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China losing enthusiasm for nuclear power

Nuclear power continues its decline as renewable alternatives steam ahead, World Finance,  Author: Courtney Goldsmith, October 15, 2018“…………

China’s waning nuclear interest
By a wide margin, China is currently the global leader in the construction of new nuclear plants. In fact, for three years in a row, global electricity generation from nuclear power would have decreased if China were removed from the picture. By 2030, the IEA expects the country to overtake the US as the world’s top generator of nuclear power.

Of the 10 reactors that started up globally in 2016, half were located in China. Meanwhile, nearly 40 percent of the total reactors currently in construction are Chinese. However, China has not launched a new construction of a commercial reactor since December 2016.

The country had planned for 58GW of total nuclear capacity to be in place by 2020, but having failed to get 30GW of new plants under construction by 2018, China’s lead in the field of nuclear power may be slipping.

What’s more, even in this hub of nuclear activity, renewable generation is moving even faster. As of July 2017, China had 37 operating nuclear reactors with a total net capacity of around 32GW. In 2017, however, the country added a whopping 53GW of solar power.

“To illustrate the speed with which things change, and [which] the invading species is taking over, if you only go back five years in 2012, Germany was the world record holder in the addition of [solar PV] with 7.5GW,” Schneider said. “Now it’s China with [53GW] five years later. The speed is just unbelievable.”

The return of small reactors
One often-cited glimmer of hope for the nuclear industry is in small modular reactors (SMRs). These shrunken-down nuclear reactors generate electrical output of between 50MW and 300MW on average, compared with the generation of 1,000MW or more from a conventional reactor, but it is unlikely they will be commercially available before 2030.

Proponents say SMRs will be cheaper and safer than conventional nuclear plants, and will be capable of competing with solar and wind power. Desbazeille said SMRs were a “game changer” that could put Europe back at the forefront of nuclear technology…….

But while SMRs are purported to be the key to transforming the nuclear sector, history has painted a troubling picture: SMR designs have been in the works for decades, but none have reached commercial success. In fact, Westinghouse worked on an SMR design for about a decade, but the project was abandoned in 2014. At the time, then-CEO Danny Roderick said: “The problem I have with SMRs is not the technology, it’s not the deployment – it’s that there’s no customers.”

A number of companies continue to work on new designs, however. US firm NuScale Power plans to develop an SMR to re-establish the country’s leadership in nuclear technology. The design is currently under review for approval by US regulators. While NuScale is seen as one of the firms closest to commercialisation, it may be too late by the time the arduous process of securing approvals is completed.

Therefore, by the time SMRs are ready for mass deployment, the energy debate may already be over. “Look at what happened over the past five years,” Schneider said. “But can you imagine what will happen in the next 10 years? This is going to be a completely different world.”…

Although SMRs have been talked about for decades, the progress made so far has been tiny. New technologies in the nuclear sector take a huge amount of time to develop – just look at the struggle to build EPRs in Europe. Plus, opting for a small design cuts out the economies of scale, or the cost advantages that come about due to increasing the size of a project. This is something nuclear projects often rely on.

A report by researchers at Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, San Diego concluded that in the absence of a “dramatic change in the [US] policy environment”, a convincing case for a domestic market for SMRs is difficult to make.

Much of the nuclear debate is powered by opinions and estimates, but looking at the hard data, it’s strikingly clear that the industry is in a slow and inevitable decline. China’s plans to become a nuclear powerhouse have been overshadowed by its huge investments in renewable energy – in fact, the number of new construction starts (see Fig 2) has fallen around the world as stubbornly high costs and complex designs make new nuclear a hard sell.

Even in spite of nuclear power’s role in reducing carbon emissions, the potential safety issues and environmental impact of a meltdown are too big to ignore. With the cost of renewable and battery technologies expected to continue falling, wind and solar power appear to be the next golden opportunity.


October 15, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, China, politics

1 Comment »

  1. What will China do with their nuke waste? Ship it to texas like the others?

    this is what Bloody Henry Kissinger, Donny, perry, abbot  are upto now

    france, Japan, The USA are hauling in trains and trucks, millions of pounds, of the worst radioactive waste through ports and across the USA to Texas . IT will be stored in West Texas. Megatons of the most dangerous, poisonous, evil shit on earth trucked and trained across every corner of the USA. Hauled on unsuspected road and railroads, in murica. One rupture could wipeout a small town.

    The most dangerous shit on earth. Each cask has tons, of the highest level radioactive poison on earth. Full of Strontium 90 , radioactive cesium, plutonium and more.

    Any small amount, can be made into nuclear and or dirty bombs.

    It is stored in the flimsiest containment, on a concrete pad, in one of the hottest places in America by Midland.

    If one of the thin casks ruptures, or it sets off a fire, it can cause multiple ruptures of the huge casks. It can cause fires and perhaps explosions. So much  hi level nuclear death, dangerously stored, in the flimsiest containment, in one place. Never done before.

    A catastrophe can ensue that will poison Texas, NM, Ok, Co, Utah, Arizona. As if those states are not contaminated enough. The catastrophe will affect Mexico too. Nobody gives a shit, in Murica or Mehico. Bidnessas and massive corruption as usual.

    Remember how WIPP blew in New Mexico? Those drums of plutonium in kitty litter. They could not access it for months.

    Three, large hi level casks in idaho blew up, in recently.

    The company nuclear waste company is owned by Henry Kissinger of Nixon neocon fame. Of course no regulations binding bloody Henry. So is above ground concrete pad, in Texas owned by Kissinger.

    Remember the SCi Fi show , Space 1999 from the seventies. The base story of the show was a massive explosion of huge amounts of plutonium nuclear waste. In the show, set in a future later than 1978, massive amounts nuclear waste stored on the dark side of the Moon Blow up. It knocks the moon out of orbit.

    We know now, that hi-level rad waste is very volatile. Generates its own heat. The radionuclide alpha, beta, gamma, and neutrons degrade containment relatively quickly.

    The waste may not cause criticalities, but could poison millions. How frikin stupid is that?

    The attorney General of texas, is getting kickbacks. So is the Rump family and Rick Perry. Just when u thought it might not get much worse, with the trump turds.

    A 1000 tons, already there. Stored above ground, in Texas heat.

    Comment by Mazy | October 15, 2018 | Reply

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