Building a new nuclear power plant is challenging. Nuclear construction projects always seem to be behind schedule and over budget. Even in the late 1960s and early 1970s—arguably nuclear power’s heyday—when plants were being planned all over the U.S. and government regulations were still nascent, projects were difficult to finish. According to one report, 253 reactors were ordered in the U.S. from 1953 to 2008, but almost half were never completed, being either canceled or abandoned after significant investments were made. Delays and cost overruns are not isolated to U.S. projects; poor results can be found in nearly every country that has ever pursued nuclear power as part of its energy mix. Numerous studies have been done over the years in an attempt to understand the problems and resolve the issues, but new units have still found themselves behind schedule and over budget. Vogtle Units 3 and 4 in the U.S., Flamanville 3 in France, and Olkiluoto 3 in Finland are current-day examples, among others.
Power Mag 2nd Aug 2020 read more »
Darren Walsh, head of power and Simon Naylor, an associate at law firm DWF write for Environment Journal about the future of nuclear power amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The influence of the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to leave a lasting impact on the future of energy production, distribution and usage. Reduced global power consumption due to worldwide lockdown has been one of the short-term effects of the pandemic. However, long-term demand for electricity is not likely to diminish and governments (and their electorates) will be no less keen to ensure that their energy systems are reliable and more resilient than ever to future disruptions. So what is the future for nuclear power? According to the IEA, the largest low-carbon source of electricity in Europe, North America and, soon to be, Japan is nuclear power and nuclear undoubtedly plays a major role in ensuring secure supplies of energy in many economies. Nuclear power should be seen as part of any country’s energy mix; along with other sources of low carbon energy generation.
Environment Journal 10th Aug 2020 read more »