Posted by Big Gav in nuclear power
Alas, poor nuclear renaissance, I knew it well - Nuclear industry in crisis.
Problems with Generation III projects ‒ which largely explain Toshiba’s crisis ‒ are summarised in a recent Bloomberg piece: “Costly delays, growing complexity and new safety requirements in the wake of the triple meltdown at Fukushima are conspiring to thwart a new age of nuclear reactor construction. So-called generation III+ reactors were supposed to have simpler designs and safety features to avoid the kind of disaster seen in Japan almost six years ago. “With their development, the industry heralded the dawn of a new era of cheaper, easier-to-build atomic plants. Instead, the new reactors are running afoul of tighter regulations and unfamiliar designs, delaying completions and raising questions on whether the breakthroughs are too complex and expensive to be realized without state aid.”
Other nuclear utilities around the world are also in deep trouble. Their problems were summarised in the July 2016 World Nuclear Industry Status Report: “Many of the traditional nuclear and fossil fuel based utilities are struggling with a dramatic plunge in wholesale power prices, a shrinking client base, declining power consumption, high debt loads, increasing production costs at aging facilities, and stiff competition, especially from renewables.