Seven of the World’s largest nuclear power plants

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant


Japan’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) takes the current title of being the largest nuclear power plant in the world, boasting a net capacity of 7,965MW. About 220km away from the city’s capital, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in the Niigata Prefecture has over seven boiling water reactors (BWR). Five of them clock in at a gross capacity of 1,100MW each, while the latest ones are 1,356MW each.

Owned by Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) it recorded the first commercial operation in 1985. The installation cost for the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power is said to be 70 billion yen. The company had to face partial shutdowns and setbacks because of the earthquakes that affected the country periodically. 

In 2019, Nuclear power generated around 10% of world's total energy

In 2019, Nuclear power generated around 10% of world’s total energy

Bruce Nuclear Generating Station

Canada’s pride of a Nuclear Power Plant, the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, has a net capacity of 6,234MW.

In Ontario and operated by Bruce Power, it is rightfully the second-largest nuclear power plant in the world with 8 pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR) powering it through. Owned by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) the PHWRs have capacities ranging from 786MW to 891MW. It is the first nuclear reactor in Canada and cost approximately $2.4 billion CAD

Kori Nuclear Power Plant

The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power owned Kori Nuclear Power Plant comes third with a gross net capacity of 6,040MW.

Near Busan, South Korea, it was the country’s first reactor started back in 1978. It also features 8 reactors (only 6 work) similar to the above nuclear plants. It has scored the rare title of being the world’s largest fully operational nuclear generating station in terms of the total number of functional reactors operational since 2016. The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant had a larger nameplate, but after facing a setback with the Fukushima nuclear disaster, they haven’t restarted as of 2021.

Hanul Nuclear Power Plant

The Hanul NPP, with a capacity of 5,928MW, is the fourth biggest nuclear power plant. Known earlier as the Ulchin Nuclear Power Plant, it features six pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It became commercially operable in 1988 and it completed its second phase in 2012. Koreans consider it the pride of their country, as it was the first to use all Korean-made components. Recently, ABB snatched a $200m contract with the NPP to supply nuclear reactor equipment for its latest units.

Hanbit Nuclear Power Plant

Another Korean NPP making it to the list of the top 10 is the Hanbit NPP. Formerly known as the Yeonggwang NPP, it apparently got its name changed upon the pressure of the local fishermen in that area. Hanbit has an installed net capacity of 5,899MW, making it the fifth-largest in the world. This plant too is owned by the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, a subsidiary of South Korean utility KEPCO.

The Hanbit NPP comprises 6 PWR, with the most recent one commissioned in 2002.

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Ukraine figures next in the list with the Zaporizhzhya NPP, with an installed net capacity of 5,700MW.

Owned and operated by the state-run National Nuclear Energy Generating Company of Ukraine (Energoatom), it recently had a series of renovations, enabling it to a 10-year life extension till 2027. It features six PWR units with a capacity of 950MW each. It is the largest NPP in Europe. 

Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant

Owned by the French electric utility company Électricité de France (EDF), the Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant is the sixth-largest in the world with its net capacity of 5,460MW. Located 48km away from Dover on the French coast, the NPP features six 900MW capacity PWR units, commissioned in 1980, feeding approximately 5.9% of French electricity production.

Paluel Nuclear Power Plant

Another Électricité de France (EDF) owned NPP coming up next is the Paluel Nuclear Power Plant with a gross installed capacity of 5,528MW. About 40km away from the English Channel coast in France, it is the second-largest reactor in the country. It features four 1,300MW class pressurized water reactors, which feed about 32 billion kilowatt-hours into France’s electricity grid annually.


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