'Nuclear power is currently the most costly kind of generation, with the exception of gas peaking plants'

Sep 24, 2020 12:41 PM ET
  • The most up to date edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report shows the torpidity of the sector continues. Simply 2.4 GW of brand-new nuclear generation capacity came online last year, compared to 98 GW of solar. The globe's operational nuclear power capacity had declined by 2.1%, to 362 GW, at the end of June.
'Nuclear power is currently the most costly kind of generation, with the exception of gas peaking plants'
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The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from nuclear power climbed from around $117/MWh in 2015 to $155 at the end of last year, according to the current version of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, released yearly by French nuclear professional Mycle Schneider.

By comparison, the LCOE from solar energy decreased from $65/MWh to about $49 and that of wind from $55 to $41.

" What is exceptional concerning these fads, is that the costs of renewables continue to fall as a result of step-by-step manufacturing and also installation enhancements while nuclear, in spite of over 50 years of commercial experience, remains to see prices increasing," stated the report, pointing out a current study from monetary advising and asset management company Lazard. "Nuclear power is now the most costly form of generation, with the exception of gas peaking plants," added the research, which did not provide an LCOE for gas peaker generation.

The expense distinction is having a massive impact in brand-new generation capacity deployment, with simply 2.4 GW of brand-new nuclear plants mounted last year, compared to 98 GW of solar and 59.2 GW of wind, according to the report. The world's operational nuclear capability dropped 2.1% to 362 GW by the end of June. "The number of running reactors in the world has dropped ... to 408 since mid-2020, that is below the level already gotten to in 1988 as well as 30 devices listed below the historic peak of 438 in 2002," the study reported.

6 nuclear reactors were grid-connected last year: three in Russia, 2 in China and also one in South Korea. At the same time, five nuclear plants closed last year and 3 more were shuttered in the very first fifty percent of this year, without nuclear facilities added from January to June. An extra eight facilities, which had ceased procedures, were decommissioned in 2019.

" The 'big five' nuclear generating countries-- by ranking: the United States, France, China, Russia and also South Korea-- once more produced 70% of all nuclear electricity in the world in 2019," the report specified. "Two nations, the U.S. and also France, made up 45% of 2019 international nuclear production, that is 2 percentage points less than in the previous year, as France's output diminished by 3.5%.".

The report added, the ordinary age of the world's nuclear reactor fleet has actually reached 30.7 years, with two-thirds of reactors operating for more than 31 years.

The variety of reactors incomplete rose from 46 to 52-- of which 15, with an overall generation capacity of 14 GW, remain in China. Most of those projects, nevertheless, have endured years-long hold-ups. Last year, building and construction started on 4 plants in China as well as one each in Russia and the U.K. and work began on a Turkish nuclear plant in the very first half of this year.