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Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power Usage Worldwide

Nuclear Power Usage Worldwide
Uranium Reserves and Usage
Light Water Reactors
Pebble Bed Reactors
Nuclear Power - Pros and Cons
New England Expansion

1. What is the current rate of usage of nuclear power relative to other energy sources for both the United States and the world?


Nuclear reactions currently supply 16% of the world's energy.

France, in first place, relies heavily on nuclear power for electricity with 78.1%; the United States comes in eighteenth out of thirty with 19.9%.

However, France produced 426.8 million megawatt hours, while US production was twice that of France's at 788.6 million megawatt hours during the same year.

Électricité de France

In France, as of 2002, the Électricité de France (EDF) manages the country's 59 nuclear power plants in distributing and production of electricity.

France is the world's largest net exporter of electric power, exporting 18% or 100 kilowatt hours to countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, and Germany, largely due to its low cost of generation. It gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this.

The Ignalina has no containment structure; scientists fear a meltdown like that of Chernobyl.

Lithuania is the second largest user of nuclear power for electricity.

Lithuania relies heavily on its Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant for this production. The Ignalina is made of two RBMK units, both lacking a containment structure and thus posing a catastrophic threat in case of a meltdown--similar to Chernobyl. Unit One was closed in 2004 as a condition for Lithuania's entry into the European Union. The remaining unit supplies about 70-85% of Lithuania's electrical demand despite it being scheduled for closure in 2009.

Lithuania does not have natural energy resources and a shutdown of Ignalina would mean importing foreign oils for power; Lithuania does not have the financial resources to pay for such a supply, and scientists consider it a step backward in decreasing the world's dependence of fossil fuels.