According to the latest official figures released today by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), total electricity generation in OECD countries rose to almost 9 620 TWh in 2005, about 1.9% above 2004. Nuclear power plants provided 23.2% of this electricity, as compared to 23.9% in 2004. At the start of 2006, there were 352 nuclear units in operation in 17 OECD countries. Nuclear electricity generation in the OECD area provided 2 236 TWh in 2005, about 1% less than the previous year. This is due primarily to decreased production in the United States, coming off record production levels in the previous year, and to decreases in Germany and Sweden following the shutdown of reactors as part of their continued implementation of policies to phase out nuclear energy. In all, nine units are expected to be shut down over the next five years, all in the OECD Europe region. Five of them are in the United Kingdom.
In contrast, at the start of 2006, ten nuclear units representing a total capacity of 8.6 GWe were under construction in OECD countries, with firm commitments for 17 more, representing a total capacity of 30.2 GWe. Four are being built in Korea, three in Japan, two in the Slovak Republic and one in Finland.
In the OECD Europe and America regions, uranium conversion and enrichment capacity roughly matches requirements, while imports and stockpiles are needed in the Pacific region. There are plans to increase uranium enrichment capacity in the coming years, shifting away from gaseous diffusion technology to the more efficient centrifuge technology.
The figures and information above are drawn from the just-published 2006 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 countries. The official statistics include data and projections complemented by short country reports. The Brown Book is considered a standard reference for nuclear energy data.
Nuclear Energy Data - 2006
OECD, Paris, 2006 - ISBN 92-64-02489-1
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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 information, data and analyses it provides draw on one of the best international networks of technical experts.