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Even the nuclear industry itself is pretty pessimistic about its future

Viewpoint: Building a belief in nuclear, financially and emotionally, WNN, 08 July 2019  “………. . Nuclear technology remains emotive and controversial in some countries, and public pressure can ultimately move policy, as has been seen in Germany, which is abandoning nuclear generation entirely, despite the impact this has on its ability to meet CO2 reduction targets.Delivering projects, on time and to budget

The nuclear industry is also susceptible to wavering investor confidence, as has been evident recently in the UK. Nuclear plants are exceptionally large and long-term investments, so private-sector investors set the bar very high when it comes to incentives and the reassurances they need before making final investment decisions.

When Hitachi suspended work on its Wylfa Newydd project, it cited the size of the financial burden as one of the main factors, while the high cost of Hinkley Point has, in part, been explained by the fact that EDF could only borrow capital funding at high interest rates. That’s because this project is deemed ‘risky’, and well over half the cost was attributed to raising the money over the lifetime of the project.

Following the publication of the UK National Infrastructure Assessment last year, these high borrowing costs for nuclear have come into even sharper focus. This report recommended that the Government restrict support to “one more nuclear plant before 2025” as the costs of renewable technologies were “far more likely to fall, and at a faster rate”.

Delays and cost increases don’t help public perception.  …………    It’s our responsibility as an industry to work together to change perceptions and provide stakeholders with the confidence that nuclear projects will be delivered on time and to cost, and to set out the evidence that demonstrates why nuclear energy must form part of the future energy mix. If we can’t do this then the trust simply won’t be there, and neither will the investment……..

we’re working alongside other leading industry bodies including Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, the Electric Power Research Institute, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency to deliver events like the Innovation for the Future of Nuclear Energy – A Global Forum, which took place in Korea last month………

Present a more positive future

There are many exciting possibilities for nuclear, from innovation in waste management and recycling to the emergence of small modular reactors. But, in order to realise this future, the industry has some short-term hurdles that it must overcome. And in particular we must drive efficiencies into existing programmes and onto existing plants.

EDF has said that, by applying lessons learned at Hinkley Point, huge economies of scale can be achieved if a second pair of EPR reactors are built at Sizewell. Even so, the confidence may not be there yet for stakeholders and investors to appreciate where the returns lie. We need to focus on what can make a real difference now, in order to bring about that future.

It’s a crucial time for the nuclear sector.  ……. can we work together to drive transformative change and help persuade all those who will need to invest in its future, both emotionally and financially, to believe in it too?  http://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Building-a-belief-in-nuclear,-financiall

July 13, 2019 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics, spinbuster

2 Comments »

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