Most of the world's biggest nuclear power plants by net capacity are in East Asia. Regular inspection and safety measures have been stepped up at the large capacity nuclear power stations following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Power-technology.com lists the world's top 10 nuclear power plants by net capacity.
Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Japan is currently the world's largest nuclear power plant, with a net capacity of 7,965MW.
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa has seven boiling water reactors (BWR) with a gross installed capacity of 8,212MW.
The first five units have a gross capacity of 1,100MW each, whereas the sixth and seventh units have a capacity of 1,356MW each.
The first unit began commercial operation in September 1985 and the last unit became commercially operational in July 1997.
Operations have seized at present but will resume after a safety assessment due for completion in 2013. TEPCO is currently implementing safety measures at the plant to meet the new safety guidelines set forth by Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority.
Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, located in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada, is the second largest nuclear power plant in the world.
The 6,234MW (net) nuclear facility is owned by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and operated by Bruce Power.
The plant is made up of eight pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) with gross capacities varying from 786MW to 891MW. The last reactor of the Canadian NPP became commercially operational in May 1987
Bruce 1 witnessed a long-term shut down in 1997 and was reopened in September 2012. Bruce 2 was restarted in October 2012, also after a long-term shut down which occurred in 1995.
Ulchin Nuclear Power Plant, which was renamed Hanul Nuclear Power Plant in 2013, is the largest South Korean nuclear power plant.
The plant currently has a gross installed capacity of 6,189MW and net design capacity of 5,908MW ranking as the fourth largest NPP in the world.
Phase one of the Hanul NPP was completed in 2005 with six pressurised water reactor (PWR) units. Two more reactors are being added to Hanul as part of the second phase of plant development.
The two new reactors will have a net capacity of 1,350MW each and will increase the plant's total net capacity to 8,608MW when completed in 2018. The gross capacity of the plant will increase to 8,989MW upon completion of phase two.
Hanbit Nuclear Power Plant, South Korea
South Korea's Hanbit Nuclear Power Plant, formerly known as the Yeonggwang Nuclear Power Plant, currently ranks as world's fourth largest nuclear power station, with an installed net capacity of 5,899MW and a gross capacity of 6,164MW.
The power plant, operated by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), consists of six Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) reactor units commissioned in 1986, 1986, 1994, 1995, 2001 and 2002 respectively.
The 1,000MW Unit 3 of the plant was kept offline due to cracks found in its control rod guide tube in November 2012. The unit resumed operation in June 2013 following eight months of repair works.
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine, has an installed net capacity of 5,700MW and a gross capacity of 6,000MW standing as the largest nuclear power station in Europe and the fifth largest in the world.
The power station is located in Enerhodar city of Ukraine and features six operational VVER-1000 PWR units brought online since 1984 through 1995.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station is owned and operated by Energoatom, Ukraine's state-run National Nuclear Energy Generating Company. The plant accounts for more than one fifth of the country's total electricity generation.
Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant, France
The Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant, which has an installed net capacity of 5,460MW and a gross capacity of 5,706MW, currently ranks as the sixth largest nuclear power facility in the world.
The power station is located at Gravelines of Northern France and consists of six similar capacity PWR units commissioned between 1980 and 1985.
The nuclear power facility, owned and operated by the French electric utility company Electricite De France (EDF), created a benchmark in August 2010 by delivering its 1,000 billionth kWh of electricity.
Paluel Nuclear Power Plant
The Paluel Nuclear Power Plant, located about 40km away from the city of Diepp, France, is currently the seventh largest NPP in the world, by net capacity. The plant is spread across 160ha on the water front of the English Channel and uses water from the Channel for the cooling.
The plant is owned and operated by EDF and consists of four pressurised water reactors with a gross installed capacity of 5,528MW (1,382MW each) and net design capacity of 5,200MW (1,300MW each).
Construction of the nuclear power station began in 1977. The first two units of the plant were connected to grid in 1984. The third and fourth units were commissioned in 1985. Paluel is the second largest French NPP, after Gravelines.
Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant
The 5,448MW (gross) Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant is located in Cattnom, France. The power plant is owned and operated by EDF. The net capacity of the plant is 5,200MW, which is similar to that of Paluel NPP, the seventh largest nuclear power plant in the world.
Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant consists of four PWRs rated at 1,362MW each. Construction of the plant started in 1979 and commercial operations began in April 1987. The fourth reactor of the plant was connected to grid in 1991.
The Cattenom nuclear facility uses water from the Moselle River. Unit four of the plant has been kept under an inspection since February 2013. The power transformers of unit one and unit three of the plant caught fire in June 2013.
Oi Nuclear Power Plant
Oi Nuclear Power Plant located in the Japanese town of Oi, Fukui Prefecture, has a gross installed capacity of 4,710MW encompassed by two 1,175MW and two 1,180MW reactors. Units 3 and 4 of the plant are currently operational.
Kansai Electric Power Company owns and operates the plant. The net design capacity of the plant is 4,494MW, which makes it the eighth largest nuclear power plant by net capacity.
Oi NPP surpassed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant which witnessed a permanent shut down of four of its units following a tsunami in 2011.
Fukushima Daiichi had a gross capacity of 4,696MW prior to the shut down. Units 5 and 6, with gross capacity of 784MW and 1,100MW respectively, are currently operational.
People's Republic of China is home to the tenth largest operational nuclear power station in the world - the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant.
Located in Haiyan County in the Zhejiang province, the Qinshan NPP has a gross installed capacity of 4,310MW and a net capacity of 4,038MW.
Construction of Qinshan NPP commenced in 1985. The plant became operational in 1992. It is currently operating with seven reactors, including two PWRs and two PHWRs. The operating units were built in three different phases.
The plant's owner China National Nuclear Corporation is currently undertaking further expansion to add two more units of 1,000MW each to Qinshan. The $3.82bn worth expansion project is expected to be completed in 2014.
Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant
Fukushima Daini or Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant in Japan would have ranked as the tenth largest nuclear power plant in the world if operational. The four reactor units of the Fukushima II were automatically shutdown in the event of Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.
The 4,268MW (net) plant is owned and operated by TEPCO. The plant consists of four BWR units with gross capacity of 1,100MW and net capacity of 1,067MW each.
The powerful tsunami waves triggered by the 9.0 magnitude undersea earthquake caused meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi NPP. Fukushima Daini survived the disaster because of the emergency shutdown of its reactors. Restoration activities were underway for maintaining cold shutdown of the station, as of May 2013.
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