As countries and companies push to counter climate change, nuclear-power firms—key providers of low-carbon energy—are struggling to survive. Shares of Électricité de France SA EDF -0.13% —the world’s largest nuclear-power producer—have shed nearly a third of their value this year. EDF, which operates 73 nuclear reactors around the globe, is wrestling with heavy debt and spiraling upkeep costs, and has recently delayed new projects. In the U.S., nuclear-reactor designer Westinghouse Electric Co. and utilities company FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. have emerged from chapter 11 status over the past year, after struggling with plant construction and battling to compete with declining natural-gas and renewable-energy prices, respectively. Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management bought Westinghouse from Toshiba Corp. early last year. Deadly accidents such as the ones at Chernobyl and Fukushima remain etched in the public memory, provoking fears of future disaster. “Those accidents all had consequences but they were by far not the worst case scenario,” said Sean Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany. “You don’t have the risk of destroying human society with wind or solar and if the economics don’t add up why would you take that risk?”
Wall St Journal 9th Dec 2019 read more »
Between all of the politicking and business as usual, there is also the issue of division between those energy experts that believe the world can run on 100% renewable energy and those who think that the reality is more complex and will require a more diverse energy mix. And then there are the ultra-divided camps of pro- versus anti-nuclear proponents. Nuclear power is a divisive issue for a number of reasons. It’s an extremely efficient fuel source with absolutely zero carbon emissions, but neither is it a clean energy, thanks to the residual radioactive waste created by the process that stays radioactive for millions of years and costs exorbitant amounts of money to store and maintain. It is also a hard sell for both politicians and constituents alike due to a widespread mistrust of the safety of nuclear energy in the wake of high-profile disasters like Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island.
Oil Price 9th Dec 2019 read more »