The World Nuclear Industry Status Report was launched on July 10, 2013 in Brussels.
Two years after Fukushima, global nuclear power generation continues to decline. If it were not for the World Nuclear Industry Status Report we probably would not know. This is because the nuclear industry is working hard to have us believe quite the opposite: that the world is seeing a nuclear renaissance. This is especially true in the US, where operating reactors are being closed for being uneconomic for the first time in 15 years.
And yet, in his Foreword to the report, Peter Bradford from the Vermont Law School writes that “nuclear power requires obedience, not transparency”. Necessary regulations and stakeholder obedience are essential to any nuclear power policy. Yet if policy makers, pressure groups and the interested public have limited access to transparent information, how can they engage on the issue and make adequate decisions?
This is where the significance of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report comes in:
It bundles and makes available generally accepted data;
It provides a vital reality check to the current situation of the global nuclear industry as well as identifying important nuclear trends;
Over the years, the report has made a name for itself as an independent and accurate reference point to many popular media outlets the world over;
The report is so successful because it focuses primarily on the economics and financial aspects of nuclear power rather than its environmental impacts.
The economics of nuclear power are very grim. Germany is phasing out its nuclear power by the year 2022 and replacing much of it with renewable energy. But Germany is not alone: in its chapter “Nuclear Power vs. Renewable Energy” the report points to renewable energy as a valuable energy replacement to nuclear power and fossil fuels. Here, Mycle Schneider and Antony Foggatt point out that China, Japan and Germany – three of the world’s four largest economies – are following this trend and generated more electricity from renewable energy sources than from nuclear in 2012.
In a sense, Germany’s energy transition has received much of its boost through the political decision to phase out nuclear power. Not only does this policy offer the best planning security for investors but it also eliminates significant barriers to innovation when it comes to other generating options and energy efficiency measures. It is a model worth considering for other countries.
Visit www.WorldNuclearReport.org to read the report.
Table of contents
Executive Summary and Conclusions 6
General Overview Worldwide 11
Potential Newcomer Countries 25
Construction Times 33
Construction Times of Past and Currently Operating Reactors 33
Construction Times and Costs of Reactors Currently Under Construction 34
The Economics of Nuclear Power – An Update 34
The Characteristics of Nuclear Economics 35
The U.S. Nuclear Power Program 37
The U.K. Nuclear Program 41
European Union Policy 45
The Chinese Program 46
Olkiluoto and Flamanville 48
Conclusions on Nuclear Economics 51
Financial Markets and Nuclear Power 52
Fukushima – A Status Report 61
Characteristics of the Fukushima Disaster 61
Off-site Challenges: Evacuation, Decontamination 62
Current Status of Fukushima Daiichi 1–4 64
Wave or Shake? 66
On-site Challenges: Water, Waste, Radiation 68
Summary and Prospects 71
Nuclear Power vs. Renewable Energy 73
Installed Capacity 75
Electricity Generation 76
Annex 1. Overview by Region and Country 85
The Americas 87
European Union (EU27) and Switzerland 106
Former Soviet Union 122
Annex 2: Reactor Construction Times 2003-2013 127
Annex 3: Definition of Credit Rating by the Main Agencies 128
Annex 4: About the Authors 129
Annex 5: Abbreviations 131
Annex 6. Status of Nuclear Power in the World (1 July 2013) 135
Annex 7. Nuclear Reactors in the World Listed as “Under Construction” (1 July 2013) 136