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Global nuclear power capacity falls 4.5 GW in 2019: IAEA

New York — Global nuclear generating capacity was 391.1 GW as of December 31, 2019, with 443 operational reactors in 30 countries, a fall of 4.5 GW from 386.6 GW at the end of 2018, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement June 26.

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The data was compiled in the IAEA's annual nuclear power status report collected by its Power Reactor Information System, or PRIS, the "world's most comprehensive nuclear power database," the agency said.

The IAEA attributed the drop to "Japan's decision to permanently shut down five reactors that had not generated electricity since 2011."

At the end of 2019, more than 57.4 GW of capacity, or 54 reactors, were under construction in 19 countries, including four that were building their first reactor, the agency said.

"Near and long-term capacity growth prospects are centred in Asia," the IAEA said. At the end of 2019, some 36.5 GW, or 35 reactors, was under construction in Asia, the IAEA added.

It also noted that "nuclear power capacity since 2011 has shown a gradual growth trend," including 23.2 GW of new capacity "added by the connection of new units to the grid or upgrades to existing reactors."

About 2,586 TWh was generated by nuclear power in 2019, around 10% of the global electricity mix that year and around 33.3% of the "low carbon" power mix globally, it said.

In 2019, six new pressurized water reactors were connected to the grid, "resulting in an additional 5,174 MW of nuclear capacity," the agency said, noting that "over 77% of this new capacity was added in Asia," including two units in China.