MOST Advanced Nuclear Power Facilities on Earth

As our energy requirements continue to increase while at the same time there’s a global effort to reduce the volume of fossil fuels that we consume there are few technologies that are able to reliably produce the energy that we need nuclear power is one of the most effective and efficient ways of producing energy and the latest designs are far safer than those of previous generations today we’ll be taking a look at 15 of the most advanced nuclear power facilities in the world number 15 kashiwazaki karewa nuclear power plant japan built on a 1 000 acre or 4.2 square kilometer site in the nigada prefecture of japan the kashiwazaki kariwa nuclear power plant has the potential to generate the most power of any nuclear facility on earth it first opened in 1985 and after several upgrades has seven

reactors one of which is the world’s first advanced boiling water reactor in total the plant has a rated output of 8 200 megawatts but things haven’t exactly been plain sailing since the seventh reactor was completed in 1997. one of the features of the design meant that it was built on the coastline of the sea of japan which is where it takes its cooling water and despite being specifically built to be able to withstand unexpected events it was just 12 miles from the epicenter of an earthquake in 2007 this forced the reactors to be shut down for emergency maintenance and only four were operating during the earthquake of 2011 that caused the fukushima meltdown as a precaution they were shut down again for extensive upgrades and the seven reactors are now some of the most advanced in any power plant although the operators are still awaiting permission from the regulators to actually switch them back on and begin generating electricity again number 14 the sunmen power plant china china is progressing with the construction of at least 50 nuclear power plants right now and is heavily invested in the technology to satisfy energy demands in the coming decades while it doesn’t produce the most energy of all the facilities in the country the sandman power plant in san man county is the one that the eyes of the world are trained on because the two reactors there are the first time the newly developed ap1000 pressurized water reactor has been used the plant was completed in 2018 at an estimated cost of 50 billion dollars and it has in theory a maximum capacity of 2300 megawatts construction has been delayed a number of years because of continuous design upgrades and it took over a year in each reactor to perform the necessary pre-fueling safety procedures finally in august of 2018 both reactors were running well and they had been connected to the grid by the end of that month the success of these two reactors and the lessons engineers learned in their construction are now seen as a blueprint for future energy

production across the country and the authorities are hoping they’ll be able to replicate the designs much quicker and have them up and running far faster than the 10 years it took to bring sun men online a time frame that was already surprisingly quick in comparison to projects elsewhere number 13 bruce nuclear generating station canada located on 2300 acres of land on the eastern shore of lake huron in ontario canada the bruce nuclear generating station is the second largest nuclear power station on the planet with a nameplate capacity of 6430 megawatts it’s made up of eight pressurized heavy water reactors each of which generates between 786 and 891

megawatts it was originally built in two stages between 1970 and 1987 and while you may expect it to have aging technology the station has been undergoing a series of upgrades and refits with control shutdowns since 1995 which means the reactors are as advanced as any other ones of their type providing 4 000 jobs the station is the largest employer in bruce county and has been vital to the local economy but the potential risks and dangers aren’t lost on the authorities to be sure there’s no contamination milk samples from nearby farms are tested on a weekly basis and drinking water and groundwater is tested twice daily on the site there’s 35 miles of dedicated roads a fire department and a medical center and following the 911 attacks the site also has a significant security force with all members armed and given access to high-speed response cars and watercraft and they’re so well trained that they won the u.s national swat championship event four years in a row number 12 baraka united arab emirates one of the newest nuclear power facilities to have come online is baraka which is in the garbia region of abu dhabi and was the first commercial nuclear power station on the arabian peninsula consisting of four apr 1400 reactors two of which are fully functioning and two of which are due to be

completed very soon it will when finished have a nameplate capacity of megawatts the intention is that the power plant will be able to provide as much as a quarter of the energy demands of the united arab emirates which will go a significant way towards reducing their energy reliance on burning carbon-based fuels estimated to have cost around 25 billion dollars barakah was completed remarkably quickly with a construction beginning in 2012 and the first reactor providing energy to the grid by 2020 all four reactors are the latest design of pressurized water reactors from the korea electric power corporation and are designed to remain in continuous operation for up to 80 years as it’s not yet providing its full capacity to the grid the success of barakah is yet to be shown but if it provides a stable supply as is expected there’s a good chance that not only will the uae commission an expansion but the other countries in the region will want to build similar facilities of their own too number 11. iii finland first entering operation in 1979 the okiloto nuclear power plant is one of two such facilities in finland but easily it’s the largest it’s on okiloto island on the shore of the gulf of botnia and to begin with it has two boiling water reactors that has a combined output of 1780 megawatts which represented 22 percent of all the energy produced in the country in 2020 while those two reactors are now regarded as old and inefficient designs the owners of the plant were granted permission to build a brand new reactor in 2005. they chose a

