World Nuclear Performance Report 2022 highlights increase in nuclear generation with improved reactor performance

The 2022 edition of the World Nuclear Performance Report, published today, reviews the global nuclear industry’s record in the supply of electricity from operating reactors and progress with construction of new reactors.

Nuclear generation increasing by 100 TWh to reach 2653 TWh in 2021, meeting 10% of the world’s electricity demand.

Reactor performance improved, with the average capacity factor of the world’s operating nuclear reactor rising to 82.4%, up from 80.3% in 2020.

Construction started on ten reactors in 2021, six of which are being built in China. This includes the start of construction of the first land-based SMR at Changjiang, in Haiyan Province. Six reactors were started supplying electricity for the first time in 2021, three in China, and one each in India, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The report also highlights how early reactor closures are countering the benefits of new reactor construction and commissioning, primarily due either to political phase-outs or inequitable electricity market design.

Sama Bilbao y León, Director General, World Nuclear Association, commented.

“Every additional megawatt-hour of nuclear generation helps in the fight against climate change and every reactor helps provide secure and reliable electricity.

“At a time when every kWh of clean secure energy is precious, and extending the operating lives of existing nuclear plants should be incentivized, misguided political dogma is making things worse.”

In 2022 five reactors have already been connected to the grid, and construction has started on six reactors, including three in July.

Sama Bilbao y León said.

“In the last few months, we have had announcements from many new and existing nuclear countries setting out their plans for new reactors large and small.

“It is essential that these plans are delivered on in full and expanded upon, so the pace and scale of new nuclear construction accelerates worldwide.”