The Death of Nuclear (Fission) Power?

I came across an interesting article on vox.com titled “The rise and fall of nuclear power in 6 charts”, which features some charts taken from the 2014 Nuclear Industry Status Report and give visual presentations which provide a quick look at the current status of nuclear power, and projections into the future. You can check the article linked above for the actual charts, but these are the points they represent:

1. Nuclear Power electricity production peaked in 2005 in terms of gross energy produced. 1996 was the year when the highest percentage (17.6 percent) of the world’s electricity was produced by nuclear power plants.

2. The number of nuclear reactors in operation today is 388 — down from a high of 438 in 2002.

3. 31 countries around the world have operating nuclear power plants in them. Top 5 are: United States, France, Russia, South Korea and China.

4. 67 reactors are currently under construction — down from a peak of 186 in 1979. 49 of the reactors currently under construction have met with significant delays.

5. 14 countries have plans to build new nuclear reactors.

6. Most of the world’s existing reactors are likely to be retired by 2060, and with fewer nuclear plants coming online we could see an almost nuclear fission power-free world by that date.

The Nuclear Industry Status Report is not a nuclear industry organization; it appears to be an independent watchdog-type group that attempts to take an unbiased look at the nuclear industry. I would expect that some in the nuclear industry would dispute the idea that nuclear fission is on the wane — especially with the research and development that is being done in the Next Generation Nuclear field where reactors are being designed to be much safer than earlier versions with the ability to reuse nuclear waste.

Of course, here at E-Cat World we think about what the impact of LENR might have on the nuclear industry. In terms of nuclear energy production, the E-Cat appears to have all of the benefits of a energy-dense nuclear reaction (if that is what it is),  at high temperatures without the drawbacks of radioactive fuel, radioactive waste, and the huge expense of designing plants and processes to keep us safe from that radiation. It may be that the introduction of the E-Cat to the world could hasten the demise of the nuclear fission power industry. If it becomes obvious that the E-Cat is a much cheaper and safer alternative, it would be hard sell for governments to stick to their current plans for bringing new nuclear fission plants online. 

 

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