The Future of Nuclear Energy
- Working Paper
An update of our 2009 study, "The Future of Nuclear Energy, Facts and Fiction" using the 2009 and the available 2010 data, including a critical look at the just published 2009 edition of the Red Book, is presented. Since January 2009, eight reactors with a capacity of 4.9 GWe have been connected to the electric grid and four older reactors, with a combined capacity of 2.64 GWe have been terminated. Furthermore, 27 reactor constructions, dominated by China (18) and Russia (4), have been initiated. The nuclear fission produced electric energy in 2009 followed the slow decline, observed since 2007, with a total production of 2560 TWhe, 41 TWhe (1.6%) less than in 2008 and roughly 100 TWhe less than in the record year 2006. The preliminary data from the first 10 months of 2010 in the OECD countries indicate that nuclear power production in North-America remained at the 2009 levels, while one observes a recovery in Europe with an increase of 2.5% and a strong rise of 5% in the OECD Asia-Pacific area compared to the same period in 2009. Worldwide uranium mining has increased during 2009 by about 7000 tons to almost 51000 tons. Still roughly 18000 tons of the 2010 world uranium requirements need to be provided from the civilian and military reserves. Perhaps the most remarkable new data from the just published 2009 edition of the Red Book, are that (1) the best understood RAR (reasonable assured) and IR (inferred) resources, with a price tag of less than 40 US dollars/Kg, have been inconsistently absorbed in the two to three times higher price categories and (2) uranium mining in Kazakhstan is presented with a short lifetime. The presented mining capacity numbers indicate an uranium extraction peak of 28000 tons during the years 2015-2020, from which it will decline quickly to 14000 tons by 2025 and to only 5000-6000 tons by 2035 Show more
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Organisational unit03904 - Wallny, Rainer
NotesSubmitted on 21 January 2011.
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