June 02, 2015

Japan unlikely to hit 22% 2030 nuclear power target and South Korea will add two more nuclear reactors by 2029

Japan’s expectation that nuclear generation will account for as much as 22 percent of its electricity in 2030 is overly optimistic, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

Factoring in costs and the regulatory hurdles required to extend the life of operating reactors beyond the typical 40 years, atomic power will probably supply no more than 10 percent of electricity in 2030, an analysis by BNEF shows. To achieve the government target, at least 13 reactors would need to receive extensions beyond their 40-year lifetime, BNEF said in a report released Tuesday. That would be challenging amid continued anti-nuclear power sentiment among the public, the researcher said.

Gas is likely to account for about 42 percent of Japan’s electricity generation in 2030, far greater than the government’s projection of 27 percent, according to the report.

As for clean energy, renewables will probably make up 26.1 percent of the generation mix, compared with 22 percent to 24 percent projected by the government, BNEF said.

BNEF expects 23 percent of Japan’s electricity to come from coal in 2030. The government pegs coal at 26 percent.

South Korea will add two more nuclear reactors to the national power grid by 2029 and scrap a plan to build four new fossil fuel plants as part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy recently drew up its 7th power supply plan for 2015 to 2029. It will review the plan with the Ministry of Environment and other related state bodies this month and then hold a mandatory public hearing before confirmation.

If the plan is endorsed, Korea will operate 36 nuclear reactors by 2029, up from current 23. The constriction of 11 reactors is underway.

China's State Council has approved the merger of leading Chinese nuclear power companies China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC) and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC).

The new company will be named State Power Investment Corporation, and will be chaired by Wang Binghua. SNPTC was founded in 2007 as the national body responsible for transfer of generation III nuclear power technology into China and is responsible for the development of the CAP1400, a Chinese version of the Westinghouse AP1000.

The two other key players in the Chinese nuclear sector, China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) are also reportedly considering a merger.

4. Northern Miner reports that China is looking to acquire low cost uranium producing companies in Canada, Australia and Kazakhstan. China is looking to get uranium production of about 30,000 tonnes per year with cash production cost of no higher than US$25 per lb. and total production costs of no more than US$45 per lb.

SOURCES - Bloomberg, Korea Times, NEI Magazine, Northern Miner

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