Nuclear generation increases for fifth successive year - World Nuclear Performance Report 2018

Press release issued 15 August 2018

Worldwide nuclear generation in 2017 increased for the fifth successive year, reaching 2,506 TWh.(1) This is more than 10% of global electricity demand.

Nuclear power reactor availability improved, achieving a mean average capacity factor of 81%.(2) This continues the consistently high performance of the last twenty years that has seen the global average capacity factor maintained at around 80%. This high level of reactor performance is maintained irrespective of how long a reactor has been in operation; with reactor capacity factors showing no age-related decline.(3)

These results were published today by World Nuclear Association in the latest edition of the World Nuclear Performance Report, which contains a comprehensive review of global nuclear reactor construction and operational performance. In addition, the report features five case studies covering topics including how one of the oldest operating reactors achieved a 100% high availability factor, the restart of two reactors in Japan and the construction and operation of three new reactor models in Russia, South Korea and China.

The median average construction time for new reactors was of 58 months, down from 74 months in the previous year and less than half the average time taken over the period 1996-2000.(4)

Four reactors started supplying electricity in 2017, down from the ten that were added in each of the two preceding years. However, more than 25 reactors are due to come online in 2018 and 2019. Overall, capacity additions for the period 2016-2020 are expected to reach the targets by the nuclear industry’s Harmony programme.  Build rates will have to increase significantly to achieve the overall goal of 1000 GWe of new nuclear capacity by 2050.(5)

Agneta Rising, Director General of World Nuclear Association said, “There is no sustainable energy future without nuclear energy.  We will need all low-carbon energy sources to work together. Nuclear capacity must expand to achieve the industry’s Harmony goal to enable nuclear energy to supply 25% of the world’s electricity demand by 2050.”


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