World Nuclear Performance Report 2018


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Director General's Preface

The world’s nuclear reactors performed excellently in 2017. Global nuclear electricity output was 2506 TWh, an increase of 29 TWh compared to 2016. This marked the fifth successive year that nuclear output has increased, with generation 160 TWh higher than in 2012.

At the end of 2017 the global nuclear capacity of the 448 operable reactors stood at 392 GWe, up 2 GWe on the end of 2016 total. Four new reactors were connected to the grid, with a combined capacity of 3373 MWe. Five reactors were shut down, with a combined capacity of 3025 MWe. However two of those reactors, Monju and Santa Maria de GaroƱa, had not generated for some years previously.

The number of reactors under construction at the end of 2017 was 59. The median average construction time for the four reactors grid connected last year was 58 months. In addition to the four grid connections, there were four construction starts and two construction projects halted. Both 2015 and 2016 had more grid connections, with ten each, and we have already had more grid connections in 2018 than in the whole of 2017.

The capacity factor for the global fleet stood at 81%, maintaining the high availability of around 80% that has been maintained since 2000, up from the 60% average capacity factor at the start of the 1980s.

In Asia, construction started on the first nuclear power reactor to be built in Bangladesh. Nuclear generation was boosted by the return to service of the fifth Japanese reactor, with further restarts taking place in 2018. In South Korea, a public vote lead to the resumption of construction of Shin-Kori 5. Construction was completed on the first unit at Barakah, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In Canada, plans are progressing to support the development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology, as well as to ensure the continued operation of its existing Candu reactors. In the US, construction was halted on the two VC Summer reactors. Agreement was reached on the completion of the two sister reactors at Vogtle, and construction since this agreement is progressing well. However, market conditions are proving challenging, resulting in announcements of planned closures of some reactors. In some states, measures have been introduced to correct those market distortions to support the continued operation of nuclear plants as they are providing reliable and clean electricity.

Turkey has become the latest country to start a new build programme. Construction on-site at Akkuyu formally started in December 2017, with construction of the first reactor starting in April 2018.

With construction on more than 25 reactors scheduled to be completed in 2018 and 2019 strong progress is being made. New reactor projec ts are needed to maintain and accelerate global nuclear build so that nuclear generation can meet the Harmony goal of supplying 25% of the world's global electricity by 2050.


Agneta Rising
Director General
World Nuclear Association


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