Dienstag, 26. Mai 2009

Nuclear Power

Much has been made of the apparent renaissance of nuclear power.

According to the FT, 388 new reactors are currently being planned or proposed, as compared to 436 reactors currently in operation.

However, once you look at the number of reactors actually under construction, things look decidedly less impressive: There are only 45, half of which in two countries (Russia and China).

The US, in particular, currently doesn't even have a single new project with a full construction and operation licence, and there's only one project with "permission to break ground" (but no full licence expected until 2011).

According to the Daily Mail, the British government just announced 11 potential sites for new reactors. But no investment decision will be made before 2011, and the first new reactor may come on stream in 2017 at the earliest. If the British government decides to provide massive subsidies, that is, because the industry argues that it won't be interested in building any new reactors without such subsidies.

And while China is building or planning more than 20 new reactors, this will apparently only increase the proportion of nuclear-generated energy from 2 % now to 3-4 % by 2020. Not exactly what you'd call a "major breakthrough".


  1. 45 seems a litle bit too much.Probably it conatin many "frozen" ,half finsihed reactor,which is like this since the end of the 80's.

  2. If the number is even less than 45, and considering that it takes many years to complete a reactor, how can there be any "renaissance" of nuclear power? Considering that some of the old reactors will be decommissioned, total worldwide nuclear capacity will barely grow over the next 5-10 years.

  3. On the top the world was able to produce more than 30 reactor in each year.
    We still need high oil price,and a few finsihed reacotr to see a real renaissance.