New report: Nuclear reactor performance improves, but more new build required

Press Release Issue Date: 28 June 2017

More than 9 GWe of new nuclear capacity came online in 2016, the largest annual increase for over 25 years and global nuclear generation rose for the fourth successive year.

However, if nuclear is going to make a full contribution to future clean electricity supply, action is needed in three key areas: establishing a level playing field in electricity markets; building harmonized regulatory processes; and creating an effective safety paradigm.

The world’s operating nuclear reactors continued to have high levels of performance in 2016, with an average capacity factor of 80.5%. The industry has maintained high capacity factors of around 80% for the last 20 years.

These are the conclusions of the World Nuclear Performance Report 2017, which is published today.

Speaking at the launch of the report Agneta Rising said;

“The level of new build remains high, with 61 reactors under construction at the end of 2016. But the pace of new construction starts must accelerate to provide the reliable electricity needed to support global economic growth.”

Globally, the time taken to construct new reactors has been falling, with the median time for reactors coming online in 2016 being just over 6 years.

The global nuclear industry has set a goal of 1000 GWe of new nuclear build by 2050, with nuclear generation supplying 25% of global electricity demand.


The World Nuclear Performance Report 2017 is available as a pdf download from the World Nuclear Association website.

Key graphics from the report are also available from the World Nuclear Association website.

The World Nuclear Association is the industry organisation that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among key international influencers by producing authoritative information, developing common industry positions, and contributing to the energy debate, as well as to pave the way for expanding nuclear business.

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