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Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide. Front Matter Pages i-xviii. Why Nuclear Power Plant Energy. Pages Thermodynamic Cycles. Basic Principles of Heat Pipes and History. Direct Reactor Auxiliary Cooling System. Design Guide and Heat Pipe Selection. Construction was slated to begin in , with the turnkey project being owned and operated by the state utility Electricity of Vietnam EVN , and with operations projected to begin in Like Turkey, Vietnam has also signed an intergovernmental agreement with Japan for the construction of a second nuclear power plant in Ninh Thuan province, with two reactors projected to come on line in The agreement calls for assistance in conducting feasibility studies for the project, low-interest and preferential loans, technology transfer and training of human resources, and cooperation in the waste treatment and stable supply of materials for the whole life of the project.

EVN is currently to be the sole investor in the reactors. The delay in the ordering of the new nuclear units is not of concern due to a slower than expected increase in electricity demand, according to the Director General of the Atomic Energy Agency. The first two reactors would be planned to be online in ten years and then two more per year until In November , it was nonetheless suggested that the project would be put back on track faster than this, with a suggestion that KA-CARE could bring forward proposals for new-build in Despite discussions with Chinese, French, German, and Russian suppliers, little specific development occurred for several decades.

In October , the Minister for Energy announced that a 1, MW reactor would be built, but this was later expanded to four reactors by , with the first one coming on line in In early , a legal framework was adopted to regulate and establish nuclear facilities; however, an international bidding process for the construction was postponed in February due to the political situation.

Since then there have been various attempts and reports that a tender process would be restarted, all of which have come to nothing. In the late s, the nuclear industry began to talk about a Nuclear Renaissance. The central claim was based on the premise that the existing designs had become too complex as a result of adding new safety systems to old designs.

It was claimed that with a fresh eye, the design could be simplified but would be safer, cheaper, and easier to build. The promise that nuclear power could be the cheapest option reignited interest in nuclear power in a number of key markets. By , the expected cost had increased 8-fold. There is little sign of prices stabilizing and lessons from the Fukushima disaster will, as they emerge, be likely to drive prices even higher. These price increases were well documented in previous editions of the WNISR and prices are not the main focus of this analysis. The claims for greater safety are also not directly addressed.

Rather, this chapter focuses on the claim the designs would be easier to build. Despite its being nearly 20 years since a Nuclear Renaissance was mooted, none of the new designs is yet in service. So on the face of it, the claims that these designs would be easier to build appear no better based than the cost claims are unsubstantiated. This chapter identifies what specific problems have been experienced leading to these delays to determine how far these problems are soluble--for example loss of expertise and capability resulting from the long period of low orders--and how far they are generic to the new designs.

The use of generic design reviews was meant to resolve all design safety issues before construction started. The evidence base for buildability is still relatively small. Twelve of the 18 reactors are in China, Russia or Belarus--countries where independent, reliable information is often not available, so the record of problems suffered is unlikely to be complete. Six of the reactors had, by mid, been under construction for only about two years or less.

Nevertheless, with few orders in prospect, it is important to evaluate the limited data available. Nuclear plants are commonly divided into four generations. There are no clear definitions of what determines what design generation a given reactor design fits into. Generation II includes the vast majority of operating reactors ordered from the mids to about A number of Generation III designs were developed. The Rosatom AES and AES were designed, as their name implies, in the s and had some of the features that characterize the latest designs, such as a core-catcher and some passive safety characteristics and formed the basis for AES Two other designs usually categorized as late Generation II are particularly relevant to this analysis.

It received generic design approval from the U. However, it was scaled up to about 1, MW to create the AP They are more fuel efficient and are inherently safer. The means that many small components are assembled in a factory environment offsite or onsite into structural modules weighing up to 1, tonnes, and these can be hoisted into place.

General description of advanced heavy water reactor|INIS

Construction is speeded up. Price rises occur throughout the period from project announcement to operation. Intuitively, there would appear to be significant advantages to standardization. However, full-scale standardization has never happened. This begs the questions, why has standardization not happened so far, and will it be feasible now? Generic design reviews also seem an intuitively sensible way to reduce the risk of construction delays. This would be an exhaustive review of the design and once complete, the reactor design would have approval for future projects and, for example, in the USA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC grants design approvals with a years validity.

However, whilst this has been the policy since , it has not really been tested. Without standardization, it is difficult to see how generic design approval could be credible. Experience shows even relatively limited design changes can have implications for the whole plant, so any significant change to the approved design ought to re-open the process of design approval. When delays occur, they are seldom attributed to complexity although often, it seems likely that complexity is one of the root causes.

The most commonly cited causes of delay are: design issues; shortage of skilled labor; quality control issues; supply chain issues; poor planning either by the utility or equipment suppliers; shortage of finance; and public opposition. At least in the U. While obtaining finance is clearly now one of the major hurdles to building new nuclear plants, this is much more likely to occur before construction starts.

