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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Japan, the U.S. and France failing in their efforts to sell nuclear reactors overseas, (or at home)

Japan’s Nuclear Export Struggles Narrow the Field of Suppliers, Only a handful of nations now seem capable of building new reactors, with the ability of the U.S. also in doubt. Greentech Media, Japan is struggling to find viable foreign buyers for its reactor technology in an expensive and competitive global nuclear market.

Only half a dozen nations currently have credible nuclear export capabilities. And besides Japan, the true export potential of at least two — the U.S. and France — is in doubt.

A recent report in the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun said a government strategy to export nuclear power technology had “run aground amid rising safety costs and deteriorating prospects for project profitability.” Proposed projects in Turkey and the United Kingdom had both hit roadblocks, the Mainichi Shimbun noted……..

Also, and perhaps more importantly, Japanese nuclear vendors are not state-owned like developers from China, Russia and South Korea. That puts Japanese firms at a disadvantage in terms of accessing finance and accepting risk.

These problems are not restricted to Japanese firms, though. They also apply to U.S. vendors.

Struggles in the U.S. nuke sector

While Japanese nuclear is at least enjoying something of a gradual recovery at home, with nine reactors back online after Fukushima and a further 17 looking to restart, in the U.S. the domestic sector is a mess.

This month saw Dominion Energy absorbing Scana Corporation after the latter failed to keep construction of two reactors at the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station afloat.

A little over 100 miles away, Georgia state lawmakers have expressed concerns that a couple of new reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, which are already half a decade behind schedule, could see further delays.

Six reactors out of a total of 104 have shut down across the U.S. since 2012, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and a further 13 are due to close before 2025.

Meanwhile, a 2017 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found two-thirds of U.S. nuclear power capacity could become unprofitable over the next few years.

When publicly owned U.S. nuclear developers do not even have a viable domestic market to play in, it is hard to see how they might compete overseas. There are efforts underway to revive the U.S. nuclear industry, but industry advocates say much more support is needed.

U.S. nuclear export prospects are thus beginning to look a lot like those in Japan — and also those in France, which has been struggling to launch its Evolutionary Power Reactor technology. Like the U.S. and Japan, France seemingly has little appetite to attach state guarantees to nuclear projects abroad……

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January 12, 2019 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs

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