Is there a future for nuclear energy?

Here are some key indicators from the 2019 edition of the World Nuclear Report, which show that the use of nuclear energy is declining.

1. Over the past two years, the largest historic nuclear builder Westinghouse and its French counterpart AREVA went bankrupt.

2. In 2018, ten nuclear countries generated more power with renewable than with fission energy. In spite of its ambitious nuclear program, China produced more power from wind alone than from nuclear plants. In India, in the fiscal year to March 2019, not only wind, but for the first time solar out-generated nuclear, and new solar is now competitive with existing coal plants in the market. In the European Union, renewables accounted for 95 percent of all new electricity generating capacity added in the past year.

3. The number of units under construction globally declined for the sixth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 46 by mid-2019, of which 10 are in China, but there is still no construction start of any commercial reactor in China since December 2016.

4. The nuclear share of global electricity generation has continued its slow decline from a historic peak of about 17.5 percent in 1996 to 10.15 percent in 2018.

5. Over the past decade, levelized cost estimates for utility-scale solar dropped by 88%, wind by 69%, while nuclear increased by 23%. Renewables now come in below the cost of coal and natural gas.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject: