Of all the viable sources of energy, nuclear power is probably the most controversial since we easily tend to associate it with the nuclear bomb. Although there is an apparent high-risk danger to its use as evidenced by nuclear power plant accidents, such as those in Chernobyl in 1986 and in Fukushima, Japan in 2011, many countries are still using nuclear power as an alternative source of electricity. We present here the top 5 countries with nuclear power capabilities in 2014 as presented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) and can be read here http://www.iaea.org/PRIS/.
Ranked 1st, the United States has the most number of operational reactors with a total number of 100 commercial reactors. The combined 65 pressurized water reactors and 35 boiling water reactors are given the license to run in 65 nuclear power plants. In 2011 alone, the nuclear power plants supplied about 19.2% of the country’s total electric energy generation. In 2013, the nuclear power plants produced a total of 790 TWh of electricity, making the United States as the world’s largest supplier of commercial nuclear power.
France is 2nd on the list with 58 operational reactors. Of all the countries, France is the most dependent on nuclear power. About 74.85% of electricity production comes from nuclear power. Thus, nuclear power is the primary source of energy in France since the 1980s. Almost half of France’s operational nuclear reactors have been in constant operation for over 40 years.
With 48 operational reactors, Japan is 3rd on the list. Before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami catastrophe that resulted to the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, Japan relied about 30% of its electricity power consumption from nuclear reactors. Today, the remaining operational nuclear reactors supply about 18.1% of the country’s total electricity production.
Russia has about 33 operational nuclear reactors and it ranks 4th on the list. The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster did not hinder Russia from continuing its efforts to use nuclear power as one of its sources of energy. Russia stepped up developments to install more safety features into its existing nuclear power plants. As a response to the 2011 Japan nuclear accidents, Russia performs stress tests in all reactors for earthquake readiness. The country gets about 17.8% of its electricity production from nuclear power plants.
4th on the list is South Korea with 23 operational nuclear reactors. The 23 reactors generate about 20.5 GWe and supply 29% of the country’s total electrical production. South Korea is planning to build more reactors in order to increase the nuclear reactor’s share of electricity production to 60% by the year 2035.
Obviously, the use of nuclear power to generate electricity has its benefits and potential dangers. It’s like making a website using dreamweaver templates. You’re not sure if it will work or not. If you believe it will work, then follow it with more research. Click here for more information about nuclear power.