Nuclear Lobby Doesn’t Tell How Much Nuclear Generated Last Year

The good news for Australian Fossil Nukes like the one I discussed yesterday is that nuclear didn’t decline at all in Australia last year.

That is of course caused by the fact that it is completely illegal there in the first place, and there is no way to further decline from zero.

I recall that Barry Brook, the most prominent Australian Fossil Nuke, expects that small amounts of low carbon nuclear energy may be expected there as early as 2030. As mentioned earlier, until such time he and his friends will try to stand in the way of renewable energy, making climate change worse in the process, if anybody listens to them.

While it is easy to find out how much nuclear declined in Australia, it is surprisingly difficult to find out what happened world wide.

Of course for Germany one look at the latest numbers from Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen shows that nuclear is down to 99.5 TWh in 2012, from 108.0 in 2011, for a decline of around 7.9%. In the same year 2012, solar production was up 44% in Germany.

Where would one expect to find data on World nuclear generation in 2012?

The first candidate would be the World Nuclear Association. Their relevant page titled “Nuclear Power in the World Today” was last updated in April 2012, but actually only shows data from 2010 and 2008, conveniently hiding the substantial decline in 2011.

No luck for anyone interested in finding data there about “nuclear today”, I guess.

Next up is the “Nuclear Energy Institute”, describing itself as “the policy organization for the nuclear industry”. Sure they would have data on something so basic as production in 2012.

Again, no such luck. Their page only shows data until 2011.

The same is true of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They also either don’t know or don’t tell about 2012, their data set ending with 2011.

In contrast, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report site came up right on January first with a summary for 2012, which doesn’t show generation numbers, but gives an overview describing the how many new units were connected to the grid (three) and how many old ones were retired (four).

For the longer term picture on the decline of nuclear I still recommend their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012.


Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

10 thoughts on “Nuclear Lobby Doesn’t Tell How Much Nuclear Generated Last Year

    1. For one, there is some data available for 2012, though it is on capacity improvements. One could probably estimate generation by extrapolating from 2011 generation data.

      Solar passing 100 GW world wide:

      Wind: Solid Growth in 2012

      Note that I was not comparing in my post above. But if one wanted to compare nuclear and renewable data reporting, the biggest difference relevant for reporting is that there were only 430 operating reactors at the end of 2012 (including 42 now quietly gathering dust in Japan because they can’t be restarted after regular maintenance).

      How hard can it be for the industry lobby to aggregate the production data for those 430 reactors? In contrast, how many millions of installations do you need to report on for wind and solar?


  1. Completely illegal ? For power generation maybe but let’s not forget that there are running nuclear reactors in Australia. Has been for years.


  2. We still don’t have the production numbers, but the capacity was up by 3.7 GW.


    If that surprises you, consider that almost all reactors shut down in 2012 were very old with small capacity, and the new one are much bigger.

    However as production was strongly reduced in both Germany and Japan, and actually year to year random variation made 2012 not one of the best year in France, the total production obviously will be down.
    That negative effect however will stop for 2013.

    I’d like to remember that’s fully due to unjustified radiation fear : the latest WHO data is that a one year old girl whose parent had left outdoor at Iitate so she gets as much iodine exposure as possible, when almost 50% of the tested kids from the area actually had none detectable at all, would have seen her lifespan 99% curable thyroid cancer risk grow from 0.77% to 1.3%. Materially, the increased health risk from the kids in Fukushima prefecture who don’t go outdoor anymore and the resulting rising obesity level is higher. And in Germany, the health risk of coal and lignite is also higher.

    However whilst we’re at least, it should be said that increased study will reveal many thyroid cancers that would never have any consequence, and would never have been detected otherwise. The following systematic study in Finland shows that Thyroid cancer might be hugely more frequent that usually thought because so many cases just go completely undetected :
    “Occult papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. A “normal” finding in finland. A systematic autopsy study”;2-3/abstract;jsessionid=5D6398909810005EA31A8CCB79DF237C.d03t01


    1. Thanks, I saw those reports as well at Twitter.

      The problem with them is that they count all the reactors switched off in Japan in 2012 as available capacity, which may be not quite realistic. Add reduced production in Germany and France and yes, 2012 may see a decline in production world wide.

      It may be open to debate what the reasons for that decline are. My point in this particular post is only that the nuclear industry lobby should be able to find out with a couple of phone calls about production at individual reactors and add those up close to real time. There are only 430 involved, and still much less operators, since many are owned by the same company. As mentioned in another comment above, how hard can it really be to find out?


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