Learn More About The Industry

For more than 50 years, nuclear energy has provided the world with reliable electricity.  Today, more 400 plants are operating in more than 25 countries. 

These plants generate around 14 percent of the world’s electricity without emitting greenhouse gases.

More nations are exploring the use of nuclear energy, particularly as electricity demand increases and concerns about climate change rise.

Here is a snapshot of the global nuclear energy industry:

  • There are 441 nuclear power plants operating today.
  • Sixty-one nuclear power reactors are being built around the world. 
  • The 5 nations with the most commercial nuclear reactors operating today are the United States (104), France (58), Japan (55), Russia (32) and South Korea (20). 
  • France generates 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants. 
  • Nuclear power plants worldwide generated about 1/7th of the world’s electricity needs in 2009. 
  • On average, the world’s nuclear power plants offset approximately 2.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually,  approximately double the target set by the Kyoto Accord.
  • The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), an organization dedicated to safe and reliable operation of nuclear power plants, conducts independent peer reviews for each of the world’s commercial nuclear power plants in operation. 

For more information, visit the following online resources:

International Atomic Energy Agency
World Nuclear Association (WNA)
World Association of Nuclear Operators
Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)

Nuclear energy

The energy that is released during a nuclear reaction. Splitting atoms (fission) and fusing atoms (fusion) both release nuclear energy. Today's nuclear power plants use fission to produce energy, which allow them to generate electricity on a large scale.
Greenhouse gases

Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Examples include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
Nuclear reactor

The part of a nuclear power plant where nuclear fission occurs, producing heat.
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