The Independent Assessment of Nuclear Developments in the World

Home > News > WNISR in the Media > Reuters (UK/France): Nuclear newbuild projects at decade low: (...)

Reuters (UK/France): Nuclear newbuild projects at decade low: report

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Nuclear newbuild projects at decade low: report

REUTERS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 / 9:55 AM /

Geert De Clercq

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of nuclear newbuild projects worldwide has dropped to a decade low in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster and due to the rising cost of atomic energy, an industry report showed.

From a high of 15 in 2010, the number of construction starts of nuclear reactors worldwide dropped to 10 in 2013, eight in 2015, three in 2016, and just one in the first half of 2017, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR).

China, the most active builder of nuclear plants in the past decade, saw its newbuild activity slow from 10 in 2010 to six in 2015 and just two last year.

“This may be the end of the Chinese exception,” lead author Mycle Schneider told reporters in Paris.

The 2010 construction peak marked the end of a brief nuclear renaissance when several countries started building reactors again after a nearly 20-year hiatus following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Schneider said he would not be surprised to see more nuclear projects under construction being dropped, following the abandonment of a high-profile one in the United States.

After the bankruptcy of reactor builder Westinghouse early this year, two South Carolina utilities in July abandoned the V.C. Summer project for two new Westinghouse reactors, which were 40 percent complete after more than $9 billion had been spent on construction.

WNISR data shows that worldwide between 1977 and mid-2017, at least 91 - one in eight - of all nuclear reactor construction sites had been abandoned or suspended in various stages of advancement.

“The nuclear species is going extinct,” Schneider said.

The nuclear industry - which has its annual meeting in London this week - says nuclear will keep playing a major role in low-carbon electricity generation and points at major newbuild programs in China, India, Britain and South Africa.

The share of nuclear energy in global electricity production has fallen from a high of 17.5 percent in 1996 to 10.5 percent last year, when nuclear output increased 1.4 percent, WNISR data showed.

The United Arab Emirates is expected to start up the first of four South Korea-built reactors next year. Vietnam decided in late 2016 to abandon plans to build its first reactors, citing construction costs and safety concerns.

In the first half of 2017, India was the only country to start building a reactor.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Dale Hudson

More...

See also:

New York Times (US), "Nuclear Newbuild Projects at Decade Low-Report", 12 September 2017

Jakarta Globe (Indonesia), "Nuclear Newbuild Projects at Decade Low: Report", 12 September 2017

Yahoo Finance (US), "Nuclear newbuild projects at decade low - report", 12 September 2017

Euronews (France), "Nuclear newbuild projects at decade low - report", 12 September 2017

Dawn.com (US), "Number of new nuclear projects at decade low", 13 September 2017

What They Say…

“The Report sets forth in painstaking detail the actual experience and achievements of nuclear energy around the world.”

Peter A. Bradford

Former commissioner
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
(in his foreword to the 2013 report)
“A vital public service... Uniquely independent, thorough, and timely assessment."

Amory B. Lovins

Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute
USA
“This annual publication has over 20 years evolved into the most reliable, strikingly original, comprehensive and penetrating assessment of the global nuclear industry.”

Praful Bidwai

Financial Chronicle
Delhi, India
"Amid the hype and PR, the smoke and mirrors, of the 'nuclear renaissance', the Status Report offers a hard-edged reality check."

Walt Patterson

Associate Fellow Chatham House
London, UK
“Fantastic piece of work. Must reading for any observer of nuclear energy."

Henri Sokolski

Executive Director Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
Washington DC, USA
“Reliable research based on cold, hard facts, unlike the hype and amnesia of industry sources.”

Scott Ludlam

Senator
Australia
“Félicitations pour la dernière édition du WNISR. Formidable comme d'habitude!”

Fulcieri Maltini

International Consultant Former Director of the Nuclear Safety Account, EBRD
Italy/France
“Thought-provoking as usual.”

Will Dalrymple

Editor Nuclear Engineering International
UK
"The authoritative report on the status of nuclear power plants worldwide is the World Nuclear Industry Status Report."

USAID

Bangkok, Thailand
“Such an illuminating report.”

Sam Geall

Deputy Editor China Dialogue
London, UK
"An astounding collection of facts and figures, a myth-busting international overview… An eye-opening piece of work!"

R. Andreas Krämer

Chairman Ecologic Institute
Berlin, Germany
“I really appreciate you letting us excerpt your report! It’s incredibly well researched and comprehensive, so thank you!”

Stuart Luman

Associate Editor Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
USA