Nuclear construction surges in developing world #uranium
27 Sep 2014
Nuclear construction surges in developing world
LONDON — Three years after Japan closed all of its nuclear plants in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown and Germany decided to shutter its industry, developing countries are leading the biggest construction boom in more than two decades.
Almost two-thirds of the 70 reactors currently under construction worldwide, the most since 1989, are located in China, India and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. Countries including Egypt, Bangladesh, Jordan and Vietnam are considering plans to build their first nuclear plants, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London. Developed countries are building nine plants, 13 per cent of the total.
Power is needed as the economies of China and India grow more than twice as fast as the U.S. Electricity output from reactors amounted to 2,461 terawatt-hours last year, or 11 per cent of all global power generation, according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Energy Agency. That’s the lowest share since 1982, the data shows.
“We see most of the constructions in the growing economies, in the parts of the world where you see strong economic growth,” Agneta Rising, the head of the World Nuclear Association in London, said Sept. 24 by email. “In many developed countries, there is a large degree of policy uncertainty concerning nuclear.”
China’s electricity consumption is forecast to jump 63 per cent by 2020 to 7,295 terawatt-hours from 4,476 terawatt-hours in 2011, while India’s demand is predicted to grow by 45 per cent from 2010 through 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Over the same period, demand growth in 22 European members of the OECD is forecast to be 3.6 per cent.
Nations are diversifying their energy sources as Germany and other developed countries increase the use of solar and wind power to limit emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for floods, changing weather patterns and rising sea levels. They are also seeking to boost energy independence as the conflict in Ukraine threatens 30 per cent of Europe’s gas supplies.
China plans to complete 29 new reactors from 2018 through 2030, according to estimates by New Energy. That would more than double the country’s fleet to 49, according to World Nuclear Association data.
Shanghai Electric Group closed 5.1 per cent higher in Hong Kong Friday, a gain of 15 per cent from Sept. 19, after China Securities Journal reported China will allow construction to start on four coastal nuclear power projects with a combined capacity of more than 10 gigawatts.