completely different design that’s called a european pressurized reactor it’s a third generation design that was developed by the french company edf and despite being planned to be operational by 2009 it was only turned on for the first time in late 2021 so far all the signs are good and it’s expected that the energy produced by the third reactor will be connected to the national grid by mid-2022 once this happens the company is then planning to build a fourth reactor which will again be an epr but even in the past decade further advances in their design have happened and this will ensure okilu auto is at the forefront of nuclear energy production number 10 yangjiang nuclear power plant china with six cpr 1000 pressurized water reactors each of which produces up to a thousand megawatts the yangjiang nuclear power plant is currently the largest facility of its type in the whole of china the site where it was built in the country’s guangdong province was chosen for a nuclear power plant in 1988 and after 16 years of preparation the project was green lit in 2004 originally the plan was for the plant to have third generation reactors but by the time a final decision has been made these were too costly and unproven which is why the choice was made to install the generation 2 plus cpr 1000 reactors instead they had however undergone a number of upgrades in their design and this made them the most advanced ones using that technology that had ever been built at the time furthermore the fifth reactor became the first to use a Chinese design digital control system and following the fukushima disaster the country invested heavily into ensuring the safety of newly built reactors construction on the plant finally

began in 2008 and the first reactors were connected to the grid in 2014 with the sixth coming online in 2019. while the construction time was quite quick yenjiang has been more than 20 years in the making at a cost of 10.2 billion dollars and it shows why it’s so important to understand domestic power consumption and plan well in advance if a nation hopes to use nuclear power to be a part of their strategy number nine beloyarsk power station russia the belveyers power station near the town of zarichni in the sphere lost oblast of russia it was the third nuclear facility built by the soviet union and was operational by 1964. at first featuring two supercritical water reactors which required a combined 117 tons of uranium a third was added in 1980 a fourth in 2014 and a fifth is planned to be online by 2030. while they’re not the most advanced reactors in the world the third fourth and fifth ones are of particular interest to the international scientific community because of the way they work currently researchers around the world are developing a new breed of reactors known as the fourth generation and one of the proposals for these use technology called sodium cooled fast neutron reactors and the two operating at bellow yars are the only ones in commercial operation anywhere while they themselves don’t classify as fourth generation the lessons learned from their construction and use are instrumental in progressing the technology so much so that japan is believed to have paid a billion dollars for the technical documentation of the bn 600 reactor which is the one that began in operation in 1980 number eight shin quarry nuclear

power plant south Korea in the small village of corey which itself is on the outskirts of south Korea’s second largest city busan is the cory nuclear power plant which is currently the largest operational nuclear power station in terms of output in the world the first reactor on the site began producing electricity in 1978 with a further three that came online in the 1980s but a further expansion began in 2006 that saw another four reactors added to the facility by 2019 that brought the total to eight with a total nameplate capacity of 7489 megawatts although never actually reaching that figure it’s the new four reactors that represent some of the latest designs and advances in technology the first two were generation two opr 1000 reactors while the second set of two were generation 3 apr 1400 reactors another two apr 1400s are also under construction at the site and expected to be operational by the late 2020s one of the biggest differences between these and earlier designs are the inbuilt safety precautions that make them far easier to shut down and contain if an emergency arises but they’re also far more efficient and require less fuel to produce more power the new reactors can for example produce more than double the power that was generated by the first one built at corey and that’s why corey 1 has now been closed for good with the process of fully decommissioning it

beginning in early 2022 number seven hong yong hey nuclear power plant china located in the town of donggang which is in the liaoning province of china a hongyoung hay nuclear power plant is a newly built facility that with its four generation two plus cpr 1000 reactors and one advanced acpr 1000 reactor has a nameplate capacity of 5305 megawatts with plans already underway to add to this it’s 65 miles to the north of dalian city a place which has expanded so much in recent decades that power consumption was becoming a real problem authorities realized the only way to get a hold of the situation was to build a nuclear facility that was dedicated to providing power to the city and after choosing a suitable location the work began in 2007 and the first two reactors were connected to the grid within just 6 years the rush for power is why the choice was made to install generation 2 reactors and it’s only the new ones that are currently being built there that incorporate extra safety features like a core catcher and double containment the long-term plan though is that once the plan starts producing more energy than is needed the earlier reactors can be shut down and upgraded which will result in one of the most advanced nuclear facilities in the country authorities point out that there’s no inherent risk in taking this approach especially as the plant is positioned in a place that has no history of earthquakes or extreme weather and the likelihood of issues with the reactor within the first 10 years of its operational life are incredibly remote number six zaporicia nuclear power plant ukraine ukraine is of course the country where the world’s worst nuclear power station disaster took place but with the reliance on nuclear power by the soviet union chernobyl wasn’t the only facility that was built there in the city of inerr hodar which is in the southeast of the country and on the coastline of the kakovka

