04.10.2017_No198 / News in Brief

IAEA Warns Of Slowdown In Nuclear Expansion

Plans & Construction

Construction in September 2017 of the Hongyanghe-6 nuclear plant in China. Photo courtesy SNPTC.

4 Oct (NucNet): Nuclear power’s global potential up to 2050 remains high, although its expansion is expected to slow in coming years, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. In documents released on 4 October 2017 the agency said the high projections for future nuclear electrical generating capacity indicate an increase from 2016 levels by 42% in 2030, by 83% in 2040 and by 123% in 2050. However, the low projections indicate a decline in capacity by 12% in 2030 and 15% in 2040, before rebounding to present levels by 2050. The low case assumes that current market, technology and resource trends continue and there are few additional changes in laws and policies affecting nuclear power, the IAEA said. The high case projections are much more ambitious, but are still plausible and technically feasible. The high case assumes that current rates of economic and electricity consumption growth will continue, particularly in the eastern Asia region. Over the short term, the low price of natural gas and the impact of subsidised intermittent renewable energy sources on electricity prices are expected to continue to affect nuclear growth prospects in some regions. Financial uncertainty and declining electricity consumption in some regions continue to present challenges for capital intensive projects such as nuclear power. Heightened safety requirements, challenges in deploying advanced technologies and other factors have increased construction times and costs, contributing to delays. There were 448 operational nuclear power reactors in the world at the end of 2016, with a total net installed power capacity of 391 GW, the IAEA said. An additional 61 units with a total capacity of 61 GW were under construction in 2016. Details online: http://bit.ly/2xgnuFS

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