Dan Yurman presents his worldwide review of nuclear’s prospects. 19 nations are covered. He explains while some countries are planning to scale down nuclear, like South Korea and France, some are increasing investment, like China. Others remain stuck over policy, pricing, financing and politics (e.g. Japan, the U.S.). Exporters of plants, led by Russia, are making moves – not always easily – in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. R&D continues, particularly in Small Nuclear Reactors (SMR) and their variants and technologies, like molten salt and high temperature gas. 50MW SMRs, and even 1.5MW compact fast reactors, may become the breakthrough technologies. As Yurman says, nuclear’s fortunes are a “bouncing ball”. So the European Parliament’s resolution that all technologies, including nuclear, are needed to combat climate change could help point towards more certainty. The U.K. is working on developing a new method of financing full size nuclear reactors calls the “regulated asset model.” The purpose of the model, which has been applied successfully on non-nuclear U.K. large infrastructure projects, offers the promise of reducing financial risk in building new nuclear power plants. To read how it would work check out this article posted at World Nuclear News (WNN) written by Ed Kee and colleagues. If the RAB model is implemented in the U.K., it could be adapted for use by other market economies. The RAB model might be instrumental in reviving the prospects for the Moorside, Wylfa, Newydd, and Oldbury NPPs all of which are stalled for lack of financing. The U.K.is also a hotbed of development of small modular reactors with multiple vendors seeking to establish a foothold there.
Energy Post 8th Jan 2020 read more »