10% of the world’s electricity is nuclear and comes from 443 reactors. Recent studies show 54 more units are under construction in 20 countries, including China, India, Russia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Finland, and France. But in terms of the percentage of nuclear generation, France sits on top at 70%. Here is a look at the top countries in terms of the percentage of nuclear power generation.
France – 70.6%
By far the most nuclear-intensive country with over two-thirds of its electricity powered by the 61 MW of energy generated. Though on one hand, it has vowed to reduce its dependency on nuclear; the country is also planning to add more reactors to decarbonize its power generation. In 2020, France closed down its two oldest nuclear units at the Fessenheim Power Station amidst environmental concerns.
Ukraine – 53.9%
The country’s four nuclear power plants (NPPs) with a net nuclear power capacity of over 13 GWe generate around half of Ukraine’s power needs. The country depends more on nuclear (47%), and thermal (45%), than renewable energy, which is at a modest 8%.
Slovakia – 53.86%
The four operable nuclear reactors in Slovakia generate more than half of the country’s electricity needs. These reactors have a combined net capacity of 1.8 GWe. Slovakia is one of the pro-nuclear Visegrád Group nations within the EU and plans to add two new units into its nuclear anvil. Before its accession to the EU, it had to shut down two of its older reactors as it didn’t comply with the EU safety standards.
Hungary – 49.24%
Four of its operable nuclear reactors churn out 15.4 TWh nuclear power. They were the first VVER Soviet-designed reactors that had better safety parameters. It is nearly 100% owned by state-owned power wholesaler Magyar Villamos Művek and the Hungarian government holds the “golden” share. It recently caught headlines for its five-year extent loan agreement with Russia.
With around seven operable nuclear reactors, and a net capacity of 5.9 GWe Belgium comes next on this list. The nuclear energy generated takes care of 39.1% of the country’s needs. Unlike many other countries, a national survey revealed that 83% of the citizens were affirmative in the country’s nuclear energy production.
Bulgaria – 37.53%
Bulgaria’s two nuclear reactors generate one-third of its electricity under a net capacity of 2.0 GWe. Their Government planned a ten-year grid plan to connect up to 1800 MWe of wind and 600 MWe of solar capacity, and over €300 million in the succeeding five-year period if the planned Belene nuclear plant were to be built. Though owing to the scarce domestic demand, their plans for a 15 billion kWh/yr would go for export.
Finland – 37.41%
Four of its operable nuclear reactors on the shores of the Baltic sea give a combined net capacity of 2.8 GWe. In 2020, nuclear-powered 33.9% of the country’s electricity needs. They plan to have a fifth reactor and a sixth planned as well. The latter is said to begin operation in early 2022.
Slovenia – 37.04%
With just one operable nuclear reactor of 0.7 GWe net capacity, Slovenia has generated 37.8% of its electricity from nuclear. It shares its Krško NPP with Croatia, from the time both were part of Yugoslavia. Krško NPP is currently under the process of a plant life extension plan. The country plans for a new NPP, JEK2. And based on the national energy and climate program, the Government will decide whether to open one by 2027.
Czechia – 35.23%
The Czech Republic or Czechia meets one-third of its electricity requirement from nuclear. There are two NPPs in Czechia with a net capacity of 88 TWh. Operated by CEZ, it is 70% state-owned. Under their 2015 national energy policy, nuclear will be their primary source of electricity (46% to 58%) by 2040.
Sweden – 33.47%
Presently there are six operable nuclear reactors in Sweden with a net capacity of 6.9 GWe. It easily meets 40% of the country’s electricity. A recent national survey suggested that 46% of its citizens are in favour of building new NPP, while 14% wanted to phase out nuclear power. The country has shut down eight of its older reactors.
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- January 5, 2022