5 Sep (NucNet): The number of nuclear reactors under construction has been steadily decreasing for the last five years and the annual increase in power generation by wind and solar sources has by far surpassed that of nuclear energy, a report says.
The ‘World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2018’ says nuclear’s share of the world’s power generation remained almost stable over the past five years at 10.3% in 2017, although there has been “a long-term declining trend” from an historic peak of about 17.5% in 1996. Nuclear power’s share of global commercial primary energy consumption has remained stable since 2014 at around 4.4 %.
Fifteen countries are building nuclear power plants, two more than in mid-2017, as newcomer countries Bangladesh and Turkey started building their first units. As of 1 July 2018, 50 reactors were under construction – 18 fewer than in 2013 – of which 16 were in China. Total capacity under construction is 48.5 GW, according to the report.
In 2017, construction began on five reactors and in the first half of 2018 on two. This compares to 15 construction starts in 2010 and 10 in 2013. Historic analysis shows that construction starts in the world peaked in 1976 at 44, the report says.
As of 1 July 2018, the 50 reactors being built have been under construction for an average of 6.5 years, many of which are still far from completion, the report says.
The report notes that the development of the world’s nuclear industry faces economic, environmental, and safety concerns including the sourcing of funds, the attainability of uranium resources, the processing of nuclear waste, public opinion and the aging of nuclear facilities and professional staff.
It says nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island-2 in the US, Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, and Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan have all “undoubtedly contributed to strong currents of anti-nuclear sentiment throughout the world”.
The report is online: https://bit.ly/2Q5vhRi