Map of world nuclear power plants. From the latest crisis over plans for Hinkley Point in the UK, to Friday’s fifth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster nuclear power plants are currently much in the news. To help provide a global overview of the nuclear power sector both today and throughout its history, Carbon Brief has produced this interactive map. It shows the location, operating status and generating capacity of all 667 reactors that have been built, or are under construction, around the world, ever since Russia’s tiny Obninsk plant became the first to supply power to the grid in 1954.
Carbon Brief 8th March 2016 read more »
In the modern era, nuclear power plants have almost always become more and more expensive over time. They have a “negative learning curve” — along with massive delays and cost overruns in market economies. This is confirmed both by recent studies and by the ongoing cost escalations of nuclear plants around the world, as I’ll detail in this post. The high and rising price of new nuclear power plants does not mean new nukes will play no role in the fight to avoid catastrophic warming, as I discussed in January. It does means that, barring a huge unprecedented and ahistorical price drop in next-generation nuclear plants, the role nuclear power plays will be a limited one — a very limited one in market economies especially if the industry can’t reverse decades of cost escalation. Certainly an R&D breakthrough is worth pursuing, but adding even more policies to specifically accelerate deployment of new nukes makes little sense at this point.
Climate Progress 8th March 2016 read more »