The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021 (WNISR2021) assesses on 409 pages the status and trends of the international nuclear industry, and contains several focus chapters, including a first assessment of Nuclear Power and Climate Change Resilience. A special Fukushima Status Report – 10 Years After provides an overview of ongoing onsite/offsite challenges, health impacts, judicial decisions, and cost estimates of the disaster. Chernobyl – 35 Years After the Disaster Began looks at advances in the cleanup and remaining challenges. For the first time, WNISR dedicates a chapter to the problem of Nuclear Power and Criminal Energy. Thirteen interdisciplinary experts from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Lebanon/U.S., Ukraine/U.S. and the U.K., from top think tanks like Chatham House in London and prestigious academic institutions like Harvard in Cambridge, Meiji in Tokyo, Nagasaki University, University of British Columbia, and Technical University in Berlin, have contributed to the report, along with a data engineer, numerous proofreaders, and two artistic designers. The foreword was provided by Naoto Kan, Member of Parliament, and former Prime Minister of Japan. Key conclusions of WNISR2021 include : In 2020, nuclear power generation plunged by un an unprecedented margin (>100 TWh), except for the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima events (2011–12), while operational nuclear capacity has reached a new peak in mid-2021. More capacity, less output. Non-hydro renewables—mainly wind, solar and biomass—out-performed nuclear plants in electricity generation on a global scale. Hydro alone has been generating more power than nuclear for most of the past three decades. For the first time, non-hydro renewables generated more power in the European Union than nuclear, and renewables including hydro generated more power than all fossil fuels combined.
WNISR 28th Sept 2021 read more »
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021 (WNISR) was released overnight. For nearly 30 years, these reports have provided important factual antidotes to industry promotion and obfuscation. This year’s report is the work of 13 interdisciplinary experts from across the world. Naoto Kan, Japan’s Prime Minister at the time of the Fukushima disaster, writes in the foreword: “As Prime Minister of Japan at the time of the disaster, I now believe that the time has come for Japan and the world to end its reliance on nuclear power.” In broad terms, nuclear power has been stagnant for 30 years. WNISR notes that the world’s fleet of 415 power reactors is 23 fewer than the 2002 peak of 438, but nuclear capacity and generation have marginally increased due to uprating and larger reactors being built. There is one big difference with the situation 30 years ago: the reactor fleet was young then, now it is old. The ageing of the reactor fleet is a huge problem for the industry (as is the ageing of the nuclear workforce ‒the silver tsunami). The average age of the world’s reactor fleet continues to rise, and by mid-2021 reached 30.9 years. The mean age of the 23 reactors shut down between 2016 and 2020 was 42.6 years. The International Atomic Energy Agency anticipates the closure of around 10 reactors or 10 gigawatts (GW) per year over the next three decades. Reactor construction starts need to match closures just for the industry to maintain its 30-year pattern of stagnation. But construction starts have averaged only 4.8 per year over the past five years, and there’s no indication of looming growth. Nuclear power’s contribution to global electricity supply has fallen from a peak of 17.5 percent in 1996 to 10.1 percent in 2020 (a 4.3 percent share of global commercial primary energy consumption). Renewables reached an estimated 29 percent share of global electricity generation in 2020, a record share. Non-hydro renewables (10.7 percent in 2020) overtook nuclear in 2019 and the gap grew in 2020.
Renew Economy 29th Sept 2021 read more »
In the face of soaring gas prices in the UK, some incumbent conservative politicians are pushing nuclear energy as the savior. The argument goes that the energy source has low carbon emissions, and that new smaller reactors can more quickly be brought online. Rolls-Royce stands ready to build 16 new mini-reactors in northern England, with UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng reportedly keen to approve the move. But as the 2021World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) that was released today confirms, uranium-fuelled energy constitutes an ever-decreasing proportion of the energy mix. Exorbitant costs, especially compared to renewables, is exacerbating the fall-out from Fukushima that drove countries like Germany and Belgium to phase-out the fuel by 2022 and 2025 respectively. “Nuclear energy’s share of global gross electricity generation continues its slow but steady decline from a peak of 17.5 percent in 1996 with a share of 10.1 percent in 2020,” states the report.
Deutsche Welle 28th sept 2021 read more »
The latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report shows that the world’s operational nuclear capacity grew by just 400 MW in 2020, with generation falling by 4%. By contrast, renewables grew by 256 GW and clean energy production rose by 13%. “Nuclear power is irrelevant in today’s electricity capacity market,” the report’s main author, Mycle Schneider, told pv magazine.
PV Magazine 28th Sept 2021 read more »