Plant Operation

Nuclear Status / 438 Reactors In Operation, With Six New Units Online In 2022

By David Dalton
13 February 2023

Data from Swiss Nuclear Forum shows five units were shut down

438 Reactors In Operation, With Six New Units Online In 2022
Leibstadt, one of Switzerland's four nuclear power units in commercial operation. Image courtesy Alpiq.

There were 438 commercial nuclear power plants in operation in 33 countries at the end of 2022, according to data from the Swiss Nuclear Forum.

The forum said six new nuclear power plants went online in 2022 and five units were permanently shut down.

The six new plants were Olkiluoto-3 in Finland, the first new reactor to start up in Western Europe in around 15 years, Fuqing-6 and Hongyanhe-6 in China, Kanupp-3 in Pakistan, Shin-Hanul-1 in South Korea and Barakah-3 in the United Arab Emirates.

Installed net capacity rose from 388,600 MW in 2021 to around 393,600 MW, an increase of slightly more than 1.2%. Nuclear energy continued to be the second largest source of clean electricity – after hydroelectric power – accounting for 10% of global electricity production.

There were eight construction starts in 2022 – two units in Egypt, a fourth unit in Turkey and five new units in China. Both Egypt and Turkey are building their first commercial nuclear stations.

Worldwide, 57 new nuclear power plants are under construction and about 100 more are planned.

Of the five nuclear power plants that were shut down permanently in 2022, three were in Great Britain (Hinkley Point B-1, Hinkley Point B-2 and Hunterston B-2) and one each in Belgium (Doel-3) and the US (Palisades).

The shutdown of the last three German nuclear power plants planned for the end of the year was postponed to mid-April 2023 due to the energy crisis that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Details of nuclear plants and radioactive waste facilities worldwide are on the Nuclearplanet world nuclear map, which was developed by the Swiss Nuclear Forum.

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