The volume of new nuclear capacity supplying electricity to the world doubled in 2015, according to World Nuclear Association data. Last year saw new reactors with total capacity of 9497 MWe connected to the grid, up from the 4763 MWe added in 2014.
China added eight units, which were, in month order: Fangjiashan 2, Yangjiang 2, Hongyanhe 3, Ningde 3, Fuqing 2, Yangjiang 3, Fangchenggang 1 and Changjiang 1. South Korea and Russia added Shin Wolsong 2 and Beloyarsk 4.
Uprates saw a further 484 MWe added. South Korea, the USA and Sweden accounted for 19 MWe, 290 MWe and 175 MWe of this total. There were two downrates, of 19 MWe each, at South Korea's Wolsong 3 and 4.
Global nuclear generating capacity increased slightly in 2015 as 10 new reactors began supplying electricity and eight were permanently shut down.
As of 31 December 2015, there were 439 reactors in operation, with a total 382.2 GWe. For comparison, at the start of 2015 there were 437 operable reactors and a total nuclear generating capacity of some 377.7 GWe.
China started construction of the 1080 MWe Hongyanhe 5 in March, the 1161 MWe Fuqing 5 in May, the 1080 MWe Hongyanhe 6 in July, and the 1161 MWe Fuqing 6, the 1150 MWe Fanngchenggang 3 and the 1080 MWe Tianwan 5 in December. The United Arab Emirates started construction of the 1400 MWe Barakah 4 in September.
As of 1 December 2015, there were 64 units under construction, with a combined total generating capacity of 67.8 GWe. Since then, China has launched construction of the second Hualong One reactor at the site of the Fuqing nuclear power plant - the 1161 MWe Fuqing 6 - on 22 December. In recent days, China has also poured first concrete for the 1150 MWe Fangchenggang 3 and the 1080 MWe Tianwan 5 - on 24 and 27 December, respectively.
Eight units in four countries were closed permanently last year: Germany's 1345 MWe Grafenrheinfeld in June; Japan's 529 MWe Genkai 1, the 320 MWe Mihama 1, the 470 MWe Mihama 2, the 439 MWe Shimane 1 and the 341 MWe Tsuruga 1 - all in March; Sweden's 638 MWe Oskarshamn 2 in October; and the UK's 490 MWe Wylfa 1 in December.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News