Letter Prof Amory B Lovins: New nuclear reactors have no business case, even if not of the ill-starred French variety. Yet you repeat the nuclear industry’s myth that ascribes its slow death instead to Jane Fonda’s 1979 film The China Syndrome and the Three Mile Island accident of March 28 1979. Three months earlier, on Christmas Day 1978, Business Week’s scathing 10-page cover story described how nuclear power’s US sales had collapsed – and it faced in Europe and Japan “the most serious crisis in its 30-year history” – for lack of a market. US orders had plummeted from 41 in 1973 to zero in 1978; 40 per cent of their cancellations occurred before 1979, leaving many others teetering on the brink and cancelled soon thereafter. Similarly, orders in the past decade so dwindled that global nuclear capacity shrank in two of the three years before the Fukushima disaster. The nuclear industry blames Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima for scaring off the public. But capital markets had already fled to better returns and lower risks in renewable competitors that got $380bn of investment last year (more than 10 times nuclear’s), produce more electricity, and enjoy public enthusiasm. Any remaining pockets of nuclear enthusiasm rely on theology not economics and on conscripted not voluntary investment.
FT 22nd March 2016 read more »
UK legislation aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions is likely to have committed the country to a large expansion of nuclear power, according to a new book on nuclear power, writes Stephen Tarlton. Successive UK governments over the last decade have been implementing measures to ensure that the country is, as the UK Nuclear Industry Association puts it, “one of the most desirable worldwide markets in which to develop new nuclear power”. Getting to this point has been arduous and, with no nuclear concrete poured this century despite credible plans for around 18 GWe of new build, there is clearly still much to be done.
World Nuclear News 21st March 2016 read more »