Following on from the devastating Tsunami, all eyes are now focused on the Fukushima nuclear power plant and the possibility of a nuclear meltdown. In our last post, we looked at earthquakes around the world. This week, we will analyse operational nuclear reactors.
We have analysed data from the World Nuclear Association covering all the reactors around the world. We have used Tableau in our analysis. To get the most of this insight click on the visualisation below to bring the data to life. Click on countries, multiple values and/or basically anything you find interesting and watch how the visualisations update automatically.
There are 439 reactors in the world, with the US, France and Japan with 104, 58, and 55 reactors respectively. Thirty countries are part of this elite club generating a total of 371 MWe. Again the US tops the league with 23% of the world’s total.
The majority of the reactors are over 20 years which is not very reassuring. The worldwide average is 26 years. The Netherlands has the oldest reactors (38 years on average), compared to US (31) and UK (29). China has the lowest average (newest reactors) with an average age of 9.
The most common design is a high proportion of Pressurized water reactors (PWR), 52% of the world’s total, followed by boiling water reactors (BWR) at 20%. The overheating reactors at Fukushima are a BWR ones built mid 70s.
The UK has 19 reactors, 11k MwE and 4.33% of the total world output. The majority of the UK reactors are advanced gas-cooled reactor with the exception of one PWR. I am no nuclear expert but it gives me reassurance that they are different than the ones in Japan. That said, they are only found in the UK so let’s hope that British Engineering is still at its best.
The 8.9-magnitude tremor struck in the afternoon local time on Friday off the coast of Honshu island at a depth of about 24km, 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo. It has shifted Japan’s cost line by 2.4m and reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 10cm. It was nearly 8,000 times stronger than last month’s quake in New Zealand that devastated the city of Christchurch, scientists. The tsunami was triggered by Japan’s biggest earthquake since records began.
We have analysed data from the US Geological Survey covering all earthquakes since 2009. We have used Tableau in our analysis. To get the most of this insight click on the visualisation below to bring the data to life. Click on years, multiple values and/or basically anything you find interesting and watch how the visualisations update automatically.
It is amazing how many earthquakes occur on a daily basis. Whilst most go unnoticed, the majority of the earthquakes average 4.75 in magnitude. The tectonics plates are very active and you can trace them on the map.
In the last 2.5 years, only 3 earthquakes above a magnitude of 8 hit and these were in Samoa, off Chile, and Japan. In the same period, we’ve had seven earthquakes in the UK (2 this year) averaging 3.4 and a maximum of 3.7.
The Fix Islands have recorded the highest number of quakes since 2009, a whopping 2,971 with average magnitude of 3.04 and a maximum of 6.7.
We wish Japan a speedy recovery and all other communities impacted by earthquakes.