The reduced power consumption has led to operators curtailing their plants or optimising plant outputs to match market demand. This trend is being witnessed in the nuclear power generation market. In the UK, the National Grid asked EDF to reduce power output from the Sizewell B reactor to help balance the grid. According to the World Nuclear Association, a drop in 10% to 20% in electricity generation is expected as various factors are expected to impact nuclear power generation. Furthermore, country-level quarantine requirements are creating workforce challenges, which is impacting every aspect of the nuclear energy value chain from mining to waste disposal and plant decommissioning. Several under-construction projects across the world have been impacted by the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic. EDF and Rosatom, among other developers, have reported a slowdown in construction and potential disruptions to schedules for several projects. The market for nuclear remains relatively strong, despite the waning interests in developed markets. New markets such as Bangladesh, Belarus, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are emerging, who have plants under various stages of construction. The construction process is protracted and labour-intensive, requiring the participation of specialists from across the world, which is proving to be a challenge in the current scenario. Pre-Covid, the annual installed capacity was estimated to be 3.7GW in 2020 but the emergence of Covid-19 and its subsequent impact on the sector is expected to delay construction and commissioning proceedings, and as a result, post-Covid, the annual installed capacity is estimated to be 3GW.
Power Technology 16th June 2020 read more »