Australian news, and some related international items

Key findings of the World nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR2015)

Nuclear Fades as Renewables Dominate Race to Decarbonize Electricity London, 15 July 2015. In the run-up to the vital Paris Climate Summit in December, new research shows that compared to base year 1997 when the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change was signed, in 2014 solar power added 26 percent more electricity to the global grid than nuclear power, while wind outpaced nuclear by a factor of five over the same comparison.

This is one of the key findings of the 2015-Edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR2015), released during a launch event at the UK House of Commons by a team of independent experts coordinated by Paris-based international energy and nuclear policy consultant Mycle Schneider. Presentations were also given by the other WNISR lead author Antony Froggatt, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London and contributing author Steve Thomas, Professor for Energy Policy at Greenwich University.

Convening lead author Mycle Schneider declared: “The gap between the perception of the nuclear sector by decision-makers, the media and the public and the general declining trend as well as the deep crisis that threatens the very existence of some of the largest players is puzzling. A thorough reality check is urgently needed, especially in countries like the U.K., where new nuclear investments—like Hinkley Point C—with huge public subsidies are still on the table.” Lead author Antony Froggatt added: “In this crucial year for a global climate change deal, political leaders need to assess their support  to technologies  such as solar and wind, where costs are falling quickly and deployment rates are escalating.  As investing in new nuclear has shown to be slow and increasingly expensive.”

Key Insights in Brief

• Japan without nuclear power for a full calendar year for the first time since the first commercial nuclear power plant started up in the country 50 years ago.
• Nuclear plant construction starts plunge from fifteen in 2010 to three in 2014.
• 62 reactors under construction—five fewer than a year ago—of which at least three-quarters delayed. In 10 of the 14 building countries all projects are delayed, often by years. Five units have been listed as “under construction” for over 30 years.
• Share of nuclear power in global electricity mix stable at less than 11% for a third year in a row.
• AREVA, technically bankrupt, downgraded to “junk” by Standard & Poor’s, sees its share value plunge to a new historic low on 9 July 2015—a value loss of 90 percent since 2007
• China, Germany, Japan—three of the world’s four largest economies—plus Brazil, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Spain, now all generate more electricity from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear power. These eight countries represent more than three billion people or 45 percent of the world’s population.
• In the UK, electricity output from renewable sources, including hydropower, overtook the output from nuclear.


July 17, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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