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25.09.2013_No234 / News in Brief

Nuclear Growth To Continue Despite Fukushima, Says IAEA

Plans & Construction



25 Sept (NucNet): Growth in nuclear energy following the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident is expected to continue, but at a rate lower than estimated before the March 2011 accident, the International Atomic Energy Agency has said.

In its latest projections for nuclear energy generating capacity the IAEA said this year’s low projection indicates 17 percent growth in world total nuclear power capacity by 2030, while the high projection suggests a 94 percent growth, or nearly a doubling in global generation capacity.

The annual projections made since 2011 have indicated that growth has slowed, but not reversed. The 2013 updates, taking into account developments until April 2013, reinforce this conclusion, the IAEA said.

In the 2013 updated low projection, the world’s installed nuclear power capacity grows from 373 gigawatts (GW) today to 435 GW in 2030. In the updated high projection, it grows to 722 GW in 2030.

The strongest projected growth is in regions that already have operating nuclear power plants, led by Asian countries, including China and South Korea. From 83 GW at the end of 2012, capacity grows to 147 GW in 2030 in the low projection and to 268 GW in the high projection.

Eastern Europe, which includes Russia, as well as the Middle East, India and Pakistan, also shows strong growth potential. Nuclear capacity grows from 48 GW in 2012, to 79 GW in the low projection and 124 GW in the high projection.

Western Europe shows the biggest difference between the low and high projections. In the low projection, Western Europe’s nuclear power capacity drops from 114 GW at the end of 2012 to 68 GW in 2030. In the high projection, nuclear power grows to 124 GW.

In North America, the low case projects a small decline, to 101 GW in 2030, while the high projection shows an increase from 116 GW at the end of 2012 to 143 GW, or a 24 per cent increase.

The IAEA said that over the short term, the low price of natural gas and the promotion of renewable energy sources in some energy policies are expected to impact nuclear growth prospects in several regions of the developed world.

The agency said that over the past year, most countries have finalised their post-Fukushima nuclear safety reviews, providing greater clarity with respect to nuclear power development. “Nevertheless, challenges remain, given that policy responses to the Fukushima-Daiichi accident are still evolving in some key regions,” a statement said.

“Once greater certainty about the policy and regulatory responses is established, these projections will likely need to be refined.”

For full details: www.iaea.org/OurWork/ST/NE/Pess/assets/rds1-33_web.pdf

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