Situation of nuclear energy in the world
Nuclear energy began to develop during the first decade of 1940. Initially, the research was aimed at the development and production of the atomic bomb. Subsequently, research began on other applications of nuclear energy; the investigation focused on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Currently, there are 30 countries in the world that have nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity. In any case, the number of countries that take advantage of nuclear energy is much greater since countries such as Denmark and Italy, which do not have any nuclear facilities, obtain about 10% of their electricity from nuclear energy imported from other countries.
Worldwide, about 450 nuclear power reactors are operating. All these reactors together generate around 11% of the electrical energy consumed in the world. However, 60 more reactors are currently being built. Which would increase the power generated through nuclear energy by 16%.
World electricity production in 2015
According to data from the IEA Electricity Information of 2017, the main source of electricity generation was coal. Coal-fired power plants accounted for 39.3% of the world's electric power. In second position is the gas power plants, with 22.9%. Next, with 16% is the hydraulic energy, the first source of renewable energy that appears in the list. Then we found nuclear energy, with 10.6%.
Finally, with a more discrete percentage we find certain renewable energies. 4.9% of the electric power generated in the world is produced by solar energy, wind energy and geothermal energy. Next, 4.1% of electricity is generated by burning oil and 2.2% is generated by other systems.
In the classification of countries with the highest production of electricity through nuclear power plants, we find the United States in the first position, which in 2016 generated 805 TWh (one hour watt). The following countries in nuclear energy production are: France, China, Russia, South Korea, Canada, Ukraine, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, India, Czech Republic, Finland, Switzerland, Japan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Hungary , South Africa, Slovakia, Mexico, Romania, Argentina, Iran, Pakistan, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Armenia.
Situation of nuclear energy in North America
Canada has 19 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 13.5 GWe. In 2017, nuclear generated 15% of the country's electricity. In the first part of 2016, the government signed important contracts for the renovation and extension of the useful life of six reactors in the Bruce generation station. The program will extend operational lives in 30-35 years.
The United States has 99 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 99.6 GWe. In 2017, nuclear generated 20% of the country's electricity. Four AP1000 reactors had been built, but two of them have stopped. One of the reasons for the hiatus in new construction in the United States to date has been the extremely successful evolution in maintenance strategies.
Situation of nuclear energy in South America
Brazil has two reactors, with a combined net capacity of 1.9 GWe. In 2017, nuclear energy generated 3% of the country's electricity.
Situation of nuclear energy in Western and Central Europe
A 2015 energy policy aimed to reduce the country's participation in nuclear generation to 50% by 2025. In November 2017, the French government postponed this objective.
In Germany, seven nuclear power reactors continue to operate, with a combined net capacity of 9.4 GWe. In 2017, nuclear generated 12% of the country's electricity. Germany is phasing out nuclear generation around 2022 as part of its Energiewende policy. Energiewende, widely identified as the most ambitious national climate change mitigation policy, has not yet achieved a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Sweden has eight operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 8.4 GWe. In 2017, nuclear energy generated 40% of the country's electricity. The country is closing some older reactors, but has invested a lot in the operation of extensions and revaluations for life.
Situation of nuclear energy in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia
Russia has 35 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 26.9 GWe. In 2017, nuclear generated 18% of the country's electricity. A government decree in 2016 specified the construction of 11 nuclear power reactors by 2030, in addition to those already under construction. At the beginning of 2018, Russia had seven reactors under construction, with a combined capacity of 5.9 GWe.
Armenia has a single nuclear power reactor with a net capacity of 0.4 GWe. In 2017, nuclear energy generated 33% of the country's electricity.
Belarus has its first nuclear power plant under construction, and plans to have the first of the two Russian reactors operating in 2019. Currently, almost all of the country's electricity is produced from natural gas.
In 2017, Slovenia generated 39% of its electricity from nuclear energy. Ukraine has 15 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 13.1 GWe. In 2017, nuclear generated 55% of the country's electricity.
Situation of nuclear energy in Asia
India has 22 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 6.2 GWe. In 2017, nuclear energy generated 3% of the country's electricity. The government of India is committed to increasing its nuclear power capacity as part of its massive infrastructure development program.
Japan has 42 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 40 GWe. By early 2018, only five reactors had been reconnected, with 21 more in the process of restarting approval after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. In the past, 30% of the country's electricity came from power nuclear; In 2017, the figure was only 4%.
Bangladesh began construction of the first of the two VVER-1200 reactors planned in 2017 in 2017. It plans to have the first unit in operation in 2023. Currently, the country produces practically all its electricity from fossil fuels.
Situation of nuclear energy in Africa
South Africa has two operable nuclear reactors and is the only African country that currently produces electricity from nuclear power. In 2017, nuclear energy generated 7% of the country's electricity.
The United Arab Emirates is building four South Korean reactors of 1450 MWe at a cost of more than $ 20 billion, and is working closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency and experienced international firms.
Last review: November 23, 2018