1. Kashiwazaki Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 7965 MW
The Kashiwazaki Nuclear Power Plant, located in Kariwa Village, Kashiwazaki City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, holds the top spot among the world’s largest nuclear power plants. It boasts an installed capacity of 7,965 megawatts, making it the power plant with the highest power generation capacity globally. The facility spans an expansive area of 4.2 square kilometers and comprises seven reactor units, two of which are advanced boiling water reactors. In 2011, the plant underwent thorough safety checks and equipment shutdowns following Japan’s most powerful earthquake, although it remained unaffected by the seismic event itself. The Kashiwazaki Nuclear Power Plant has garnered significant attention in global news due to its safety concerns.
2. Guri Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 7411 MW
The Guri Nuclear Power Plant, situated near Busan, South Korea, secures the second position in the list of the world’s largest nuclear power plants. Owned and operated by the subsidiary Korea Hydro Nuclear Power Corporation, this plant has been in operation since 1978. Over the years, six units have been added, resulting in a total of seven operating reactor units. These include small and medium-sized WH-60 and WH-F reactors, as well as larger OPR-1000 pressurized water reactors, generating power ranging from 640 MW to 1340 MW.
3. Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 6516 MW
Located in Dongping Town, Yangjiang City, Guangdong Province, China, the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant claims the title of the largest nuclear power plant in China. It features four CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors, each with a net capacity of 1,000 MW. The first reactor became operational in 2014, and the fourth reactor commenced operations in 2017. Furthermore, there are plans to expand the power plant with two additional reactors, each with a net output of 1,000 MW. As of June 29, 2019, the fifth and sixth reactors have been fully operational, pushing the total installed capacity of the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant to over 6,000 MW.
4. Bruce Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 6430 MW
The Bruce Nuclear Power Plant, located in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada, occupies the fourth position among the world’s largest nuclear power plants. Encompassing an area of 2,300 acres, it stands as the largest nuclear power plant in North America. The plant comprises eight reactors with a combined capacity of 6,430 megawatts. Constructed modularly by Ontario Hydro over a span of 17 years (1970-1987), the facility provided employment to over 4,000 individuals. The reactors at the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant employ uranium as fuel and use deuterium oxide to condition the core, ensuring safe control over the reactor’s power output.
5. Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 5928 MW
Situated in Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, the Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Plant ranks as the second-largest nuclear power plant in South Korea. It commenced operations in 1988 and currently operates six pressurized water reactors (PWR) with a net capacity ranging from 968 MW to 997 MW. The total installed capacity of the plant amounts to 5,928 MW. Construction is underway for two additional reactors utilizing APR-1400 technology, with plans for these units to become operational in 2022 at an estimated cost of approximately 7 trillion won.
6. Hanguang Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 5875 MW
The Hanguang Nuclear Power Plant, formerly known as Yongguang Nuclear Power Plant, holds the sixth position among the world’s nuclear power plants. Located in Jeollanam-do, South Korea, this plant currently stands as the third-largest nuclear power plant in the country. Operated by Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation, it consists of six pressurized water reactors. The first two reactors became operational in 1986, followed by additional reactors in 1994, 1995, 2001, and 2002. In 2012, two of the reactors experienced an eight-week shutdown due to issues related to counterfeit components used since 2003.
7. Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 5700 MW
The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, located in Ukraine, secures the seventh position among the global nuclear power plants. It stands as the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, featuring six VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors (PWR) manufactured in the Soviet Union. Each reactor has a generating capacity of 950 MW. Construction of the plant began in 1980, and the first unit commenced operations in 1985. The sixth reactor, which generates nearly half of Ukraine’s nuclear-derived electricity, was completed in 1996. In 2017, the entire plant underwent a significant retrofit, extending its operational lifespan by 10 years.
8. Gravelin Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 5460 MW
The Gravelin Nuclear Power Plant, situated in the Nord region of France, ranks eighth among the world’s nuclear power plants. Located approximately 20 kilometers from Calais, it stands as the second-largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The facility consists of six 910 MW reactors constructed in two phases, with the first batch built in 1980 and 1981, and the second in 1985. In 2010, it became the world’s first nuclear power plant to generate one terawatt-hour (TWh) of electricity. The plant has reported three minor nuclear emergencies on the INES scale since 2006.
9. Penly Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 5320 MW
Situated in the Normandy region of France, the Penly Nuclear Power Plant ranks as one of the largest nuclear power plants in Eastern Europe. Construction of the plant began in 1977, and the first and second units commenced operations in 1985, followed by the third and fourth units in the summer of the same year. The reactors employ water from the English Channel as a coolant. However, cooling-related challenges arose due to seasonal macroalgae interruptions. The Penly Nuclear Power Plant features four PWR-type nuclear reactors, each with a power output of 1,330 MW.
10. Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant
Installed capacity: 5200 MW
The Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant, located in the Cattenom Commune in the Lorraine region of France, takes the tenth spot in the global nuclear power plant ranking. Positioned 35 kilometers from Luxembourg and 40 kilometers from Metz, this plant’s construction commenced in 1979. It consists of four pressurized water reactors, which were built between 1979 and 1991, each generating 1,300 MW of power. The Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant is owned and operated by Électricité de France (EDF), one of the world’s largest utility and power companies. The facility employs 1,200 full-time workers, with an additional 1,000 workers during shutdown periods for maintenance.