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

Unit Country Load factor to end March 2013 (%) MWe gross Type
    12-month Lifetime    
Millstone 3 USA 105.4 76.0 1209 PWR
Dresden 2 USA 103.8 69.5 909 BWR
Balakovo 3 Russia 102.3 64.3 1000 PWR

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