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Russia Leverages Its Nuclear Expertise in Africa

Russia Leverages Its Nuclear Expertise in Africa

Despite Western sanctions, Russia is…



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Will The World See A U-turn In Nuclear Energy?

  • Nuclear's share in total global power generation has dropped significantly since the 90s.
  • Continued resistance to new nuclear projects complicates a quick u-turn for many nuclear programs.
  • The number of nuclear programs in the world has plateaued for many decades.
Nuclear plant

The global energy crisis brought about by Russia's invasion of Ukraine has increased interest in alternative energy sources, including nuclear, around the world.

However, as Statista's Katharina Buchholz explains below, the age of nuclear infrastructure, the fact that the technology had entered a phase-out mode in many nations, and the continued resistance to new nuclear projects complicates a quick u-turn for many nuclear programs.

You will find more infographics at Statista

As seen in data by the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, most nuclear energy programs were started in the 1970s, a fact that reflects in the age of nuclear reactors today. Despite some nuclear programs having ended (and many more scheduled for phase-out), the number of nuclear programs in the world has plateaued for many decades as some nations still take up the technology, most recently the United Arab Emirates and Belarus in 2020. Poland at the end of October announced that it is looking to start using nuclear energy in 2033. Around that time, six other nuclear programs - among them the ones in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Spain - will be scheduled to have shut down, even though this could now be subject to change. Balancing out a dip in nuclear programs could be Italy, which is discussing taking up the technology again under its new right-wing government despite abandoning and even outlawing it after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. More u-turns are possible in Sweden and the Netherlands.

Some small steps towards nuclear extension are happening in countries known for die-hard opposition to nuclear energy, but they are facing the expected roadblocks. Germany recently extended the ability to use its remaining three reactors until April 2023 among a lively public debate. Originally, the country had planned to shut off all reactors by the end of this year. In Japan, which reduced the number of operating reactors significantly since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, some reactors are approaching 60 years of age - the former lifespan cap that the country might now do away with due to the current circumstances. In Belgium, where mean reactor age is above 40 years, a petition to postpone the September shut-off of one reactor failed, while the government extended the end-of-life of three others from 2023 to 2025 after the invasion of Ukraine and might even run some until 2035.

Despite the plateau in nuclear energy programs, the relative importance of the technology has still decreased as the capacity of other energy types outgrew nuclear. In 2021, the technology produced less than 10 percent of global electricity, down from a high of 17.4 percent in 1995 and 1996. Looking at all of the world's energy needs, not just electricity, nuclear contributed just 4.3 percent.

By Zerohedge.com


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  • Mamdouh Salameh on November 27 2022 said:
    Let me first correct the author of this article. The global energy crisis wasn’t brought about by the Ukraine conflict. It has started in January 2021, 14 months before the Ukraine conflict came on the scene and was brought about by faulty and hasty EU green policies aimed at accelerating energy transition to renewables at the expense of fossil fuels. The Ukraine conflict only exacerbated the crisis.

    And with the crisis expected to remain with us for many years to come and with the staggering prices of natural gas and coal and also with the inability of renewables on their own to satisfy a major share of global electricity demand, I can easily project a resurgence of nuclear energy in the years to come.

    The downturn in the fortunes of nuclear energy was sparked by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 and spread to Germany and other countries of the world. At the time of the disaster, Japan decided to shut off all its operating nuclear energy and Germany decided to decommission all its nuclear reactors with the last three plants shut off by the end of this year. But because of the worsening energy crisis, Germany has decided to extend the life of its remaining plants until April 2023 while Japan is expected to extend the lifespan of its plants beyond its 60-year cap. Meanwhile other countries are building new reactors.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • Mike Conley on November 27 2022 said:
    Might be different if the nuclear industry had taken pains to explain to the world that:

    1) No one will ever build a reactor like Chernobyl again. Like, never.

    2) The average downwind dose from TMI was less than a chest X-ray.

    3) No one died or was even seriously injured from radiation from Fukushima.

    4) In nearly 70 years, with 57 trillion kWh produced, there have been a grand total of 16 casualties in the entire history of American nuclear power, ten from non-nuclear construction accidents.

    5) there is megatonnes of recoverable uranium in sea water.
  • John Galt on November 29 2022 said:
    "Will The World See A U-turn In Nuclear Energy?"

    Not unless it drops in price by 66%.

Leave a comment

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