Load Factor Tables

1 January 2000

Load Factor Tables
Units listed include all the reactors of 150MWe and above from which we regularly receive adequate monthly data. Annual load factors for units over the 12 months to end December 2004, and lifetime (which are also called cumulative) load factors to end December 2004, are presented in Table 1. The figures are calculated on the same basis as that used since early 1976 so that trends can be established. Annual load factors are calculated by dividing the gross generation of a reactor in a one-year period by the gross capacity of the reactor (sometimes called output), as originally designed, multiplied by the number of hours in the calendar year. The figures are expressed as percentages. Where a plant is uprated, the revised capacity is used from the date of the uprating. Similarly, lifetime (or cumulative) load factors are calculated by dividing the gross generation from the date of first synchronisation (not the date of commercial operation, which can be many months after the plant is generating power) by the gross capacity multiplied by the number of hours elapsed since the first synchronisation. These figures are also expressed as percentages. It is important to note that load factors alone can be a misleading measure of performance, for example when a utility is deliberately operating reactors below their full capacity, for load following or where hydropower is available and is used preferentially. Figure 1 shows how the average load factors for the six main reactor types have changed over the years. Figure 2 attempts to convey the lifetime load factors for each reactor type and the amount of electricity that has been generated so far by each type. Figure 3 shows the annual and the lifetime load factors for the six main reactor types. Figure 4 conveys the country lifetime average load factors and lifetime nuclear generation for each country. Figure 5 compares the load factor average over the 12 months to end December 2004 with that for the 12 months to end December 2003, for the six main reactor types. Figure 6 shows the PWR and and the BWR averages for countries with four or more of each reactor type. Figure 7 shows load factor quartiles. Figure 8 shows the country annual average load factors over time. In addition to Tables 1 and 2, three other tables are included: a summary of country data; the top ten reactors in terms of lifetime load factors; and the top ten reactors in terms of electricity production.



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