Jim Green: Nuclear power went backwards last year with the permanent shutdown of nine power reactors and the startup (grid connection) of six. Startups were concentrated in Russia (three) and China (two), with one in South Korea. The shutdowns were spread across eight countries. Worse still for the industry – much worse – is the paucity of reactor construction starts. There were just three construction starts in 2019 (totaling 3.2 GW): one each in China and Russia, and Bushehr-2 in Iran which faces an uncertain future. No countries entered the nuclear power club in 2019 (construction starts or grid connections). The average age of the global reactor fleet passed 30 years in 2019. That’s an old fleet, increasingly prone to accidents, large and small; increasingly prone to extended outages and thus increasingly uncompetitive in electricity markets.
Renew Economy 11th Feb 2020 read more »