According to the latest official figures released today by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), total electricity generation in OECD countries rose to just over 9 867 TWh in 2006, about 0.5% above 2005. Nuclear power plants provided 23.1% of this electricity, as compared to 22.8% in 2005. Nuclear electricity generation in the OECD area provided 2 278 TWh in 2006, about 1.8% more than the previous year.
At the start of 2007, there were 346 nuclear units in operation in 17 OECD countries. Ten nuclear units representing a total capacity of 8.5 GWe are currently under construction in OECD countries: four are being built in Korea, three in Japan, two in the Slovak Republic and one in Finland. Firm commitments have been made for the construction of 15 more reactors (14 in the OECD Pacific region), representing an additional total capacity of 18.9 GWe. Six units were shut down during 2006: four in the United Kingdom, all of them Magnox plants built in the 1960s; one in Spain, also built in the 1960s; and one in the Slovak Republic, as a condition of its European Union accession treaty. Another ten units are expected to be shut down before 2011, all but one in the OECD Europe region.
Natural uranium production in OECD countries is lower than requirements and as in the past, the gap is being made up by imports and secondary sources. Plans to increase uranium enrichment capacity progressed during 2006 when construction of two new enrichment facilities in France and the United States began.
The figures and information above are drawn from the just-published 2007 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 in OECD countries. The 2007 edition extends these forecasts for the first time up until 2030. The Brown Book is considered a standard reference for nuclear energy data.
NUCLEAR ENERGY DATA
OECD, Paris, 2007 - ISBN 978-92-64- 03453 -2
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NEA membership consists of 28 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.