Nuclear power: a reactor is 1700 large wind turbines

QUESTION: What is the electrical power of a nuclear reactor in France and how much does it produce?

Réponse:The electrical power of a nuclear reactor installed in France is 0,850 GW or 1,350 GW. The future EPR reactors will be at 1,6 GW.

Explanations and comparisons with wind turbines

  • One GigaWatt corresponds to one billion Watts, i.e. 1 W = 000 kW = 000 MW
  • Your desktop pc consumes approximately 0,3 kW. 1 GW can therefore power 3 million computers. And a 1,3 GW reactor with nearly 4 million computers.
  • A 1,3 GW nuclear reactor will produce around 1,3 * 0.85 = 1105 GWh per year, or 11 TWh / year. 85% is the nuclear load factor.
  • The largest wind turbines make 5 MW, or 5000 kW, enough to power 16 computers when operating at rated power. It would take 667 of these turbines to get the power of a single nuclear reactor.
  • The most common wind turbines have a power of around 2000kW, it would take around 650 to be built to obtain the power of a 1,3 GW reactor… Assuming that they obviously run at nominal power all the time. However, this is not the case because on average a wind turbine runs only 1/5 of the time at its nominal power.
  • We are talking about a load factor of 20%. But a nuclear reactor does not run at full power all the time either: taking into account outages, it is accepted that the load factor of a nuclear reactor is 85% per year over its entire operation. So it would take around 650 / (20/85) = 2750 2 kW wind turbines to generate electricity from a single 000 GW nuclear reactor. This calculation makes it possible to fix orders of magnitude.
  • This demonstration is made to show that nuclear power produces a lot, a lot of energy! And the low price of fuel justifies the high construction and maintenance costs… and allows the nuclear risk to be tolerated!
  • The french nuclear power plants make 2 to 6 reactors.
Read also:  High technologies and unnecessary power consumption

- France map of reactors and nuclear power plants
- Forum nuclear energy
- Followed by the nuclear accident in Japan following the earthquake of March 11, 2011
- All your questions about nuclear energy to a nuclear specialist
- The efficiency of a nuclear power plant
- The nuclear and wind load factor: 1 nuclear reactor = 1700 wind turbines from 3 MW

1 comment on “Nuclear power: a reactor is 1700 large wind turbines”

  1. Where is the error?
    The park of 71 wind turbines in Fécamp (under construction) will provide 500 MW at a cost of €2 billion.
    A new generation EPR of 1660 MW has a cost of €7,6 billion.
    So it takes a little more than 3 parks (like that of Fécamp) or 235 wind turbines and not 1700 as you indicate, to equal the power of an EPR.
    On the other hand, we would save €1 billion and all that without the risks associated with nuclear power.

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