Again, there is no evidence that shortage of finance has delayed construction apart from the plants under construction in Russia. A frequent problem has been that detailed design is worked out by the vendor only during construction. If producing the final detailed design proves difficult, for example, or if the regulator is not satisfied with the detailed design, this can delay construction. In , the safety regulatory authorities for Finland, France, and the UK issued a joint statement expressing concern about the adequacy of the safety systems those used to maintain control of the plant if it goes outside normal conditions , and their independence from the control systems.

Delays can also be caused by designs that meet regulatory requirements but do not function as specified. The low ordering rate for new nuclear power plants over the past 30 years has meant that there has been little demand for skilled construction workers, so the workforce has aged and its skills have not been utilized.

Re-building a skilled workforce cannot be done quickly, requiring basic education as well as experience. Until the flow of orders is more established and the job prospects secure, the incentives for workers to undergo such training will be weak. For both the first orders for EPRs, the pouring of the concrete base-mat had to be re-done because of errors. Particularly for France, where EDF, the owner and site engineer had already built 58 PWRs, it seems reasonable to assume this was due to loss of expertise at diverse levels of craft labor and management. The error by AREVA in the fabrication of the pressure vessels for Flamanville and the two reactors for Taishan in China is one of the most serious failures to date see below.

The dearth of orders has also led to a loss of project planning expertise in utilities, project engineers and regulatory bodies. The history of construction at the Olkiluoto-3 site has been littered with accusations of failures of planning by the utility, the vendor and the regulatory authority. There is frequent mention of first-of-a-kind FOAK issues and, intuitively, it might be expected that the first time a design is built, problems will arise that will not affect subsequent units.

For this analysis, these problems generally fall into one of the other categories, such as poor planning, supply chain issues or loss of skills. For example, if construction is delayed because new procedures have to be approved by the regulator, this must be counted as poor planning. There are three EPR construction projects. In , completion was expected in but no reliable cost information has been published.

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For both the Olkiluoto and Flamanville, problems emerged at the start with the pouring of the base mat and from then on quality control problems particularly with welds, were a recurring problem. The latter problem emerged in when a joint regulatory statement by the Finnish, French and UK which was carrying out a generic design review regulators expressed their concerns.

The issue was resolved in a little over three years in France, and there is no evidence this added significantly to the delays for Flamanville. It is not clear whether the Chinese regulator had any issues with this part of the plant. This affected the Flamanville and Taishan projects, while the Olkiluoto parts had been supplied by another firm. Three more reactor tops and bottoms were fabricated soon after for the two UK Hinkley Point reactors and the subsequently abandoned Calvert Cliffs project in the USA and suffer from the same issue of too high a carbon content in the steel.

By mid, investigations were under way to determine what needed to be done. There appeared to be three options: the regulator could rule that the deviation from required specification was acceptable and no further action needed; repairs could be carried out; or the projects could be abandoned because it is no longer feasible to access the parts requiring repair. For Taishan, it was not until that reliable reports confirmed construction delays although there is little information on what is behind delays now acknowledged to be more than two years.

The reports in suggested that the main problem from then on were that, instead of being the third and fourth EPRs to be completed, Taishan will now be the first-of-a-kind and will need to carry out extra tests on novel components and test acceptance and start-up procedures.

The emergence of the pressure vessel issue in April puts the entire project in doubt. Given that it was portrayed as just a scaled-up version of an already approved design, it was assumed regulatory approval would be quick. However, the process involved multiple design revisions and it was not until that a final design was approved. Construction of these units started in with completion expected in Four further orders for AP for the USA, two each for the Summer and Vogtle sites, started construction in with then expected completion in These are likely to be the only fruit of President George W.

By , the Chinese plants were running months late, while the U. Unlike Taishan, where reports of problems only emerged after years of construction, reports of problems emerged after two years in with the reactor coolant pumps a particularly long-running issue. By May , Westinghouse and its Chinese partner, State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation, claimed that the problems had been solved after five years of multiple failed endurance tests. This is far from the first time that Westinghouse has made such claims.

Like Taishan, there are increasing concerns about commissioning tests and acceptance criteria. Westinghouse claims the problems with the reactor coolant pumps emerged early enough for them to be avoided for the U. For the U. The development of the AES is more complex than that of EPR or AP, partly because, while Rosatom is the umbrella organization for all the major Russian nuclear companies, there appears to be considerable overlap between different subsidiaries.

There are two major nuclear design companies, Moscow Atomenergoproekt and Saint-Petersburg Atomenergoproekt, which generally have their own distinctive versions of the same basic design, including AES A third design company, Nizhniy Novgorod Atomenergoproekt, exists but does not seem to be as important as the other two. Rosatom presents the successive versions of the VVER the Russian version of the PWR as a smooth evolution with Rosatom emphasizing the additional safety features that each successive model included.

Both models are still being offered, for example to markets like Jordan where the extra output of the AES would be difficult to accommodate. The AES comes in two versions, VM designed by Moscow Atomenergoproekt with two units under construction at Novovoronezh, and V, designed by Saint-Petersburg Atomenergoproekt and under construction at the Leningrad, Belarus, and the Baltic sites, although work at the Baltic site was suspended in and appears unlikely to restart.

