According to the latest official figures released today by the NEA, nuclear power plants provided 21.6% of the electricity generated in OECD countries, as compared to 22.9% in 2006. This was despite record production at nuclear power plants in Finland, Hungary and the United States, which did not offset reduced output in France, Germany and Japan and plant closures in the Slovak Republic and the United Kingdom. Total nuclear electricity production was 2 172 TWh in 2007, about 3.6% less than the previous year.
At the start of 2008, there were 346 nuclear units connected to the electricity grid in 17 OECD countries. Fourteen nuclear units representing a total capacity of 14.2 GWe are currently under construction in OECD countries: six are being built in the Republic of Korea, three in Japan, two in the Slovak Republic and one each in Finland, France and the United States. Firm commitments have been made for the construction of 13 more reactors, all in the OECD Pacific region. Once completed, the new units will add 31.2 GWe to OECD electricity grids. Twelve units are scheduled to be shut down before 2012: five in Germany, four in the United Kingdom, one in France, one in Japan and one in the Slovak Republic.
Higher uranium prices have stimulated exploration and the re-evaluation of known resources, increasing the global uranium resource base by 15% between 2005 and 2007. 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 2007 with the ongoing construction of new enrichment facilities in France and the United States.
The figures and information above are drawn from the just-published 2008 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 2008 edition extends its forecasts until 2030. The Brown Book is a widely recognised reference for nuclear energy data.
Nuclear Energy Data
OECD, Paris, 2008 - ISBN 978-92-64-04796-9
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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.