The nuclear industry is celebrating breaking records that have stood for a quarter of a century—but a new update on its successes still fails to disperse the clouds over its future. Ten new nuclear reactors came on line last year worldwide and more new reactors are being built than at any time since 1990. According to the report by the World Nuclear Association (WNA), there were 66 power reactors under construction across the world last year and another 158 planned. Of those being built, 24 were in mainland China. In what it promises will be an annual update of the industry’s “progress,” the WNA presents a rosy picture of the future of the industry, which it hopes will produce ever-increasing amounts of the world’s power. Aside from new build, there is great emphasis in the report on the continued operation of nuclear power stations well beyond their original design life. It says that, in many cases, there is no reason why, with regular refurbishment, many nuclear reactors could not continue in service permanently. In many cases, it says, it would be cheaper to refurbish an existing station than to build a new one.
Ecowatch 5th July 2016 read more »