Number of operable nuclear reactor plants by country 2019

The statistic shows the number of operable nuclear reactors as of June 2019, by country. In the United Kingdom, 15 nuclear power reactors were in operation as of this time. Operable nuclear reactors are those connected to the grid.

Number of operable nuclear power plants by country

In 1954, history was made when nuclear fission technology was approved for commercial purposes and the first nuclear power plant started operation in the Russian city of Obninsk. For the first time, it was possible to meet the demand of an increasingly energy-thirsty world – at a reasonable price, too. The new energy proved to be an extremely reliable and stable form of electricity. Since nuclear power plants are only shut down for refuelling every two years or so, they provide an around-the-clock “baseload” supply of power to the people.

In nuclear fission, uranium atoms are split apart into lighter elements. Uranium is a radioactive metal that is extracted from mines, mainly in Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. After the uranium splitting process, the used fuel elements are still radioactive and have to be stored in nuclear waste repositories or spent fuel pools. These sites are often underground and require thick metal or concrete walls to shield the public from radiation. In the past, several accidents at nuclear power plants - including Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima -have shown just how dangerous radioactivity is, once it is released into the environment.

Currently, there are 450 nuclear reactors in operation in some 30 countries around the world. One of the largest plants is situated in France, where about 70 percent of total electricity generation was derived from nuclear sources in 2018. In 2011, the alliance between General Electric and Hitachi was ranked as the third largest maker of nuclear reactors, behind France’s Areva and Russia-based Rosatom. The nuclear power plant market was sized at around 30 billion US dollars in 2011, and is expected to exceed 50 billion US dollars by 2030. In 2050, global nuclear power capacity is projected to reach 516 gigawatts.

Number of operable nuclear reactors as of June 2019, by country

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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period

As of June 2019

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Statistics on "Nuclear power worldwide"

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