Global perspective Human stories

Europe uses more nuclear power than North America, UN agency reports

Europe uses more nuclear power than North America, UN agency reports

Nuclear power plant
European countries -- led by France and Lithuania -- are the predominant users of nuclear energy around the world, according to new statistics released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Nuclear power provides about 16 per cent of global electricity, the IAEA reported. France draws 76.4 per cent of its energy from nuclear power, and Lithuania 73.7 per cent, followed by Belgium (56.8 per cent), the Slovak Republic (53.4 per cent), Ukraine (47.3 per cent), Bulgaria (45 per cent), Hungary (42.2 per cent), the Republic of Korea (40.7 per cent), Sweden (39 per cent) and Switzerland (38.2 per cent.)

In North America, where 118 reactors supply about 20 per cent of electricity in the United States and 12 per cent in Canada, the number of operating reactors has declined slightly. In Western Europe, with 150 reactors, overall capacity is likely to remain at or near existing levels in the coming years, the IAEA said.

The IAEA reported that in Central and Eastern Europe and the newly independent States, a few partially built plants are likely to be completed, while aging units are being shut down. Only in the Middle East, Far East and South Asia, with a total of 94 reactors at present, are there clear plans for expanding nuclear power, particularly in China, India, the Republic of Korea and Japan.