Global nuclear capacity to grow to 390GW by 2030

Global nuclear capacity is expected to continue expanding in the coming years. According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it could reach 390.2GW by 2030. Although growth […]

Register now!

By Jacqueline Echevarria

Global nuclear capacity is expected to continue expanding in the coming years.

According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it could reach 390.2GW by 2030.

Although growth of nuclear slowed in 2011 since the Fukushima accident, generating capacity is expected to expand between 1.9% and 56% by 2030.

However, that’s low compared to the 2.4% and 68% growth predicted last year by the IAEA.

That’s due to uncertainty related to energy policy, licence renewals, shutdowns and future constructions accounts, the agency said.

Other factors which are weighing on the growth of nuclear are low prices for natural gas, falling costs for renewables, lack of market signals for low carbon energy and a sluggish global economy.

Heightened safety requirements introduced after the Fukushima accident and the deployment of next generation technologies with advanced safety systems have also contributed to delays, the report stated.

The IAEA highlighted the current global nuclear reactor fleet is also ageing, with more than half of the 450 reactors currently in operation for more than 30 years.

Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy said: “Nuclear energy, in the long run, will continue to play an important role in the world’s energy mix. With populations and demand for electricity growing, nuclear power can help ensure reliable and secure energy supplies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, nuclear power can help lift millions of people out of energy poverty while also combating climate change.”

In the UK the government, EDF and Chinese firm CGN have signed the final deal for the construction of Hinkley Point C after Theresa May gave the final go-ahead for the project, which is expected to cost consumers as much as £21 billion.