[ RadSafe ] Press Release: Nuclear Power Worldwide: Status and Outlook -- A Report from the IAEA

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 26 09:25:20 CDT 2007

Press Release 2007/19

Nuclear Power Worldwide: Status and Outlook
A Report from the IAEA

Vienna, 23 October 2007 -- Nuclear power's prominence
as a major energy source will continue over the next
several decades, according to new projections made by
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which
has just published a new report, "Energy, Electricity
and Nuclear Power for the period up to 2030."

The IAEA makes two annual projections concerning the
growth of nuclear power, a low and a high. The low
projection assumes that all nuclear capacity that is
currently under construction or firmly in the
development pipeline gets completed and attached to
the grid, but no other capacity is added. In this low
projection, there would be growth in capacity from 370
GW(e) at the end of 2006 to 447 GW(e) in 2030. (A
gigawatt = 1000 megawatts = 1 billion watts)

In the IAEA's high projection -- which adds in
additional reasonable and promising projects and plans
-- global nuclear capacity is estimated to rise to 679
GW(e) in 2030. That would be an average growth rate of
about 2.5%/yr.

"Our job is not so much to predict the future but to
prepare for it, " explains the IAEA's Alan McDonald,
Nuclear Energy Analyst. "To that end we update each
year a high and low projection to establish the range
of uncertainty we ought to be prepared for."

Nuclear power's share of worldwide electricity
production rose from less than 1 percent in 1960 to 16
percent in 1986, and that percentage has held
essentially constant in the 21 years since 1986.
Nuclear electricity generation has grown steadily at
the same pace as overall global electricity
generation. At the close of 2006, nuclear provided
about 15 percent of total electricity worldwide.

The IAEA's other key findings as of the end of 2006
are elaborated below.

There were 435 operating nuclear reactors around the
world, and 29 more were under construction. The US had
the most with 103 operating units. France was next
with 59. Japan followed with 55, plus one more under
construction, and Russia had 31 operating, and seven
more under construction.

Of the 30 countries with nuclear power, the percentage
of electricity supplied by nuclear ranged widely: from
a high of 78 percent in France; to 54 percent in
Belgium; 39 percent in Republic of Korea; 37 percent
in Switzerland; 30 percent in Japan; 19 percent in the
USA; 16 percent in Russia; 4 percent in South Africa;
and 2 percent in China.

Present nuclear power plant expansion is centred in
Asia: 15 of the 29 units under construction at the end
of 2006 were in Asia. And 26 of the last 36 reactors
to have been connected to the grid were in Asia. India
currently gets less than 3% of its electricity from
nuclear, but at the end of 2006 it had one-quarter of
the nuclear construction - 7 of the world's 29
reactors that were under construction. India's plans
are even more impressive: an 8-fold increase by 2022
to 10 percent of the electricity supply and a 75-fold
increase by 2052 to reach 26 percent of the
electricity supply. A 75-fold increase works out to an
average of 9.4 percent/yr, about the same as average
global nuclear growth from 1970 through 2004. So it's
hardly unprecedented.

China is experiencing huge energy growth and is trying
to expand every source it can, including nuclear
power. It has four reactors under construction and
plans a nearly five-fold expansion by just 2020.
Because China is growing so fast this would still
amount to only 4 percent of total electricity.

Russia had 31 operating reactors, five under
construction and significant expansion plans. There's
a lot of discussion in Russia of becoming a full
fuel-service provider, including services like leasing
fuel, reprocessing spent fuel for countries that are
interested, and even leasing reactors.

Japan had 55 reactors in operation, one under
construction, and plans to increase nuclear power's
share of electricity from 30 percent in 2006 to more
than 40 percent within the next decade.

South Korea connected its 20th reactor just last year,
has another under construction and has broken ground
to start building two more. Nuclear power already
supplies 39 percent of its electricity.

Europe is a good example of "one size does not fit
all." Altogether it had 166 reactors in operation and
six under construction. But there are several nuclear
prohibition countries like Austria, Italy, Denmark and
Ireland. And there are nuclear phase-out countries
like Germany and Belgium.

There are also nuclear expansion programmes in
Finland, France, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Finland started
construction in 2005 on Olkiluoto-3, which is the
first new Western European construction since 1991.
France plans to start its next plant in 2007.

Several countries with nuclear power are still
pondering future plans. The UK, with 19 operating
plants, many of which are relatively old, had been the
most uncertain until recently. Although a final policy
decision on nuclear power will await the results of a
public consultation now underway, a White Paper on
energy published in May 2007¹ concluded that "
reviewed the evidence and information available we
believe that the advantages [of new nuclear power]
outweigh the disadvantages and that the disadvantages
can be effectively managed. On this basis, the
Government's preliminary view is that it is in the
public's interest to give the private sector the
option of investing in new nuclear power stations."


The US had 103 reactors providing 19 percent of the
country's electricity. For the last few decades the
main developments have been improved capacity factors,
power increases at existing plants and license
renewals. Currently 48 reactors have already received
20-year renewals, so their licensed lifetimes are 60
years. Altogether three-quarters of the US reactors
either already have license renewals, have applied for
them, or have stated their intention to apply. There
have been a lot of announced intentions (about 30 new
reactors' worth) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
is now reviewing four Early Site Permit applications.

For further information, please contact: IAEA Division
of Public Information, Media & Outreach Section
43-1-2600-21273 For further details on the current
status of the nuclear industry, go to IAEA's "Power
Reactor Information System,"(PRIS)
<http://www.iaea.org/programmes/a2/index.html> .

Video B-roll is available on request.

Audio Q & A with IAEA Nuclear Energy Analyst, Alan
McDonald, is available here.

UN language editions of this press release are
available under the following link Nuclear Power
Worldwide: Status and Outlook

Press Contacts

Press Office
Division of Public Information
[43-1] 2600-21273
press at iaea.org <mailto: press at iaea.org> 

About the IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves
as the world's foremost intergovernmental forum for
scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful
use of nuclear technology. Established as an
autonomous organization under the United Nations (UN)
in 1957, the IAEA carries out programmes to maximize
the useful contribution of nuclear technology to
society while verifying its peaceful use.

Copyright 2003-2004, International Atomic Energy
Agency, P.O. Box 100, Wagramer Strasse 5, A-1400
Vienna, Austria
Telephone (+431) 2600-0; Facsimilie (+431) 2600-7;
E-mail: info at iaea.org
Disclaimer <http://www.iaea.org/About/disclaimer.html>

"If you guard your toothbrushes and diamonds with equal zeal, you'll probably lose fewer toothbrushes and more diamonds."
- Former national security advised McGeorge Bundy
-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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