5 Main Types of Nuclear Reactors in Operation

Issue 2 and Volume 2.

There are more than 400 nuclear power reactors operating in 30 countries plus Taiwan, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA). Five main types of nuclear reactors are in operation, as shown in the chart below. One quarter of the world’s reactors have load factors of more than 90 percent and nearly two thirds do better than 75 percent, according to the WNA. For 15 years, Finnish plants topped the performance tables, but the U.S. now dominates the top 25 positions, followed by South Korea.

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Today, more than 40 nuclear reactors are being constructed in 12 countries, including China, South Korea, Japan, Finland, Russia and France. In addition to commercial nuclear power plants, there are more than 280 research reactors operating in 56 countries, with more under construction. (Source: WNA.)

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EDF’s Flamanville-3, an Areva EPR third-generation pressurised-water reactor, under construction in Normandy, France. EDF operates two 1,300 MW units at the site and there is room for a fourth.

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Construction of the new 1,650 MW unit is 25 percent complete and scheduled to come online in 2012.
(Photos: Alexis Morin, EDF.)