It is not clear which versions would be exported to the numerous export orders Rosatom claims but on which construction has not started, such as Turkey and Vietnam.

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There are differences between the two variants in terms of their passive safety systems. First concrete was poured for the reactors sited in Russia from and these reactors are where substantive experience exists. The major reported incident was the collapse of the steel structures for a containment build at the Leningrad site in It was only in that first reports of delays emerged and by , all four reactors were years late. Two reactors using an older design at the Rostov site were ordered at about the same time as the AESs; one of these was completed on time and the other appears close to schedule.

It may be that this indicates more deep-seated issues at Novovoronezh and Leningrad than just shortage of capital. AP sites are similar to those incurred at a comparable stage for EPR. Both designs have suffered a serious design issue that has delayed construction. The reactor coolant pump issue was somewhat different, with the problem being that the pump simply did not meet the design standard. However, the pattern of construction problems seems somewhat different.

Real costs have increased significantly compared to their predecessors suggesting the attempt to reduce complexity was not a success. The attempt to reduce sitework by shifting the workload to factories through modularized design also does not seem to have had the desired effect, and seems to simply have shifted the quality issues from site to module factories. Given the failure to reduce costs--and there are few who would forecast costs are going to go down at all, much less decline to the levels originally claimed--and the apparent failure to reduce the incidence of construction overruns, the future looks bleak for light water technology.

There is considerable momentum to the Chinese and Russian programs, but unless costs fall, even these countries will have to think again. If the nuclear industry is to have a future, it can only be through new technologies such as Generation IV designs or Small Modular Reactors. Both of these options are many years from being commercially available. The underlying presumption is that the slowdown of nuclear power is a result of the kind of reactors that are operated or constructed, and if new kinds of reactors are constructed, then nuclear power will be revived.

The idea of small reactors is not new and a belief in the power of small nuclear reactors to energize different communities that were not currently served by atomic energy dates back to the s and s, but the early experiments were mostly failures. The second wave of interest in SMRs came about in the s, as utilities in the United States had stopped ordering nuclear reactors. The most recent, and current, wave of interest in SMRs dates back to the early s.

Department of Energy has been funding research and development of such reactors since the s. None of the SMR designs were available for deployment by the end of that decade. NuScale, for its part, has continued with the development of its reactor design. In its annual report submitted to the U. For all the public advertising, there is no evidence that SMRs will be constructed in the United States anytime soon. One indicator is the fact that although there have been many claims over the past decade that SMRs would soon be certified for construction, no vendor has even submitted an application.

As with plans for SMR deployment at scale, the licensing schedule has been slipping continuously. In October , for example, an NRC official projected that NuScale would submit an application for design certification in early and that review would be completed by early The same presentation also projected that the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor would be submitting an application and be certified in the same time period early to early ; that the Hyperion reactor currently Gen4 Energy would submit an application by the beginning of and be certified by end of ; and that the Toshiba 4S would submit an application in mid and be certified by mid Actual schedules will be determined when applications are docketed.

Clearly none of these projections materialized. Although the Russian nuclear establishment seems mainly interested in selling its standard pressurized water reactors, it has a number of SMR designs under development. Among the SMRs that Russia is developing, the KLTS, which is based on the design of reactors used in the small fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers that Russia has operated for decades, will likely be the first one to be deployed.

The project was re-launched on in June , and construction of the on-shore infrastructure in Vilyuchinsk started in September Workers had gone unpaid for months. China has pursued multiple SMR designs but the most advanced of these, and the one currently under construction, is the High Temperature Reactor HTR that it has developed since the s. In turn, the Chinese design was based on the prior failed German effort to commercialize the technology. The PBMR differed from the German design in that its design avoided the use of a heat exchanger also called steam generator to convert heat produced by the reactor into steam; the steam is then used to drive a turbine to generate electricity.

Instead, the PBMR design involved circulating the helium that is used to cool the reactor directly through a turbine. In , South Africa and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU in order to cooperate on the technology, even though the two countries were considered as competitors. HTR reached its criticality in , achieved full power operation, and began to supply power to the grid in Besides thorium, the design that had been developed since the s involved the use of large quantities of plutonium as fuel.

Development of nuclear power in Sweden

The AHWR has also been repeatedly delayed. The reactor has been in development since the s with an original design output of 15 MWe. For decades, small modular reactors have been held out as holding great promise for expanding nuclear power into various new markets. Remarkably similar claims have been made by the nuclear industry in multiple countries. Nowhere have these claims come true. Although a few small reactors were constructed in the first round of nuclear construction, most countries quickly progressed from those to larger sizes, primarily because of the hope that through economies of scale they would manage to lower their generation costs to a stage where they could compete with other cheaper sources of electricity, such as coal.

Although that hope was never really fulfilled, and large reactors are finding it extremely difficult to compete economically without extensive government support, and sometimes even with such support, the nuclear industry today and supporting governments around the world are placing their hopes on what is sometimes called economies of serial production as well as promises of quicker construction periods.

