Nuclear power around the world
Nuclear power

Nuclear power around the world

Nuclear power is a source of energy that guarantees electric supply, puts a stop to polluting emissions, reduces exterior energy dependence and produces constant electricity. An increasingly amount of countries agree with this and support the continuity of their nuclear power plants with authorizations to operate for 60 or even 80 years –as in the United States– and the construction of new plants.

The United States has just started to grant authorizations for their reactors to operate for 80 years

The 422 reactors currently operating in 33 countries produce around 10.5 % of the world’s electricity. According to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (data from December 2022) there are 58 units in construction in 18 countries including China, India, South Korea, Russia and Turkey. Aware of the challenges that energy and the environment face, these countries are building new plants because they consider that nuclear energy is an essential source for the present and future of their countries.

China is the country building the most reactors in the world. It has 55 units in operation and 19 more reactors in construction. Next in the list is India with eight reactors in construction, followed by Russia and Turkey with four each and South Korea with three. In 2022 Egypt started construction of its first nuclear power plant. After the United Arab Emirates in 2021, es el segundo país árabe con energía nuclear.

Nuclear power around the world
Nuclear power around the world
CountryReactors in position to operateReactors under constructionReactors shut downElectrical production of nuclear origin (TWh)Electricity of nuclear origin (%)
Czech Republic6--29.0436.6
South Africa2--12.156.0
South Korea2532150.1628.0

Nuclear power plants in operation and construction in the world
Data from December 31 2022 / Source: PRIS-IAEA and Foro Nuclear

Nuclear energy in the European Union

In the European Union (UE), 13 of the 27 Member States have nuclear power plants. There are 103 reactors in operation, producing nearly 26% of the yearly energy consumed in the whole of the EU. Another three reactors are in Slovakia and France.

In the EU, almost one third of the electricity is nuclear in origin

With its 56 operating reactors, France is the EU country with most nuclear units. 70% of its electricity is from nuclear sources, the greatest percentage in the world. It is followed by Ukraine with 55%, Slovakia with 52.3%, Belgium with 50.8%  and hungary with 46.8%. Almost one third of the electricity consumed in the UE comes from Nuclear Sources. There are 17o reactors in operation and 12 in construction in all of Europe.

As to the rest of continents, in Africa there are two reactors in operation and two in construction. In America there are 118 reactors in operation and four more in construction. Asia has 132 reactors in a position to operate successfully, although there are some that are momentarily shut down as is the case of Japan. Asia is the continent with the greatest support to nuclear technology, with 40 units in construction.

Nuclear power around the world
Construction work at the British HPC nuclear power plant

Continuity of operation in nuclear power plants

Continuity of operation is the operation of a nuclear power plant, maintaining its safety level, beyond the period that was initially considered in its design. This is a common practice in different countries around the world, the right strategy to comply with the basic aspects of sustainable development since it guarantees independence and diversification of energy supply whilst contributing to the fight against climate change.

Various international studies reflect that it is technically viable to operate nuclear power plants beyond their design period, maintaining the level of safety and reliability demanded by national and international legislations.

Thus, as of December 31 2022 there are 191 nuclear reactors in the world that have received authorization from different regulatory authorities to operate beyond 40 years, employing various schemes: in some cases the authorization is for 20 additional years, in others it is for a limited period and in others for an indefinite time. Finland has just granted an authorization for 70 years to two of its reactors, and in the United States, where the majority of reactors have authorizations for 60-year operation, six units have received  In the United States, six units have received authorization to operate for 80 years. They represent over 45% of the world’s nuclear reactors.

Nuclear power around the world

The nuclear programs from various countries and all the nuclear sites are under the supervision and control of their local regulatory authorities as well as from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) located in Vienna ( The updated list of all nuclear reactors in operation and construction for every country can be visited in this IAEA link.

  • Newsletter

    Subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you up to date with the latest news in the nuclear field.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.