According to official data released today by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), nuclear electricity generation in OECD member countries has only marginally declined despite the economic downturn. Nuclear power plants provided 21.5% of the total electricity generated in the OECD area in 2008 against 21.6% in 2007.
As of 31 December 2008, 345 reactors were in operation and 15 reactors were under construction in OECD countries. A further 23 are committed for construction, mainly in the American and Pacific regions, demonstrating a renewed interest in nuclear energy.
Uranium production statistics show reliable and abundant supply, with as much as 40% of uranium production in OECD countries. Higher uranium prices have stimulated exploration and triggered the re-evaluation of known resources; some plans to increase production have, however, been delayed. Conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication capacities remain adequate to meet requirements, with expansion under way to meet increasing demand.
The 2009 edition of Nuclear Energy Data includes up-to-date official government commentary on plans for nuclear capacity in OECD member countries, which are reflected in the projections of nuclear power and electricity generation to 2035.
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