The history so far offers little evidence that such hopes will be realized but the nuclear industry practices a selective kind of remembrance, choosing to forget or not emphasize earlier failures. The second lesson from the history of small reactors is that, as with large reactors, construction schedules and commercialization dates keep getting pushed back. This feature is even more commonly seen with reactor designs that feature what are termed novel or innovative features, as exemplified by the case of the South African PBMR.

What is also worth remembering is that past history shows that SFRs are expensive, are capable of undergoing severe accidents, and have operational problems. A third problem with SMRs is that as evidence of the multiple problems associated with nuclear power becomes clearer to the publics around the world, there is socially generated pressure to alleviate if not eliminate these problems, including radioactive waste generation, linkage with nuclear weapons, and risk of catastrophic accidents.

But none of the SMR designs so far can address all these problems simultaneously; indeed, attempts to tackle one of them can make other problems worse. Over four years have passed since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident Fukushima accident began, triggered by the East Japan Great Earthquake on 11 March and subsequent events.

This chapter summarizes the current onsite and offsite conditions of the Fukushima accident aftermath as of mid In the edition, concrete plans for fuel debris removal from each plant and the construction of an international study system were added. The first phase an approximately two-year period up to the start of spent nuclear fuel removal from the spent fuel pool of unit 4 has been completed, and the program is in its second phase an approximately year period up to the start of fuel debris removal from reactor pressure vessels. In May , the removal of the cover began, in order to allow for debris to be cleaned up before starting the unloading of spent fuel from the storage pool.

However, debris removal has been finished and preparations are under way for spent fuel removal from the storage pool. The removal of debris from the spent fuel pool using a remote controlled crane, and decontamination work on the floor, are being implemented. Continuing high levels of radiation in the plant are causing delays in the decommissioning work. As of November , the highest reading at a measuring point outside the power station was 2.

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About half of the spent nuclear fuel that was in the ground-level common storage pool in March , located behind the four reactors, was removed during step 1 and it has been transferred to a temporary dry storage facility newly established on site The investigation in the core and preparations for fuel debris extraction are now finally beginning. Preliminary preparations to remove debris of units are finally beginning. Development work on fuel debris measurement technology using cosmic rays is being carried out. Until then, the meltdown of unit 2 had only been inferred from simulations.

The presence and continuous generation of large quantities of contaminated water, defined here as water containing radioactive substances, is delaying remediation work onsite. According to METI and TEPCO, the system can reduce the concentration of 62 nuclides in the contaminated water to levels below the concentration limits for environmental monitoring area of the power plant.

Leakages of contaminated water from the tanks are frequent and shortage of space for installing more tanks is becoming evident. Many workers have been hired with illegal contracts due to a serious labor shortage. A similar system subdrain existed, but was destroyed during the earthquake However, this water includes tritium, which ALPS cannot remove and fishery cooperatives in Fukushima Prefecture have been blocking the plan for fear of losses caused by harmful rumors. The evacuation zones around the plant have been changed several times and they have become more complex, while the total designated contaminated area itself has been in general shrinking due to decontamination efforts and natural radiation decline.

Among these evacuees, over 79, people more than half of the total evacuees were forced to evacuate from the evacuation zones Difficult to Return Zone: 24, people; Restricted Residence Zone: 23, people; Zone in preparation for the lifting of the evacuation order: 32, people ; and the rest evacuated voluntarily. Because evacuation has been prolonged, low morale among the evacuees has become widely prevalent.

The Reconstruction Agency is conducting the Residents Intention Survey on a regular basis in municipalities affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. According to the survey, many local residents--among the younger generation in particular--are progressively giving up on going back to their homes. Decontamination waste is not limited to the waste from evacuation zones in Fukushima prefecture waste generated by the tsunami, demolition waste from disaster-damaged houses, and garbage from disaster-damaged house cleanup. Since radioactivity spread over a wider area, decontamination waste is also being generated outside Fukushima prefecture incineration ash, rice straw, compost, sewage sludge, etc.

In Fukushima Prefecture, transportation of decontamination waste to centralized temporary storage facilities has begun.

As for the final waste disposal sites, MOE has announced a policy to select a site in each prefecture. However, this policy is facing strong oppositions from local residents. In a report of a thyroid cancer survey in which several children were diagnosed with thyroid cancer, the authors concluded that it is too early to link those cases to the Fukushima accident. In March , Fukushima Prefecture released an interim report of the evaluation meeting by experts regarding thyroid cancer examinations that targeted young persons aged years old at the time of the Fukushima accident.

The maximum exposure was estimated as 2. April There is a growing realization that the power sector is in a period of profound transformation. This is driven by a variety of factors, but one of the most powerful is the greater deployment of renewable energy to mitigate climate change and exploit increasing economic competitiveness. This is altering and in general lowering the market prices for electricity, and as much of the new renewable capacity is not owned by the incumbent power companies, it is reducing their market share. In competitive markets, it further reduces their electricity sales at the most profitable times.

