Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The reality of nuclear power decline and falling uranium market

during the past 10 years, only about two-thirds of worldwide demand for nuclear fuel was met from resources obtained from mining. The remaining 20,000 tonnes came from so-called secondary uranium sources – mainly inventories held by utilities and governments, reprocessed nuclear fuel, and stockpiles of depleted uranium……………

The reality of nuclear energy is inconsistent with dreams of a renaissance. Nuclear energy is not on the rise – the hard facts point to a continuing, slow phase-out around the world   Michael Dittmar   guardian.co.uk,  16 August 2010

Repeatedly in recent years there have been calls for a revival of nuclear power. Yet that renaissance never seems to come.

Of the more than 200 countries in the world, only 30 use nuclear power. In July 2010, a total of 439 nuclear power plants with a net installed capacity of 373.038 gigawatts (GW) were connected to various national electricity grids, about 1.2GW more than at the beginning of 2006.

Roughly 16% of total energy needs (up to 25% in the highly industrialised countries) are now met by electric energy. Nuclear fission’s contribution to total electric energy has decreased from about 18% more than 10 years ago to about 14% in 2008. On a worldwide scale, nuclear energy is thus only a small component of the global energy mix, and its share, contrary to widespread belief, is not on the rise…………..

four reactors were de-commissioned during 2009, and a larger number of reactors in Japan and Germany are not in use, owing to various technical stoppages. At least 100 older and smaller reactors will most likely be closed over the next 10-15 years.

Furthermore, during the past 10 years, only about two-thirds of worldwide demand for nuclear fuel was met from resources obtained from mining. The remaining 20,000 tonnes came from so-called secondary uranium sources – mainly inventories held by utilities and governments, reprocessed nuclear fuel, and stockpiles of depleted uranium……………

The view that the amount of energy derived from nuclear power worldwide will continue its slow decrease during the coming years is further supported by the 2008 annual report of the Euratom Supply Agency, which coordinates the long-term uranium needs of nuclear power plants within the European Union. According to the agency’s forecast, uranium demand in Europe will fall from 21,747 tonnes in 2010 to roughly 16,000 tonnes by 2024.

These numbers indicate that the EU, currently producing about one-third of the world’s nuclear electric energy, is heading for a reduction in nuclear-energy production of up to 20% over the coming 10 years. One can also expect that the current worldwide economic crisis will not help to accelerate the construction of nuclear power plants and new uranium mines.

In summary, the hard facts about nuclear energy are inconsistent with the possibility of a worldwide renaissance of nuclear energy. Indeed, they point toward a continuing slow phase-out of nuclear energy in most of the large OECD countries.

The reality of nuclear energy is inconsistent with dreams of a renaissance | Michael Dittmar | Environment | guardian.co.uk

August 17, 2010 - Posted by | energy, uranium | , , ,

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