Load factors to end March 2013

30 September 2013 Caroline Peachey



An analysis of the performance of 404 of the world's nuclear reactors in the 12 months to 31 March 2013.


In the first quarter of 2013, nuclear generation was down by around 3.5%, year-on-year, according to data we collected.

The 404 reactors for which data were available generated a total of 618.7 TWh of electricity, operating at an average load factor of 74.9% during the first quarter of 2013. Performance was down compared with the first quarter of 2012, which saw 399 units achieve an average load factor of 75.4%, generating some 635 TWh of electricity.

A total of 263 pressurized water reactors (258 GW) generated around 447 TWh of electricity in the first three months of 2013, operating at an average load factor of 79.0%, down slightly from 79.6% in Q1 2012. The average first-quarter load factor for boiling water reactors (83 units; 81 GW) also fell from 64.7% to 59.5% in 2013, with the second- most-common reactor type generating over 107 TWh of electricity during Q1. In contrast, the performance of pressurized heavy water reactors (45 units; 25 GW) improved slightly from 74.9% in the first quarter of 2012 to 75.8% in 2013, perhaps thanks to the restart of Bruce 1&2 in Canada in September/October 2012.

Top of Table 2

UnitCountryLoad factor to end March 2013 (%)MWe grossType
  12-monthLifetime  
Millstone 3USA105.476.01209PWR
Dresden 2USA103.869.5909BWR
Balakovo 3Russia102.364.31000PWR

Based on the load factors feature published in the August 2013 issue of Nuclear Engineering International (p36-40). Full version is available to subscribers

Lifetime load factors for the main reactor types
Annual and lifetime load factors for the main reactor types
Lifetime load factor averages by country


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