These and other factors are leading to lower share prices, lower profits and lower credit ratings for the large traditional power companies. As described in more detail in other sections of the report, the largest nuclear operator in the world, the French state-controlled EDF, is still struggling with massive debts and increasing operating costs. Some European electricity companies are responding by rebranding and restructuring in an attempt to remain relevant under the new market conditions.

ON, owner of four of the remaining nine operating nuclear reactors in Germany, announced in December that it would spilt the company into two, with one maintaining the name E. ON to focus on renewables, efficiency, distribution networks, and customer solutions, while the existing generating assets would go to a new company called Uniper. As solar or wind power have no fuel costs, they are able to produce power at lower cost and therefore will enter the market, unless obstructed, whenever they are able to generate. Therefore an efficient system increasingly needs highly flexible complementary sources--whether decentralized storage, biogas, waste combustion, dispatchable renewables, or conventional micro-power plants--to complement renewables, i.

The escalation in the growth of renewables is forecasted by an increasing number of financial analysts and investors. There now seems to be a general recognition that the falling production costs of renewable energy technologies, particularly solar photovoltaics PV , coupled with the expected falling costs of electricity storage, will accelerate the transformation of the power sector.

In an increasing number of locations, solar systems are producing power at lower prices than consumers are paying retail price ; according to Morgan Stanley, even without subsidies solar can move to a commercially viable position by across all major European countries. The falling technology costs and system changes are likely to be reinforced as a result of renewed attention to the decarbonization of the energy sector in the run up to and following the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC summit in Paris in December These are likely to include the emissions reduction targets for , as has already been seen from China, the EU and the United States, and outline the sector strategies for how these will be met.

As of mid, regardless of the UN process, countries had adopted at least one type of renewable energy target, up almost four-fold from The changing landscape of the power sector and in particular, the move away from nuclear power and the graphic growth in renewables, is shown in the following section. Capacity additions are growing faster than these investment totals, because prices are rapidly falling. Figure 19 also compares the annual investment decisions for the construction of new nuclear compared to renewable energy excluding large hydro since The year saw a sharp drop in new nuclear investment, with construction starting on only three units, which were the Barakah-3 in the UAE, Belarus-2 in Belarus and the Carem reactor in Argentina.

Furthermore, the nuclear investment figures do not include revised budgets, if cost overruns occur. In other words, actual nuclear investment would be much lower than illustrated in this exercise. However, despite all these uncertainties, it is clear that over this period the investment in nuclear construction decisions is about an order of magnitude lower than that in renewable energy. Globally renewable energy continues to dominate new capacity additions. It is important to note the characteristics of electricity generation technologies and the different amounts of electricity produced per installed unit of capacity.

In general, nuclear power plants tend to produce more electricity per MW of installed capacity than renewables, whose production capabilities are determined by external factors, such as the wind blowing or the sun shining. Despite their variable output, which can generally be forecasted at least as accurately as electricity demand, wind and solar photovoltaic power are now becoming significant sources in some countries and internationally. Figure 21 below presents the actual electricity produced by solar photovoltaics, wind, and nuclear power, highlighting the changing levels of production since Of the 20 countries that operate nuclear power and solar PV, 18 saw an increase in output from solar and two a decrease, while for those that operate wind and nuclear, 25 saw an increase in output from wind power and only four a decrease.

In terms of actual production, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain now all generate more electricity from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear power. The reference date in Figure 21 is , as this was the date of the signing of the Kyoto Protocol. Despite attempts to restrict greenhouse gas emissions growth, worldwide emissions, primarily from the energy sector, have continued to grow and have risen from 32 billion tons per year in to The current deployment and energy production trends reflect the level of public and political support as well as the views of the investment community in the different technologies.

In , China installed more wind power and solar photovoltaics than any other country see Figure 22 , so worldwide it now has the largest capacity of wind power and the second largest of solar photovoltaics. China also installed more nuclear capacity in than any other country. On the other hand, total investment in nuclear power was PV additions in the past 60 years.

China is making progress in moving away from its coal dependency. In the European Union , between and , the net changes in the capacity of power plants are estimated to be an increase of This compares to The growth in renewables is likely to continue as Figure 25 illustrates the changes in generating capacity in and thus the dynamic in the sector. While there was an The installed nuclear capacity remained unchanged over the year , but two reactors were shut down in the first half of Doel-1 in Belgium and Grafenrheinfeld in Germany.

This will require an escalation of the current rate of renewable electricity deployment. There is no EU-wide nuclear deployment target. It is also one of the most troubled nuclear sectors in the world and has encountered many setbacks see India section in Asia.

This is in stark contrast to the development of the renewable sector, which is booming. Further increases in the growth in renewables are expected in the coming decade; in a target of GW of renewable-based power capacity excluding large hydropower was announced. Whether these targets turn out realistic or not remains to be seen. Approximately million people in India currently do not have access to electricity. Therefore how India choses to meet future growth in demand is absolutely vital domestically and globally.

