The 10 Biggest Nuclear Reactors


1
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa
A photo of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant following a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, on July 17, 2007, in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, Japan
A photo of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant following a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, on July 17, 2007, in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, Japan
Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images
  • Net Capacity: 7,965 megawatts
  • Location: Niigata-Ken, Japan
  • Number of Reactors: 7
  • Output (2010): 24,626.913 gigawatt-hours

Japan's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors, which were completed in 1997, won't break any records for individual output, but the combined rated net capacity of its seven reactors is uncontested at 7,965 megawatts. That's enough nuclear power to provide nearly 3 percent of Japan's total electricity [source: World Nuclear Association].

In terms of energy output in 2010, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa drastically underachieved. Delivering 24,626.913 gigawatt-hours, the facility was the least productive power station on the list. However, the power plant has been recovering from the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck in July 2007. The earthquake caused extensive damage, including fires and radiation leaks, though many expected the damage to be much worse.

Following the disaster, most of the reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa remained offline as regulators inspected the facility. In 2010, only three of the seven reactors were operating at full capacity. As of August 2011, four reactors were in operation, while three were still undergoing regular inspection. With the Fukushima Daiichi closure, a fully operating Kashiwazaki-Kariwa will be a welcome power source for meeting Japan's electricity consumption.

For more information on nuclear reactors and nuclear power, look over the links on the following page.

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