, using very conservative assumptions about licence renewal, and 298 coming on line.

The World Nuclear Power Reactor table gives a fuller and (for current year) possibly more up to date overview of world reactor status.

Power reactors under construction, or almost so

2013 Iran, AEOI Bushehr 1* PWR 950
2013 India, NPCIL Kudankulam 1 PWR 950
2013 India, NPCIL Kudankulam 2 PWR 950
2013 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 1* PWR 1080
2013 China, CGNPC Ningde 1* PWR 1080
2013 Korea, KHNP Shin Wolsong 2 PWR 1000
2013 Korea, KHNP Shin-Kori 3 PWR 1350
2013 Russia, Rosenergoatom Leningrad II-1 PWR 1070
2013 Argentina, CNEA Atucha 2 PHWR 692
2013 China, CGNPC Ningde 2 PWR 1080
2013 China, CGNPC Yangjiang 1 PWR 1080
2013 China, CGNPC Taishan 1 PWR 1700
2013 China, CNNC Fangjiashan 1 PWR 1080
2013 China, CNNC Fuqing 1 PWR 1080
2013 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 2 PWR 1080
2014 Russia, Rosenergoatom Novovoronezh II-1 PWR 1070
2015 Russia, Rosenergoatom Rostov 3 PWR 1070
2014 Slovakia, SE Mochovce 3 PWR 440
2014 Slovakia, SE Mochovce 4 PWR 440
2014 Taiwan Power Lungmen 1 ABWR 1300
2014 China, CNNC Sanmen 1 PWR 1250
2014 China, CPI Haiyang 1 PWR 1250
2014 China, CGNPC Ningde 3 PWR 1080
2014 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 3 PWR 1080
2014 China, CGNPC Yangjiang 2 PWR 1080
2014 China, CGNPC Taishan 2 PWR 1700
2014 China, CNNC Fangjiashan 2 PWR 1080
2014 China, CNNC Fuqing 2 PWR 1080
2014 Korea, KHNP Shin-Kori 4 PWR 1350
2014? Japan, Chugoku Shimane 3 ABWR 1375
2014 India, Bhavini Kalpakkam FBR 470
2014 Russia, Rosenergoatom Beloyarsk 4 FNR 750
2015 USA, TVA Watts Bar 2 PWR 1180
2015 Taiwan Power Lungmen 2 ABWR 1300
2015 China, CNNC Sanmen 2 PWR 1250
2015 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 4 PWR 1080
2015 China, CGNPC Yangjiang 3 PWR 1080
2015 China, CGNPC Ningde 4 PWR 1080
2015 China, CGNPC Fangchenggang 1 PWR 1080
2015 China, CNNC Changjiang 1 PWR 650
2015 China, CNNC Changjiang 2 PWR 650
2015 China, CNNC Fuqing 3 PWR 1080
2015 India, NPCIL Kakrapar 3 PHWR 640
2015? Japan, EPDC/J Power Ohma 1 ABWR 1350
2016 Finland, TVO Olkilouto 3 PWR 1600
2016 France, EdF Flamanville 3 PWR 1600
2016 Russia, Rosenergoatom Novovoronezh II-2 PWR 1070
2016 Russia, Rosenergoatom Leningrad II-2 PWR 1200
2016 Russia, Rosenergoatom Vilyuchinsk PWR x 2 70
2016 India, NPCIL Kakrapar 4 PHWR 640
2016 India, NPCIL Rajasthan 7 PHWR 640
2016 Pakistan, PAEC Chashma 3 PWR 300
2016 China, China Huaneng Shidaowan HTR 200
2016 China, CPI Haiyang 2 PWR 1250
2016 China, CGNPC Yangjiang 4 PWR 1080
2016 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 5 PWR 1080
2015 China, CNNC Hongshiding 1 PWR 1080
2015 China, CGNPC Fangchenggang 2 PWR 1080
2016 China, several others PWR  
2017 USA, Southern Vogtle 3 PWR 1200
2017 Russia, Rosenergoatom Baltic 1 PWR 1200
2017 Russia, Rosenergoatom Rostov 4 PWR 1200
2017 Russia, Rosenergoatom Leningrad II-3 PWR 1200
2017 Ukraine, Energoatom Khmelnitsky 3 PWR 1000
2017 Korea, KHNP Shin-Ulchin 1 PWR 1350
2017 India, NPCIL Rajasthan 8 PHWR 640
2017 Romania, SNN Cernavoda 3 PHWR 655
2017? Japan, JAPC Tsuruga 3 APWR 1538
2017 Pakistan, PAEC Chashma 4 PWR 300
2017 USA, SCEG Summer 2 PWR 1200
2017 China, several     
2018 Korea, KHNP Shin-Ulchin 2 PWR 1350

* Latest announced year of proposed commercial operation.     Rostov = Volgodonsk

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