reservoir is the zaporizia nuclear power plant which is currently the largest nuclear station in all of europe construction on the facility began in 1980 which was eight years after work on chernobyl began and in that time technology had advanced a huge amount and meant that zaporizia was fitted with an entirely different design of reactor it has six water water energetic reactors which have a combined output of up to 5700 megawatts and they were all completed by 1995. this plant alone produces almost half of ukraine’s energy that’s derived from nuclear power and is so important to the country’s needs that a program of upgrades has been underway for more than a decade so far this has seen units three and five shut down to modernize which not only extends their operational life but adds extra safety features and efficiencies that means they’re some of the most advanced pressurized light water reactors used in any power station number five gravlin nuclear power plant france france is one of the world leaders in terms of developing nuclear power technology and of all the facilities in the country the gravely nuclear power plant which is in the commune of gravelands in the northwest of the country is the largest it’s actually the biggest nuclear power plant in western europe with six pressurized water reactors that produce a combined total output of 5460 megawatts which is 5.9 percent of all energy produced in france with the reactors coming online in the 1980s the fifth and sixth were originally intended to be exported to iran but after the iranian revolution in 1979 the decision was made to install them at gravlin instead the designs were seen as so safe and reliable at the time that they formed the basis of the cpr-1000s designed by china and the technology is still replicated in much newer designs to this day one of the revolutionary aspects of the plant at gravlin though is how they use the cooling water that carries the heat away from their actors it is of course fully monitored to ensure it hasn’t been contaminated but is then channeled through an aquaculture facility where farmers breed european sea bass and gilt head breems which apparently grow significantly faster in that environment number four academic luminoso russia when you think of a nuclear power plant you’d likely imagine a huge sprawling facility that houses thousands of tons of sturdy concrete and superstructures to contain the radioactive material the last thing you’d expect is for one to be portable but as technology advances this is something that’s becoming achievable there’s already a mobile nuclear power station that’s in operation known as the academic lomanosov it’s a self-

propelled barge that was built in russia between 2007 and 2010 and it’s currently moored in the arctic port town of pivec where it provides heat and electricity this makes it the northernmost nuclear facility in the world and it’s turned the fortunes of the town around built at an estimated cost of 700 million dollars the vessel is 470 feet long 98 feet wide and 33 feet tall with a crew of 69 people the barge has two modified klt40s nuclear reactors that can produce up to 70 megawatts of electricity these reactors are of course significantly smaller than those in large power stations and are much more like the ones used on nuclear submarines and warships but it’s an ingenious way to use the technology to benefit communities where a full power station isn’t feasible with other companies also exploring the idea of portable reactors this could well be a glimpse of the future of nuclear power number three hanol nuclear power plant south korea originally known as the uljin power plant but recently renamed the hanoi nuclear power plant the second largest nuclear facility in south korea has just completed two new third generation reactors that are some of the most advanced on the planet the first one online in 1988 and the six opr 1000 reactors were all completed by 2005 but it’s the new four that are being built there that are of the most interest they are apr 1400 reactors which are also known as korean next generation reactors and each one has an expected power output of 1340 megawatts expected to cost about 6 billion each they use south korean designed components in all of their critical systems which allows them to fully control every aspect of operation the first of these new reactors is expected to be online within the next year and all four by the middle of the decade when this is done the facility will be one of the largest in the world and will give south korea complete energy autonomy number two wu-way reactor china what we refer to as nuclear power can actually mean one of many different ways of using radioactive material to generate heat most facilities around the world use thermal neutron reactors but researchers are looking at the potential for completely different methods one that’s been believed to be viable for a long time is the idea of what’s known as a molten salt reactor these use a molten salt mixture as both the nuclear reactor coolant and the fuel and are expected to be much safer than other designs because the fuel is already in a molten state in the event of a meltdown this mixture can simply be drained away from the core where it will solidify and this eliminates the risk of a hydrogen explosion which is what caused the disaster at fukushima in 2011. this technology however is expensive and unproven despite two small reactors being built in the 50s and 60s this is all about to change though because china has begun to build a new generation of molten salt reactor which actually uses thorium instead of uranium their test device is

already operational in a way studies are being carried out to understand the potential energy yield and to ensure there are no unexpected side effects in the process and if all goes well the first commercial power plant using this method could be operational by 2030. number one iter france currently all nuclear energy produced on our planet is nuclear fission which is the process by which a large atomic nucleus is split into smaller ones and the energy that’s produced as a result is harnessed there is another way though called nuclear fusion and that’s how energy is formed at the core of the sun it is seen as the holy grail of energy production because of how efficient it is and the fact it doesn’t produce any nasty byproducts and there’s a mega project underway to try to make it a reality itter which stands for the international thermonuclear experimental reactor is a collaborative project between 13 nations including the usa the eu the uk japan india canada and thailand and is currently building an experimental reactor in france at a cost of up to 65 billion dollars it’s the biggest scientific project since the international space station and the large hadron collider and will attempt to prove that it’s possible to trigger nuclear fusion in small bursts it will be by far the most advanced nuclear facility to have ever been built and while it won’t produce electricity it’s seen as a proof of concept that will lead to the development of the full-scale nuclear fusion plant currently known as demo and planned to be built in the European union and operational by the early 2050s.