The proposed solar PV target is undoubtedly ambitious, but is achievable if it follows a similar development pathway as China. The contribution of fossil fuels also remained largely the same, with a slight move back towards the use of coal over the year as coal and gas battled for market share. In energy terms, renewables including conventional hydro accounted for 9. The sector that exhibited considerable change was wind, which saw production increase by 8. During the year, power production from solar PV doubled, so that it provided a total of However, it is important to note that many figures, including those from the U.

Energy Information Administration Office U. Therefore the number significantly underestimates the contribution of solar, and while the U. EIA figure assumes an installed capacity of 8. This annex provides an overview of nuclear energy worldwide by region and country.

Historical maximum figures indicate the year that the nuclear share in the power generation of a given country was the highest since , the year of the Chernobyl disaster. They are both located at the Koeberg site east of Cape Town and supplied The reactors are situated at the only operating nuclear power plant on the African continent. However, in November , Eskom scrapped an international tender because the scale of investment was too high. The November edition of the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, which has not been updated since, concludes:.

This raised some concerns for the overall procurement process. Canada and Japan are expected to sign similar agreements in the near future. The five-year target as outlined in the Strategic Plan, is by to have completed technology and vendor selection, the procurement process and to have begun construction of the first unit; with connection of the first unit to the grid by and the second one in An ambitious timeline.

Historically Argentina was one of the countries that embarked on an ambiguous nuclear program, officially for civil purposes but backed by a strong military lobby. Construction is to take eight years, but it has not been announced, when work will start. That schedule seems already compromised. A commercial contract was scheduled to be signed by the end of The annual load factor jumped from As early as , the first contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant, Angra-1, was awarded to Westinghouse. The reactor went critical in In , Brazil signed with Germany what remains probably the largest single contract in the history of the world nuclear industry for the construction of eight 1.

However, due to an ever-increasing debt burden and obvious interest in nuclear weapons by the Brazilian military, practically the entire program was abandoned. Only the first reactor, Angra-2, was finally connected to the grid in July , 24 years after construction started.

The construction of Angra-3 was started in but abandoned in June No reasons were given for the new delays. In early May , a top-level Brazilian Government official announced that the country will not proceed with the previously stated plans to launch up to eight new nuclear power plants. It includes only the three Angra plants without any further program extension. For all of the remaining six Pickering units, the licenses expired on 30 June The launch of a nuclear new-build program has not got beyond initial stages.

The first unit was connected to the grid in and the second unit in In , nuclear power produced 9. The United States is on course to install 12 gigawatts of renewable capacity this year, more than all conventional sources combined. This is the lowest number since the Chernobyl accident in The highest number of operating units, , was reached in Four units were officially closed in the first half of , the first time reactor shutdowns were announced since The load factor increased by an impressive 4. Nuclear plants provided With only five reactors under construction one of them since and no new reactor started up in 19 years, the U.

Projects are being proposed and implemented to allow reactors to operate for potentially up to 60 years. At the end of May , 74 of the 99 operating U. Not all these life extension options are taken up. Common factors cited for early reactor closure decisions and the wider challenge to the nuclear industries existing nuclear fleet are low natural-gas prices, cheap wind power in the Midwest and flat electricity demand.

But another increasingly prominent challenge is the cost of maintaining aging nuclear reactors. One sign of the uncertainty in the prospects for continuing operation of aging nuclear reactors was the decision made in to cancel planned power uprates. Exelon Corporation, the largest nuclear operator in the U.

PJM is a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity for 61 million people in 13 States on the East coast, South East and Midwest plus the District of Columbia. Tennessee Valley Authority TVA stated in early that it would not start working on completion of two Bellefonte units until after the initial fuel loading at Watts Bar-2, under construction since Primary reasons for the delay included issues with submodule design and fabrication.

In February , the U. If the latest one is granted by the Public Service Commission in autumn , it will be the eighth since A request to recover capital costs through tariffs can only be introduced starting seven months prior to startup. Many other State Utility Commissions prohibit any construction cost related price increases prior to power production. Between a portfolio of Federal subsidies not just the loan guarantee and the special Georgia and South Carolina laws ostensibly transferring all costs and risks to federal taxpayers and state utility customers, while any potential upside goes to utility investors and the companies themselves, one might expect the utilities to be at low risk.

These arrangements also seem unlikely to be repeated in other states, and in due course may not offer utilities the degree of protection from cost overruns that they intended. All were submitted between July and June Nine were subsequently suspended indefinitely or cancelled and 16 have been delayed. Of the 10 reactors listed as under review by the NRC --two less than a year earlier with Fermi-3 COL granted and Calvert Cliffs-3 suspended--six are AP designs, though none of the utilities have committed to building them. Major uncertainties remain as to how many, if any, of these projects will actually go ahead.

In the near term, 5. In , renewable sources including conventional hydro covered 9. During , three new reactors were connected to the grid, and so far in an additional four units have come on line. Only in February were units 5 and 6 at Hongyanhe given the green light; yet apparently these two units were already approved prior to the March Fukushima disaster.

