rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Five biggest nuclear reactors in the world

Five biggest nuclear reactors in the world

Last updated on: March 18, 2011 18:50 IST

Five biggest nuclear reactors in the world

     Next

Next
The era of nuclear energy dawned in 1942 after scientists at the University of Chicago successfully tested the world's first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1.

Although the era of nuclear energy began in 1942, it was only in the 1950s that commercial nuclear power stations started operation.

Today, there are more than 440 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in 30 countries, with 377,000 MWe (megawatts electrical) of total capacity, providing about 14 per cent of the world's electricity.

Around 56 countries operate a total of 250 research reactors and 180 nuclear reactors power about 140 ships and submarines.

Here is a look at five biggest nuclear reactors in the world based on their electricity generation capacity.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Nuclear energy era was born in 1942.
Photographs: Reuters
     Next

Five biggest nuclear reactors in the world

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
1: Kashiwazaki-Kariwa: 8,212 MWe

Japan's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors are not big enough individually to break any records, but their combined output puts them on top of the ranking.

The plant, which was completed in 1997, has seven reactors, with a combined electrical output of 8,212 megawatts.

That is enough to provide electricity to more than 16 million Japanese households each year.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Kashiwazaki-Kariwa provides electricity to 16 million houses.
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

Five biggest nuclear reactors in the world

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

2: Chooz B1 and 2: 1,500 MWe

France's nuclear reactor Chooz A went out of operation in 1991 after 22 years of electricity generation, but Chooz B1 and Chooz B2 continue to be in operation.

Although the reactors were originally designed to generate 1,450 megawatts of electricity, the output was later upgraded to 1,500 megawatts.

With such a massive output, Chooz B1 and 2 are easily one of the biggest reactors in the world, generating more than 5 percent of France's total nuclear power.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Chooz B1 and B2 generate five per cent of France's energy needs.
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

Five biggest nuclear reactors in the world

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

3: Civaux 1 and 2: 1,495 MWe

France has 59 nuclear reactors producing 76 per cent of France's total electricity requirements, and two reactors located in the city of Civaux are among the biggest in the country.

Civaux 1 and Civaux 2, which cost about $4.1 billion to build, became fully operational in 1999.

Turbines weigh about 3,000 tonnes and are more than half a football field in length, which shows how Civaux reactors are able to produce 1,495 megawatts of electricity.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Civaux 1 and Civaux 2 cost $4.1 billion to construct.
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

Five biggest nuclear reactors in the world

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

4. Brokdorf: 1,410 MWe

The Brokdorf reactor, located near the municipality of Brokdorf in Germany, stores more than 110 tonnes of uranium.

When the construction began on the plant in 1981, there were huge protests by anti-nuclear groups, but by 1986, the plant was fully operating.

In terms of output, it was the world leader in 1992 and 2005.

It is currently producing 1,410 megawatts of electricity, but it can once again become the world leader before its scheduled decommissioning in 2018.

It is Germany's largest reactor and one of the largest in the world.

Click NEXT to read further...


Image: Brokdorf reactor is the biggest in Germany.
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

Five biggest nuclear reactors in the world

Prev     More
Prev

More

5: Isar II: 1,400 MWe

Although nuclear power provides 20 per cent of Germany's electricity requirements, concerns over safety and waste storage have forced the government to shut down many reactors.

Isar I and 11, located in the Bavaria region, are also scheduled to be decommissioned. Both reactors provide electricity to more than 1.5 million households each year.

Isar II, which was commissioned in 1988, has a total capacity of 1,400 megawatts.


Image: Isar I and Isar II power 1.5 million households.
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     More