Monday 24th October 2016

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Russia plans 11 new nuclear reactors by 2030, Japanese restarts forecast to pick up

by Greg Klein | August 10, 2016

Not counting six already under construction, Russia’s government calls for 11 new nuclear reactors by 2030, according to an August 10 World Nuclear News story. The report follows a July 28 WNN article citing forecasts that Japan will have 19 reactors back in operation by the end of March 2017.

[The Russian project’s] ultimate aim is to eliminate production of radioactive waste from nuclear power generation.—World Nuclear News

Russia also approved expansions of six existing nuclear power plants. In addition the government approved construction of a facility “to produce high-density uranium-plutonium neutron fuel and the construction by 2025 of the BREST-OD-300 fast neutron reactor,” WNN added. “BREST-OD-300 is part of the Russian state nuclear corporation’s ‘Proryv,’ or Breakthrough project, to enable a closed nuclear fuel cycle. The ultimate aim is to eliminate production of radioactive waste from nuclear power generation.”

The Japanese forecast comes from the country’s Institute of Energy Economics, the WNN stated. Seven of the 19 predicted restarts could take place by the current fiscal year-end on March 31. Four reactors have already restarted, although court injunctions put two of them back offline. Judicial rulings and local consents will continue to influence the rate of restarts, the institute pointed out.

Should the 19 units come back into operation, they would generate “some 119.8 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, compared with total nuclear output of 288.2 TWh in FY2010, the year prior to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant,” WNN stated.

China leads the world in nuclear energy expansion with 20 reactors under construction, 42 planned and 136 proposed, according to August 1 figures from the World Nuclear Association. Globally the numbers come to 61 under construction, 170 planned and 339 proposed by 2030.

All those plans, proposals and forecasts have had little if any effect on uranium’s price, however. Ux Consulting’s August 8 price indicator shows energy’s yellow metal floundering at $26, not far above its post-Fukushima lows.

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