Much has been made of the apparent renaissance of nuclear power.
According to the FT, 388 new reactors are currently being planned or proposed, as compared to 436 reactors currently in operation.
However, once you look at the number of reactors actually under construction, things look decidedly less impressive: There are only 45, half of which in two countries (Russia and China).
The US, in particular, currently doesn't even have a single new project with a full construction and operation licence, and there's only one project with "permission to break ground" (but no full licence expected until 2011).
According to the Daily Mail, the British government just announced 11 potential sites for new reactors. But no investment decision will be made before 2011, and the first new reactor may come on stream in 2017 at the earliest. If the British government decides to provide massive subsidies, that is, because the industry argues that it won't be interested in building any new reactors without such subsidies.
And while China is building or planning more than 20 new reactors, this will apparently only increase the proportion of nuclear-generated energy from 2 % now to 3-4 % by 2020. Not exactly what you'd call a "major breakthrough".
2:00PM Water Cooler 3/24/2017
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