World Nuclear Industry Status Report
|Subject||Nuclear power industry|
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report is a yearly report that explores the global challenges facing the nuclear power industry. The reports show that the share of nuclear-generated electricity in the overall global energy production has decreased in the 2000s. Nuclear power now accounts for about 10 percent of the world’s electricity generation and 4.5 percent of the commercial primary energy.
The latest report, written by Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt with contributions of four other experts from Japan, the UK and France, says that the nuclear industry was struggling with grave problems prior to the Fukushima accident, but that the impact of the accident has become increasingly visible. Global electricity generation from nuclear plants dropped by a historic 7 percent in 2012, adding to the record drop of 4 percent in 2011.
The 427 operating reactors worldwide, as of 1 July 2013, are 17 lower than the peak in 2002. The nuclear share in the world’s power generation declined steadily from a historic peak of 17 percent in 1993 to about 10 percent in 2012. The report details a range of restart scenarios for Japan's nuclear reactor fleet which, as of September 2013, were all shutdown. Nuclear power’s share of global commercial primary energy production plunged to 4.5 percent, a level last seen in 1984.
Besides an extensive update on nuclear economics, the report also includes an assessment of the major challenges at the Fukushima nuclear site, in particular the highly contaminated water on site. This water contained in the basement of reactors and in storage tanks contains 2.5 times the total amount of cesium-137 released at the Chernobyl accident.
The report says that China, Germany and Japan, three of the world’s four largest economies, as well as India, now generate more power from renewables than from nuclear power. For the first time in 2012 China and India generated more power from wind alone than from nuclear plants, while in China solar electricity generation grew by 400 percent in one year.
According to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012, written by Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt, nuclear power accounted for 11 percent of worldwide electricity generation. World atomic power production dropped by a record 4.3 percent in 2011 as the global financial crisis and the Fukushima disaster in Japan prompted plant shutdowns and slowed construction of new sites. Seven reactors began operating in 2011 and 19 were shuttered.
The report shows that following the Fukushima crisis in March 2011, Germany, Switzerland and Taiwan announced their withdrawal from nuclear power. Output was further restricted as nations suspended construction plans amid safety concerns and economic stagnation, forcing utilities to study extending lifetimes, which raises considerable safety issues.
At least five countries, including Egypt, Italy and Kuwait, have suspended plans to build their first nuclear reactors. In the U.K., major companies like RWE, EON, and SSE have all abandoned new-build proposals in 2011/12, while companies in Japan and Bulgaria have suspended construction. The Fukushima disaster also created certification and licensing delays.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2010-2011 is authored by Mycle Schneider, Antony Froggatt, and Steve Thomas and published by the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute. The foreword is written by Amory Lovins.
According to the report, the international nuclear industry has been unable to stop the slow decline of nuclear energy. The world’s reactor fleet is aging quickly and not enough new units are coming online. As of April 1, 2011, there were 437 nuclear reactors operating in the world, which was seven fewer than in 2002. The Olkiluoto plant has had particular problems:
The flagship EPR project at Olkiluoto in Finland, managed by the largest nuclear builder in the world, AREVA NP, has turned into a financial fiasco. The project is four years behind schedule and at least 90 percent over budget, reaching a total cost estimate of €5.7 billion ($8.3 billion) or close to €3,500 ($5,000) per kilowatt.
The report says that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is exacerbating many of the problems that nuclear energy is facing. There is "no obvious sign that the international nuclear industry could eventually turn empirically evident downward trend into a promising future", and the Fukushima nuclear disaster is likely to accelerate the decline. With long lead times of 10 years and more, it will be difficult to maintain, let alone increase, the number of operating nuclear power plants over the next 20 years. Moreover, says the report, it is clear that nuclear power development cannot keep up with the pace of renewable energy commercialization. For the first time, in 2010 total installed nuclear power capacity in the world (375 gigawatts) fell behind aggregate installed capacity (381 GW) of three specific renewables — wind turbines (193 GW), biomass and waste-to-energy plants (65 GW), and solar power (43 GW).
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009 presents quantitative and qualitative information on the nuclear power plants in operation, under construction and in planning phases throughout the world. A detailed analyses of the economic performance of past and current nuclear projects is also given. The report was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2008 focused on the difficulties facing nuclear power throughout the world, with particular reference to Western Europe and Asia.
The first World Nuclear Industry Status Report was issued in 1992 in a joint publication with WISE-Paris, Greenpeace International and the World Watch Institute, Washington. The second report in 2004 was commissioned by the Greens-EFA Group in the European Parliament.
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- Nuclear energy policy
- Nuclear renaissance
- Nuclear power in France
- Nuclear power in China
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- Mycle Schneider, Antony Froggatt, and Steve Thomas (2011). "World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2010-2011: Nuclear Power in a Post-Fukushima World," (PDF). Worldwatch Institute. pp. 7–8.
- Mycle Schneider, Steve Thomas, Antony Froggatt, Doug Koplow (August 2009). The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009 , p. 5.
- Nuclear decline set to continue, says report Nuclear Engineering International, 27 August 2009.
- The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009
- "2008 world nuclear industry status report: Western Europe". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2014-01-24.
- The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2007
- Nuclear Energy: Report Shows Decline of Nuclear Industry
- Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt (September–October 2012). "2011-2012 world nuclear industry status report". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. pp. 8–22.
- Mycle Schneider, Antony Froggatt, and Steve Thomas (July 2011). "2010-2011 world nuclear industry status report". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
- Mycle Schneider, Steve Thomas, Antony Froggatt, and Doug Koplow. (November 2009, Vol. 65 No. 6). 2009 World Nuclear Industry Status Report Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, pp. 1–19.
- International Atomic Energy Agency (2012). "IAEA Updates Its Projections for Nuclear Power in 2030" 
- Worldwatch Institute (2011). The End of Nuclear.
- Mycle Schneider (9 September 2011). "Fukushima crisis: Can Japan be at the forefront of an authentic paradigm shift?". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.