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Nuclear power plants: permanent shutdowns 2005-2020

Number of permanent nuclear reactor shutdowns fluctuated between 2005 and September 2020. From January to September 2020, there were three shutdowns.. Following the nuclear accident in Japan in March 2011, four reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were shut down permanently. In total, there were eleven permanent shutdowns in 2019.

Reaction to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

Globally, nuclear power plants have a capacity totaling over 396.9 gigawatts as of 2018. In 2018, there were seven permanent nuclear reactor shutdowns that occurred around the world. Many of these shutdowns were in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster which occurred when an earthquake and a tsunami struck the region on March 11, 2011, causing equipment failure and three nuclear meltdowns. This was the second event after the Chernobyl disaster that was classified as a Level 7 event by the International Nuclear Event Scale, which communicates important safety information of nuclear accidents. The disaster prompted much of the public to lose confidence in nuclear energy and question its safety. Afterwards, many countries accelerated their plans for nuclear power plant shutdowns. As of 2017, Germany, for example, accounted for about 2.8 percent of the world’s nuclear energy consumption after power plant shutdowns had been initiated. In Italy, a national referendum was held and almost 95 percent of people voted against plans to build new nuclear power plants. In the United States, some 65 percent of people favor the use of nuclear energy. In other countries like Germany, 77 percent of critics were already decidedly against nuclear energy prior to the events in Japan. In Japan, there were 37operational nuclear reactors as of June 2019.

Global number of permanent nuclear reactor shutdowns from 2005 to 2020*

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Release date




Survey time period

as of September 3, 2020

Supplementary notes

* As of September 3, 2020.

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Statistics on "Global nuclear energy"

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