The 10 Biggest Nuclear Reactors



  • Net Capacity: 6,700 megawatts
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
  • Number of Reactors: 8
  • Output (2012): 35,626.92 gigawatt-hours

Bruce's Unit 3, which started operating in 1978, holds the distinction of being the oldest reactor in operation among the 10 nuclear facilities on this list [source: IAEA PRIS]. Located on the shores of Lake Huron, Bruce Power Generating Station (BPGS) supplies nearly 40 percent of Canada's nuclear power, which meets 6 percent of Canada's total electrical power needs [source: IAEA PRIS]. Every fifth hospital, home and school in Ontario could be powered by electricity produced in the massive plant [source: Power Technology].

The Bruce site is the largest nuclear power station in North America, and when all eight reactors are running, as they were in 2013, one of the biggest in the world. In 2013, it boasted a net capacity of 6,700 megawatts.

Units 1 and 2 were recently refurbished. Part of that massive project involved the installation of predictive analytic software, called SmartSignal, into the facility's operational network. SmartSignal is designed to optimize performance and maintenance of the reactors and detect equipment and process failures early on.