“The nuclear species is going extinct” Mycle Schneider, lead author, World Nuclear Industry Status Report, September 12, 2017. The “nuclear renaissance” that we have long waited for is falling short. In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the number of new projects has drastically dropped. Among other things, they’ve been plagued by huge cost overruns, lower cost competitors, public fear, an aging workforce, rare required materials, and often unmanageable waste problems. According to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, the number of construction starts of nuclear reactors worldwide has sunk from a high of 15 in 2010, to 10 in 2013, to 8 in 2015, to 3 in 2016, and to just 1 in the first half of 2017. And most tellingly, premature nuclear shutdowns are occurring in even the richest nations. Nuclear power has been doomed by cost escalation, while gas, efficiency, and renewables continue to get cheaper. And subsidizing nuclear plants isn’t popular in the states where ratepayers would have to foot the bill. Simply put, political intervention in the U.S. electric power system distorts the market and is bad energy policy.
Forbes 29th Sept 2017 read more »