These include delays in construction and cost increases for the Westinghouse AP reactors and AREVA EPRs, continuing doubts over the siting of reactors in inland provinces, questions over which design or designs of reactors to develop, questions over safety and regulatory oversight, and questions about the commercial contract between Westinghouse and the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation SNPTC. Despite these uncertainties and problems, the State Council published in November the Energy Development Strategy Action Plan , which proposed specific targets for the increase of the share of non-fossil fuels in the total primary energy mix from 9.

However, even meeting this revised target will be difficult and will require the completion of all of the existing construction plus the ordering and completion of an addition 12 GW by Concerns have been raised about the safety implications of such a rapid construction program. Many observers expect the wind and solar targets to be exceeded. At the heart of the slowdown in nuclear development in China is the cancellation of projects and plans to build reactors inland, with all operating reactors currently found on the coast.

This is in marked contrast to , when it was anticipated that of the more than 40 sites reserved for the development of nuclear power plants, 31 were inland. In total, 17 of the 29 mainland provinces have inland nuclear sites reserved. The most controversial issue, inside and outside the nuclear sector, appears to be potential siting of reactors along the Changjiang River. With the rate of growth in electricity consumption slowing considerably--only 3.

Meanwhile, ever-cheaper renewables are steadily gaining market share and policy momentum.


Moreover, nuclear plants were recently reclassified as load-following rather than must-run resources, just like fossil-fueled plants, so their output may be curtailed in favor of renewables, reducing their profitability. This is one of a wide variety of market reforms expected in grid planning and operation in the next few years.

Together, these reforms are likely to make it tougher for traditional large thermal plants, especially nuclear units, to compete both for construction approvals and in operation. In April , the State Council announced the commissioning of the first of a new design of reactor, the Hualong One, with two of the reactors planned for Fuqing. The Hualong One is said to be the first nuclear design for which China has owned all intellectual property rights.

When initially ordered, both Western firms hoped and anticipated that these would be the first of a number of units. However, ongoing delays and higher construction costs have put future orders in doubt. Details have emerged of construction delays of up to three years for the AP reactors, and of at least months for the two EPR reactors. For the four AP reactors at Sanmen and Haiyang, escalating costs, late design changes, and component failures were confirmed by Chinese officials. However, it is now expected that grid connection will not take place until mid and end respectively. Rather than taking the average of one month for regular design changes, it took four to six months.

Unit 2 is expected to be connected three to four months later. In addition, malfunctions with equipment suppliers at Taishan have been cited as typical of first-of-a-kind reactor projects. Evidence of regulatory oversight and quality control challenges emerged in June They are overwhelmed. But the safety checks were carried out under the old standards and the standards themselves clearly need big improvements…. At the moment, the ministry of environmental protection is considering a new watchdog. To assist in this, China is merging some of its companies. By joining forces, the two reactor builders will pool resources in the construction of the Hualong design and reduce intra-Chinese competition, both of which could be positive.

In , nuclear power provided a record That is just 3. India lists six units as under construction with a total of 3. Most operating reactors experienced significant construction delays, and operational targets have rarely been achieved. Grid connection of the Russian-procured reactor Kudankulam-2, for example, under construction for 13 years, has been delayed numerous times.

First criticality is now scheduled for September With an annual load factor in of During an India visit in December , Russian President Putin did not wait for the resolution of the liability issue and stated:. We have just signed a document of great significance--the strategic vision for strengthening Indian-Russian cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear power. It contains plans to build over 20 nuclear power units in India, as well as cooperation in building Russia-designed nuclear power stations in third countries, in the joint extraction of natural uranium, production of nuclear fuel and waste elimination.

However, as far as reported, no commercially binding contracts have been signed since. In , the state of West Bengal scrapped a project for up to six Russian reactors at the coastal site of Haripur.

Indian nuclear planning has been always overly optimistic, not to say unrealistic. Competitive pressure on proposed nuclear projects can be expected to rise rapidly. This compares with nuclear generation of The Sendai-1 reactor, which would be the first to commence operation since September , and slated for restart in , has passed the three stage review of the NRA, but has yet to complete its pre service safety assessment as of 1 July The shutdown was following an admission from TEPCO that its staff had deliberately falsified data for inclusion in regulatory safety inspections reports.

The further noticeable decline in electrical output in was the result of the extended shutdown of the seven Kashiwazaki Kariwa reactors, with a total installed capacity of 8. Four years on, the consequences of the accident continue to define the future prospects for nuclear energy in Japan. The number of reactors theoretically available to resume operation declined further during the past year with the confirmation of the permanent closure of five reactors in March However, challenges to the proposed nuclear share were evident inside the drafting subcommittee, with dissenting expert opinion that the nuclear share did not reflect a commitment in to reduce nuclear power to the extent possible.

However, even attaining this figure looks uncertain. The Strategic Energy plan maintained the long-standing government policy of promoting spent nuclear fuel reprocessing and plutonium mixed oxide fuel MOX use in commercial reactors. FEPCO will decide on a new deadline after reviewing possible reactor restarts. The 21st delay in commercial operation of the Rokkasho-mura reprocessing plant, intended to produce plutonium for use in MOX fuel, was announced in October In the case of seismic assessment, reactors that are located above active faults would not be permitted to resume operations.

