Shutting down nuclear plants risks ‘greatest loss of clean power in history’ 

Posted: May 14, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, Nuclear power, opinion
Tags: ,

Existing Sizewell B nuclear power station

Being hooked on ‘carbon intensity’ beliefs can lead to many strange decisions. For example, lack of enthusiasm for nuclear energy sits alongside the boom in biomass burning, churning out vast amounts of supposedly unwanted carbon dioxide.
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If governments around the world continue to shut down nuclear plants, they risk driving the “single greatest loss of clean power in history”.

That’s the warning from industry associations including the Canadian Nuclear Association, FORATOM, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Nuclear Industry Association and the World Nuclear Association, who have penned a letter calling for world leaders to step up investment in nuclear infrastructure, reports Energy Live News.

The group states that unless policymakers unveil a raft of new spending on nuclear, progress on decarbonisation will ‘backslide’ and the carbon intensity of energy generation will begin to rise.

They call on nations’ leaders to recognise nuclear as a “low carbon, clean and sustainable technology”, as well as to make climate finance as accessible for nuclear as it is for sources of energy such as wind and solar.

It says new nuclear plants must be built to maintain existing levels of nuclear generation as older power stations are retired – unless new projects are built, nuclear capacity is expected to fall by more than 100GW in the next two decades, with the letter claiming the UK will lose its existing capacity before any other developed nation.

Half of the UK’s existing nuclear capacity will be retired by March 2024, with the first plant to be closed down in only eight months – by 2030, only one will be left.

Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “Nuclear is absolutely vital if we are to hit net zero as a planet. Nuclear delivers reliable clean power, new opportunities for industrial decarbonisation and good, well-paying jobs for a green economy.

“The retirements of existing stations right across the world mean we need to act today, or we will lose jobs and see higher emissions. We are calling on policymakers to make the right choices.”

Full report here.

  1. saighdear says:

    May I ask a simple Question? Who is the government mannie who actually comes along to switch OFF the power stations? and if there isn’t one, WHY does someone else take on that “responsibility”? ‘Non’ should be the Station Manager’s response!

  2. Hasbeen says:

    The madness is spreading faster than the coronavirus, & dramatically faster than the planet is warming.

  3. Stuart Brown says:

    “Half of the UK’s existing nuclear capacity will be retired by March 2024, with the first plant to be closed down in only eight months – by 2030, only one will be left.Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “Nuclear is absolutely vital if we are to hit net zero…”

    Well yes, but this sounds like this is something new for the UK. In fact we have already closed 30 reactors – as many as Germany and more than Japan. OK, they were the Magnox reactors and mostly quite small, but still they accounted for nearly 5GW. They were closed because they were old – 1960s tech. What’s left are the AGRs (and Sizewell B) and these are also showing their age now. The youngest AGR is Torness (33 on the 25th, send a card). Currently we are only generating 3.5GW from 9GW capacity, which is nearly as bad as wind! Hinckley Point C will do that all by itself.

    If Catastrophic Anthropgenic Global Warming ™ were really an ‘existential’ crisis requiring war effort responses we would be hammering on the doors of Rolls Royce’s Derby works to build their SMRs on all 17 sites where we currently have a shut down Magnox. We should be building them at old coal plants too. Folks would be working 24 hour days to push through the approvals. Police would be carting protesters away tout suite. 

    Nope. I can’t see it happening either.

  4. stpaulchuck says:

    IMAO the Arabs and Big Coal is what did in nukes. They got the useful idiots to parade around and demand anything and everything that would hobble nuclear. Stopping fast neutron reactors (Jimmy the Dunce Carter) that could ‘burn up’ nuclear waste, and stopping nuclear storage like Yucca Mountain were done to cause nukes to choke on their own waste.

    Here in The Peoples Republic Of Minnesota, Land of Loons, they wrote a law forbidding any new nukes. Ever. We have been putting up those butt ugly windmills and covering prime agriculture land with solar arrays in a state with one of the worst number of sunshine days and windy days, plus our usual snow storms that bury everything regularly and minus degree (F) days/weeks. The world has gone stark, staring mad IMHO and a lot of it is greed based.

  5. oldbrew says:

    ‘Decarbonisation’ is a very bad joke. Unfortunately it’s a joke at the public’s enormous expense but few have worked that out yet.

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    The irrational hatred of nuclear by Greens destroys their credibility. They are not guided by science but by juvenile emotions. Yet politicians cannot get enough of it. A world run by teenage angst and petulance.

  7. Adam Gallon says:

    The answer’s simple.
    “We’ll no longer pay for you to produce power after (insert date) and we’ll no longer underwrite your power station in case of a nuclear accident”

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