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Ranked: Nuclear Power Production, by Country

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Nuclear power production by country

Nuclear Power Production by Country

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Nearly 450 reactors around the world supply various nations with nuclear power, combining for about 10% of the world’s electricity, or about 4% of the global energy mix.

But while some countries are turning to nuclear as a clean energy source, nuclear energy generation overall has seen a slowdown since its peak in the 1990s.

The above infographic breaks down nuclear electricity generation by country in 2020 using data from the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).

Ranked: The Top 15 Countries for Nuclear Power

Just 15 countries account for more than 91% of global nuclear power production. Hereโ€™s how much energy these countries produced in 2020:

Rank Country Number of Operating Reactors Nuclear Electricity Supplied
[GWh]
% share
#1 U.S. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ 96 789,919 30.9%
#2 China ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ 50 344,748 13.5%
#3 France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท 58 338,671 13.3%
#4 Russia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ 39 201,821 7.9%
#5 South Korea ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท 24 152,583 6.0%
#6 Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 19 92,166 3.6%
#7 Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 15 71,550 2.8%
#8 Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช 6 60,918 2.4%
#9 Spain ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ 7 55,825 2.2%
#10 Sweden ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช 7 47,362 1.9%
#11 U.K. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 15 45,668 1.8%
#12 Japan ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต 33 43,099 1.7%
#13 India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ 22 40,374 1.6%
#14 Belgium ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช 7 32,793 1.3%
#15 Czechia ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ 6 28,372 1.1%
Rest of the World ๐ŸŒŽ 44 207,340 8.1%
Total 448 2,553,208 100.0%

In the U.S., nuclear power produces over 50% of the country’s clean electricity. Additionally, 88 of the country’s 96 operating reactors in 2020 received approvals for a 20-year life extension.

China, the world’s second-largest nuclear power producer, is investing further in nuclear energy in a bid to achieve its climate goals. The plan, which includes building 150 new reactors by 2035, could cost as much as $440 billion.

On the other hand, European opinions on nuclear energy are mixed. Germany is the eighth-largest on the list but plans to shutter its last operating reactor in 2022 as part of its nuclear phase-out. France, meanwhile, plans to expand its nuclear capacity.

Which Countries Rely Most on Nuclear Energy?

Although total electricity generation is useful for a high-level global comparison, itโ€™s important to remember that there are some smaller countries not featured above where nuclear is still an important part of the electricity mix.

Hereโ€™s a breakdown based on the share of nuclear energy in a country’s electricity mix:

Rank Country Nuclear Share of Electricity Mix
#1 France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท 70.6%
#2 Slovakia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ 53.1%
#3 Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 51.2%
#4 Hungary ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ 48.0%
#5 Bulgaria ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ 40.8%
#6 Belgium ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช 39.1%
#7 Slovenia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ 37.8%
#8 Czechia ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ 37.3%
#9 Armenia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ 34.5%
#10 Finland ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ 33.9%
#11 Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ 32.9%
#12 Sweden ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช 29.8%
#13 South Korea ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท 29.6%
#14 Spain ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ 22.2%
#15 Russia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ 20.6%
#16 Romania ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด 19.9%
#17 United States ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ 19.7%
#18 Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 14.6%
#19 United Kingdom ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง 14.5%
#20 Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช 11.3%

European countries dominate the leaderboard with 14 of the top 15 spots, including France, where nuclear power is the country’s largest source of electricity.

Itโ€™s interesting to note that only a few of these countries are top producers of nuclear in absolute terms. For example, in Slovakia, nuclear makes up 53.6% of the electricity mixโ€”however, the country’s four reactors make up less than 1% of total global operating capacity.

On the flipside, the U.S. ranks 17th by share of nuclear power in its mix, despite producing 31% of global nuclear electricity in 2020. This discrepancy is largely due to size and population. European countries are much smaller and produce less electricity overall than larger countries like the U.S. and China.

The Future of Nuclear Power

The nuclear power landscape is constantly changing.

There were over 50 additional nuclear reactors under construction in 2020, and hundreds more are planned primarily in Asia.

As countries turn away from fossil fuels and embrace carbon-free energy sources, nuclear energy might see a resurgence in the global energy mix despite the phase-outs planned in several countries around he globe.

The post Ranked: Nuclear Power Production, by Country appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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