By Firdevs Yüksel

ANKARA (AA) – The U.S. led the world in nuclear energy consumption during the year of 2018, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency on BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 report.

Global nuclear energy consumption stood at 611.3 million tons of oil equivalent in 2018, an increase of 2.4 from the 597.1 million tons of oil equivalent that was recorded in 2017, according to the data.

Nuclear energy consumption in the U.S., which has the largest nuclear fleet in the world, reached 192.2 million tons of oil equivalent, the report showed.

The country's share in global nuclear energy consumption in 2018 was 31.4%. The U.S. has been the top nuclear energy consumer in the world since 1971.

Last year, France held second place in global nuclear energy consumption with 93.5 million tons of oil equivalent. The country had 15.3% share in global nuclear energy consumption, while China was in third place with a share of 10.9%. The Asian country consumed 66.6 million tons of oil equivalent in 2018.

– Japan sees highest increase in consumption year-on-year

Japan, which consumed 66.2 million tons oil equivalent nuclear energy in 2010, gradually decreased the production of electricity from nuclear energy following the accident in Fukushima power plant in 2011.

However, as the country has gradually re-commissioned its nuclear power plants, after the suspension of its nuclear fleet for mandatory safety checks and upgrades, the share of nuclear energy in the country's electricity consumption has also increased in Japan since 2015.

Nuclear energy consumption in Japan saw a growth rate of 68.9% in 2018, consuming 11.1 million tons of oil equivalent. Japan became the country which increased its nuclear energy consumption the most in the world in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Switzerland showed an increase of 25.2% and Mexico 24.9% in the use of nuclear energy.

Taiwan also increased its nuclear energy use by 23.3% last year, while China took the fifth place rising nuclear energy consumption by 18.6% in 2018.

According to the report, in 2018 nuclear energy consumption decreased the most in Belgium. The European country reduced its nuclear energy consumption by 32.6% from 9.6 million to 6.4 million tons of oil equivalent.

South Africa with 29.6% and South Korea with 10.1% were the other countries that reduced nuclear energy consumption the most.