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What the world is doing with nuclear power

At the end of 1979 there were 229 nuclear power units in commercial operation in 22 nations, reports Nuclear News in its February issue. In the last year 19 new units began commercial operation, increasing present world nuclear capacity to nearly 125,000 megawatts electrical (MWe).

Other statistics compiled by Nuclear News in a semiannual survey include:

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* The 19 units that began commercial operation in 1979 represent 15,925 MWe of added capacity.

* During 1980, 39 new units and 30,695 MWe of capacity are expected to begin commercial operation.

* As of the end of 1979, there were 530 units and 405,768 MWe in operation, under construction, or on order. For the United States:

* Seventy-one units and 51,169 MWe were in commercial operation as of Dec. 31 , 1979.

* During 1979 two units and 1,116 MWe began operation.

* In 1980 ten units and 10,317 MWe are expected to go into commercial operation.