Press release
Paris, 3 June 2005


New nuclear energy data just released

The latest official figures released today by the NEA reveal that, at the start of 2005, there were 352 nuclear units in operation in 17 OECD member countries, seven less than the year before. However, despite this reduction, nuclear generating capacity in the OECD increased by almost 1% and nuclear-generated electricity increased by over 4% over the previous year. In all, nuclear power plants produced 23.5% of the electricity generated in OECD member countries during 2004 and in Belgium, France, the Slovak Republic and Sweden it was over 50%. Improved performances compared to 2003 allowed nuclear power's share of electricity generation to increase in six OECD member countries (Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan and Sweden).

These numbers are from the just-published 2005 edition of Nuclear Energy Data, more commonly known as the “Brown Book”, which gives an overview of the status of and trends in nuclear electricity generation and the fuel cycle up to 2025 in OECD member countries. The official statistics include data and projections complemented by short country reports. The Brown Book is considered as a standard reference for nuclear energy data.

At the end of 2004, eight nuclear units representing a total capacity of 6.6 GWe were under construction in OECD countries, with firm commitments for 19 more representing a total capacity of 24.1 GWe. All but one of these are destined for the OECD Pacific region. However, one new reactor, an EPR (European Pressurised Water Reactor), has been firmly committed in OECD Europe in Finland, marking the first new unit in this region in many years. In France, the construction of a new EPR is under consideration, subject to the outcome of a national public debate to take place in 2005. At the same time, 11 reactors representing a total capacity of 3.1 GWe are expected to be shut down over the next five years, six of which are in the United Kingdom. Additionally, not reflected in the preceding figures, additional reactors in Germany are expected to be shut down in line with the governmental decision to phase out nuclear energy.

Natural uranium production in OECD countries is projected to be lower than requirements in 2005. The remaining requirements will be met by secondary sources including imports, stockpiles, spent fuel reprocessing and re-enrichment of depleted uranium. For conversion, the capacity is also lower than requirements and the needs are again being matched by imports and stockpiles complementing the supply from OECD production facilities. OECD enrichment and fuel fabrication capacities remain higher than requirements. Thirty-four units use mixed-oxide fuel. All of these units are in OECD Europe, with all but four in France and Germany.

Nuclear Energy Data
OECD, Paris, 2005 – ISBN 92-64-01100-5

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