Press release
Paris, 14 June 2004


2003 nuclear energy data just released

The latest official figures released today by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) reveal that nuclear electricity generation in OECD member countries decreased by nearly 2% in 2003 in comparison with 2002. Prolonged inspections and maintenance outages in Japan and the United States were the main reasons for the fall in overall nuclear electricity production. Despite this decrease, nuclear power plants still provided some 23 % of total electricity generated in OECD member countries in 2003. Nuclear power's contribution to the electricity generation in six OECD member countries (Canada, the Czech Republic, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, the Slovak Republic and Sweden) actually increased during 2003.

These figures are drawn from the just-published 2004 edition of Nuclear Energy Data, more commonly known as the "Brown Book". The Brown Book gives an overview of the status and trends in nuclear electricity generation and the fuel cycle for OECD member countries and makes projections up until 2020. It is considered a reference in terms of nuclear data.

At the start of 2003, there were 359 nuclear units in operation in OECD countries, three less than in 2002. Six units were under construction, with firm commitments for 20 more, representing around 30 GWe. All but one of these units is in the OECD Pacific region. By contrast, 20 units representing around 4.5 GWe are expected to be shut down within the next five years, 16 of which are in the United Kingdom*. While not reflected in the preceding figures, additional units in Germany are expected to be shut down over the next 30 years in line with the government decision to phase out nuclear energy.

NEA membership consists of 30 OECD countries. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally friendly and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The NEA also provides authoritative assessments and forges common understandings on key issues, as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD policy analyses in areas such as energy and sustainable development.

* The 16 units scheduled for decommissioning in the United Kingdom over the next five years are all gas-cooled reactors. The total electricity generating capacity of the units to be decommissioned amounts to 2.8 GWe. At present, the UK has 31 nuclear units with a total capacity of 12.3 GWe.

Nuclear Energy Data
OECD, Paris, 2004 - ISBN 92-64-01632-5

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