Denis Iurchak has taken a close look at nuclear decommissioning. Globally, 447 nuclear reactors are in operation as of January 2020. Of those, nearly 70% are older than 30 years (25% are older than 40 years). The IEA says around 200 commercial reactors are to be shut down in the next two decades. On top of that, 182 reactors are already in permanent shutdown. This means that between 200 and 400 reactors are likely to be decommissioned by 2040, explains Iurchak. In this article he summarises his paper that looks at the growing industry of decommissioning. Iurchak first runs through the numbers, and the regions – Europe, North America, North East Asia – where it’s taking place. The backdrop is those ageing fleets and the nuclear phase-out policies of countries around the world. He then explains that because only 21 reactors have been decommissioned worldwide (as of 2018) there is little historical data to help estimate costs. The range is $0.83m to $1.28m per MWe for smaller reactors (500-600 MWe), and from $0.21m to $0.59m per MWe for reactors around 1100 MWe. Iurchak ends by naming the consortiums and companies that are lining up to take hold of this business opportunity.
Energy Post 11th Feb 2020 read more »