Reactor owners are also required to assess their vulnerability to volcanic eruptions, which depending on scale of risk would not be permitted to operate or would be required to have safety countermeasures in place. Upon completion of the preliminary approval of the safety case, the NRA is to hold a series of local public information meetings--an issue that has created controversy as to whether communities not immediately within the vicinity of a plant, but at risk in the event of a severe accident, would participate.

Reactors at Sendai, Tomari, Ikata and Genkai emerged in late as frontrunners for passing NRA safety guidelines and therefore restart. In early July , Kyushu Electric announced it planned unit 1 to restart in August , with no change for unit 2. In addition to the NRA review process, restart of the Sendai reactors, as with all nuclear plants in Japan, requires approval by the community closest to the plant and by the Governor of the Prefecture.

This is a political though not a legal requirement. Kagoshima Prefecture, the location of the Sendai reactors, was considered by the central government and nuclear industry as likely to witness least resistance to restart. However, during , communities in Kagoshima expressed opposition to restart, in particular due to the perceived inadequacy of emergency planning procedures.

However, other prospects for the resumption of additional reactors in receded further during the year. However, in a decisive ruling, the Fukui District Court halted these plans with an injunction on 14 April Kansai Electric filed an immediate appeal, which could be ruled upon within months. It is worth noting that Kansai Electric, in May , had a similar injunction served by the same court on its Ohi units 3 and 4. That order has yet to be overturned in an appeal ruling as of 1 July Also, the Ohi plant is further behind in the NRA review process, even if the outstanding injunction is overturned on appeal.

As with the Sendai and Takahama reactors, application for review of the Ikata unit was submitted in July The first stage review approval is expected during summer Shikoku Electric is planning for restart during winter of , but it is not likely before There were further setbacks to the prospects for nuclear plant restarts in the past year.

The Shika units 1 and 2, owned by Hokuriku Electric Power, had been under investigation for the presence of active seismic fault lines. On 13 May , the NRA announced it could not rule out seismic faults running under the reactors. Under the post Fukushima safety guidelines, confirmation of active faults beneath Shika would require the nuclear plant to be shutdown permanently.

Despite these setbacks, the Abe government remains committed to the earliest possible restart of reactors, so the fact that not one reactor has resumed operations has led to considerable pressure being applied to the NRA to speed up the process. However, outside the NRA process, there are important external factors that will also determine how many nuclear reactors will eventually resume operations. These include:. At the same time, however, Japanese utilities are insisting, and the government has granted and reinforced, the right to refuse cheaper renewable power--supposedly due to concerns about grid stability hardly plausible in view of their far smaller renewable fractions than in several European countries but apparently to suppress competition.

The ability of existing Japanese nuclear plants, if restarted, to operate competitively against modern renewables as many in the U. A major determinant in the eventual number of reactors operated in Japan will be ageing, permanent decommissioning, and life extension decisions of nuclear power plants. In March , two utilities announced that they would consider the decommissioning of two of their commercial reactors, which at the time were 39 and 40 years old respectively. Before the March nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan had 54 commercial nuclear reactors.

As a result of the accident, all six reactor units at Fukushima Daiichi are to be decommissioned over the coming decades. However, given the devastation of the accident to Fukushima Prefecture, and resultant opposition to TEPCO and nuclear power in that Prefecture and wider Japan, there is no prospect that these reactors will restart. Including Fukushima Daini, the total rises to 15 nuclear reactors.

In total, at the very least, 6. This increases to Signaling a determination to continue operation of older reactors, Kansai Electric announced on 17 March that it had submitted applications to the Nuclear Regulation Authority NRA for the review of Mihama-3 and Takahama-1 and This can be extended only once, by up to 20 years, if certain conditions are met. On 30 April , Kansai Electric applied for a year life extension for the two Takahama reactors. In any case, Kansai Electric does not expect the two Takahama units to resume operations before November , at the earliest, because further safety measures will need to be taken before restarting them.

At the same time, pressure to resume operations to generate electricity and income is clearly mounting. However, it is by no means certain that reactors will not operate beyond 40 years. Under existing policy, operators can apply for plant life extension for an additional 20 years beyond their year limit. Of the 25 reactors currently with applications outstanding before the NRA, not all will restart, with many questions and disagreements over seismic issues including active fault status , and many plants far back in the review and screening queue.

Heat Pipe Applications in Fission Driven Nuclear Power Plants

Even with final safety approval, and given other unresolved safety issues, there will be as many legal and political challenges to overcome as there are nuclear power plants. In conclusion, it cannot be predicted with any certainty or precision what future percentage share of electricity in Japan will be nuclear-generated. This output is based on the near maximum actual generation by these reactors over their latest years of operation, generally during Securing this percentage share, as planned by METI, looks impossible, while even a percentage share appears unlikely.