Australian news, and some related international items

Global Nuclear Industry acknowledges that it is fighting for survival

NUCLEAR-INDUSTRY-FIGHTS-ONNEA head highlights challenges facing nuclear power  World Nuclear News 11 May 2016 William D. Magwood, IV, director general of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), highlighted some of the issues hindering the prospects of nuclear power at a two-day conference that started today at the organisation’s headquarters in Paris…….

“My life will not rise or fall on whether there’s a lot of new nuclear power plants being built or a few. What I think is important is that the choice is there. But I see issues preventing this,” Magwood told delegates at the conference titled Nuclear Energy’s Role in the 21st Century: Addressing the Challenge of Financing. The event was jointly organised by the NEA and the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC).

The IFNEC is a forum of states and organisations that share the common vision of the safe and secure development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes worldwide.

The conference has convened leading stakeholders from energy planning authorities, regulators and export credit agencies, as well as vendors, utilities, bankers, rating agencies and insurers, to identify key barriers and develop approaches to address the financing of nuclear projects.

Magwood told them: “I am ready to stand here today and declare that the markets are broken; they don’t work and don’t do what they are supposed to do. The time has come to recognise that we have a situation where large utilities are losing money and are almost on the verge of bankruptcy. When you have a situation in many markets where the only things that can be built are things that are subsidised, then we have a serious problem…….

he “big numbers” given for the cost of nuclear power plant projects often incorporate more than just the cost of building the reactor, he said, and might also include infrastructure costs and transmission assets…….

Cost and budget overruns at Olkiluoto 3 in Finland cannot be described as typical. “……..

A challenge with small modular reactors will be the need to sell “dozens, scores if not hundreds to make it work”, he said. “And if you’re selling them to more than one country, are you going to have to go through the entire regulatory process every time you go to a country. If you do that, you may end up making them uneconomic just by the fact that you have to spend huge amounts of money to get the licence.”……

“In the flux of great change, it can be difficult to finance even modest projects. Nuclear power plants are not modest projects; with total costs ranging from about €6 billion to €12 billion and total project implantation times reaching up to a decade, building a nuclear power plant is one of the most complex of all industrial sector undertakings. Therefore, as one might expect, financing nuclear power plants can often present significant challenges.”

May 13, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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