The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017 (WNISR2017) provides a comprehensive overview of nuclear power plant data, including information on operation, production and construction. The WNISR assesses the status of new-build programs in current nuclear countries as well as in potential newcomer countries. The WNISR2017 edition includes a new assessment from an equity analyst view of the financial crisis of the nuclear sector and some of its biggest industrial players. The Fukushima Status Report provides not only an update on onsite and offsite issues six years after the beginning of the catastrophe, but also the latest official and new independent cost evaluations of the disaster. Focus chapters provide in-depth analysis of France, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Nuclear Power vs Renewable Energy chapter provides global comparative data on investment, capacity, and generation from nuclear, wind and solar energy. Finally, Annex 1 presents a country-by-country overview of all other countries operating nuclear power plants.
Here are some of the highlights:
Global Overview—The Chinese Exception, Yet
Global nuclear power generation increased by 1.4% in 2016, due to a 23% increase in China, although the share of
nuclear energy in electricity generation stagnated at 10.5% (–0.2%).
Ten reactors started up in 2016, of which one-half were in China. Two reactors were connected to the grid in the
first half of 2017—one in China, one in Pakistan (by a Chinese company)—the first units to start up in the world
whose construction started after the Fukushima disaster began.
Three construction starts in the world in 2016—two in China, one in Pakistan (by a Chinese company)—down
from 15 in 2010, of which 10 were in China. One construction start in India in the first half of 2017, none in China or
in the rest of the world.
The number of units under construction is declining for the fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013
to 53 by mid-2017, of which 20 are in China.
Closures and Construction Delays
Russia and the U.S. shut down reactors in 2016, while Sweden and South Korea both closed their oldest units in the
first half of 2017.
Election of a new President in South Korea, who closed one plant and suspended the construction of two more, puts
hopes of the national nuclear industry to expand and export into jeopardy.
Thirteen countries are building new reactors, one less than in WNISR2016, as the construction of Angra-3 in Brazil
was abandoned following a massive corruption scandal involving senior project management.
There are 37 reactor constructions behind schedule, of which 19 reported further delays over the past year. China is
no exception, at least 11 of 20 units under construction are behind schedule.
Eight projects have been under construction for a decade or more, of which three for over 30 years.
WNISR2016 noted 17 reactors scheduled for startup in 2017. As of mid-2017, only two of these units had started up
and 11 were delayed until at least 2018.
Bankruptcy/Bailout of Historic Nuclear Giants – Deep Financial Crisis for Nuclear Utilities
After the discovery of massive losses over its nuclear construction projects, Toshiba filed for bankruptcy of its U.S.
subsidiary Westinghouse, the largest nuclear power builder in history.
AREVA has accumulated US$12.3 billion in losses over the past six years. French government has provided a
US$5.3 billion bailout and continues break-up strategy.
The large quality-control scandal at AREVA's Creusot Forge further erodes confidence in the industry.
Fukushima Status Report
Six years after the Fukushima disaster began, the Japanese Government started lifting evacuation orders in order
to limit skyrocketing compensation costs. The total official cost estimate for the catastrophe has doubled from
US$100 billion to US$200 billion. A new independent assessment has put the cost at US$444–630 billion (depending
on the level of water decontamination). Only five reactors have been restarted.
Renewables Distance Nuclear
Globally, wind power output grew by 16%, solar by 30%, nuclear by 1.4% in 2016. Wind power increased generation
by 132 TWh, solar by 77 TWh, respectively 3.8 times and 2.2 times more than nuclear's 35 TWh. Renewables represented
62% of global power generating capacity additions.
New renewables beat existing nuclear. Renewable energy auctions achieved record low prices at and below US$30/
MWh in Chile, Mexico, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Average generating costs of amortized
nuclear power plants in the U.S. were US$35.5 in 2015.
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