Nuclear Power And The Chernobyl Accident

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Since the first commercial plant in the 1950s, the nuclear energy sector has increased steadily. From generating 684 billion kilowatt hours worldwide in 1980, nuclear power accounted for 2,345 billion KWh in 2012 (World Bank, n.d.). While the Chernobyl accident in 1986 did not trigger any decline in the global nuclear-generated power in the following years, the Fukushima accident in 2011 did. A drop of almost 200 billion KWh from 2011 to 2012 put a hold on the previously roughly constant numbers. This decline is already visible in the 2011 data, as Japan immediately ordered a shut-down of all their 50 reactors, the last one in 2012 (Hong, Bradshaw, & Brook, May 2013). Today 31 countries operate 438 commercial nuclear power plants (IAEA - PRIS, 2015a). The following table shows the operating and under construction reactors in the world, including their current percent share in their total electricity generation.

Country Operational Reactors Reactors under construction Nuclear electricity generated in 2014 (in % of total) No. of units Net capacity (MW) No. of units Net capacity (MW)
Argentina 3 1627 1 25 4.1
Armenia 1 375 30.7
Belgium 7 5927 47.5
Brazil 2 1884 1 1245 2.9
Bulgaria 2 1926 31.8
Canada 19 13500 16.8
China 23 19007 26 25756 2.4
Czech Republic 6 3904 35.8
Finland 4 2752 1 1600 34.7
France 58 63130 1 1630 76.9
Germany 9 12074 15.8
Hungary 4 1889 53.6
India 21 5308 6 3907 3.5
Iran 1 915 1.5
Japan 48 42388 2 2650 0.0
Korea, Republic of 23 20717 5 6370 30.4
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