Energy Information Administration Projections to 2030 Assume that China Will Not Meet Nuclear Targets

The 2009 Energy Information Administration Projections to 2030 have been released.

The highest energy growth case has China at 274 billion kilowatt hours for 2020 and 426 billion kilowatt hours for 2030. China is increasing its nuclear build targets to 75 gigawatts for 2020 and 104 nuclear reactors for 2030. The 2030 reactors would mostly be larger 1.7GWe versions of the AP1000. A previous target for 2030 was 160 gigawatts when the 2020 target was still 50-60 gigwatts. A more recent target for 2030 was to generate 16% of China’s total power needs which would be aboutr 250 GWe.

If China is able to achieve the 75 gigawatt target for 2020 then it would seem that the 2030 target would be about 200 gigawatts. In 2007, nuclear power in China provided 62.86 billion kWh – 2.3% of total, and there is now 8.6 GWe (net) installed.

Using the same capacity factors as China currently has the 75 GWe for 2020 would achieve 548 billion kWh. The USA was able to achieve 806 billion kwh from 101 GWe using 91.8% utilization. If China was able to achieve that level of utilization then 75 GWe would produce 598 billion kWh.

If China in 2030 was able to achieve its 250 GWe target that would be more than double the current USA nuclear power and achieving over 2000 billion kWh. This would be over 1500 billion kWh higher than the high projection from the IEA for 2030.

The IEA projections for Russia are also far lower than what Russia is planning to build.

China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Korea seem likely to have far higher nuclear reactor build than the IEA projection.

Also, there is the possibility that success with uranium hydride Hyperion Power Generation, China’s plan for factory mass produced High Temperature Pebble reactors or IEC nuclear fusion would vastly increase the amount of power from nuclear energy.

Russia is looking to double its current nuclear power generation to 51 GWe by 2020.

Goldman Sachs slides on nuclear power. H/T Dan Yurman at Idaho Samizdat.

EIA 2009 Outlook:

Non-OECD Asia leads the world in installing new nuclear capacity in the IEO2009 reference case, accounting for 54 percent of the projected net increment in nuclear capacity worldwide (or 72 gigawatts of the total 132-gigawatt increase). China, in particular, has expansive plans for nuclear power, with a net 47 gigawatts of additional capacity projected to be installed by 2030. Currently, 11 nuclear power plants are under construction in China, including 6 for which construction was
started in 2008. [International Atomic Energy Association is the March 2009 source fir EIAWith generation from coal, natural gas, and renewable energy sources also expected to continue increasing rapidly, however, the nuclear share of total generation in China increases only from 2 percent in 2006 to 5 percent in 2030.

China has 12 nuclear plants under construction now and will have 12 more starting by the end of 2009. China’s People’s Daily reported Feb 2009 that 22 new nuclear reactors were already under construction. (20 of the 22 apply CPR-1000, the China-developed second-generation technology.) The 47 net GWe of new nuclear power in China for 2030 is a massively low estimate.

0 thoughts on “Energy Information Administration Projections to 2030 Assume that China Will Not Meet Nuclear Targets”

  1. John,

    There was no science or facts in any of your first two postings. I welcome factually supported critique and input. I am sorry but there was not any in either of your two posts.

  2. John,

    I must be missing your points because they were not stated in the first posting. Your first post was about one glitch (nothing about long term waste).

    In your second posting you talk about ten thousand year issues. However, deep burn nuclear technology will get rid of all the unburned fuel. Everything other than uranium and plutonium and thorium in the case of the thorium cycle has less than a 30 year half life. Make deep burn reactors like molten salt over the next 10 to 20 years and then the unburned fuel/waste problem goes away within 50 years as deep burn reactors are made in volume. The problem is only storing the unburned fuel for another 50 years or so and some of it has already been stored that long.

    Coal leaves thousands of tons of mercury and arsenic. The thorium and uranium in coal is not stored in cans it is dispersed into the air. 20,000 tons per year. Mixed in with the ten billion tons/year of CO2 and cancer causing particulates.

    Coal matters because 50% of the worlds electricity is from coal. Thus the fastest replacement (more nuclear) needs to be compared against it.

    A current non-solution (like solar and wind) means thousands more die every day. Solar and wind can and should be developed, but nuclear should proceed full bore as well.

    If you are not measuring bad news in terms of deaths then what is your measure ?

    Have you looked at the energy and pollution articles on this site ?

    Descriptions of the investments and subsidies made into renewables:

    Energy costs with externalities

    Feed in tariffs support of renewables

    Deep burn and seriously scaling nuclear power

    Please take the time to read some of the articles so that you can come up with a new objection or see where you misunderstand the subject. If you can find a factual or analysis flaw with what has been written then please present it in detail.

  3. Yes, perhaps I’m just ‘partially educated’ (making you totally educated, I assume), but I feel you’ve missed my point. I’m not talking about deaths alone when I refer to the bad news of nuclear. I’m referring to longer term impact: Impact measured in the tens of thousands of years that we seem to think disappears in a sealed barrel off the back of a boat.

    I understand how my post may have sounded like a defence of coal. And I apologise for that. Nothing could be further from the truth. I remain of the partially-educated opinion that funding and research into genuine clean energy has been sorely lacking, and the pro-nuclear advocates are merely trumpeting the best of a bad bunch (coal pollution, hydro dams, etc).

    Real investment is needed into genuinely renewable energy. Wind energy or thermal, for example, are currently too inefficient for scale use, but the same could be said of the first generation of gas, coal and – yes – even nuclear.


  4. John, please read the article on deaths per twh

    It explains how coal and oil has a lot more deaths.

    The buffalo creek sludge dam break and the London fog incident are described here

    Three Mile Island had zero casualties. As in no one died. Chernobyl also has had few 50 deaths and after several decades may have 4000 deaths. More have been killed in coal mining every year.

    Coal generates about 6200 TWh out of the world total of 15500 TWh of electricity. This would be 161 deaths per TWh.

    In the USA about 30,000 deaths/year from coal pollution from 2000 TWh. 15 deaths per TWh.

    In China about 500,000 deaths/year from coal pollution from 1800 TWh. 278 deaths per TWh.

    The “engineering faults” of coal are not small scale. Air pollution is not a small scale fault. 3 million die every year from outdoor air pollution. People dieing in the millions every year and the anti-nuclear people talk about near misses that kill ZERO people. Deaths in one month from air pollution kill more than those who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Sorry John, coal is very, very bad news. You just were partially educated and not aware of it. Coal does not near miss, it racks up the body bags.

    Wind and solar are comparable to the deaths from nuclear. Wind uses ten times as much cement and several times more steel for the same MWH. Rooftop solar is actually dangerous because of falls. Wind and solar are tiny and have problems scaling up to be significant contributors in energy.

  5. Sorry guys. I’m all for clean energy. But one nuclear glitch and it’s very, very bad news. Feel free to scoff at the ‘partially educated’ folks who recall 3 Mile Is and Chernobyl… With coal, wind, solar, etc, engineering faults are small scale; cost-benefit is easy to work out. Near miss in Japan 2 yrs ago. Near miss when Enron turned off the electricity in Calif 6 or 7 yrs ago. Just one near miss is too many.

  6. I think most educated adults understand the issue – it’s the noisy, partially educated adults that’ve been carefully indoctrinated with the “nuclear=bad juju” meme that’ve managed to hold us back on that.

    Look at France – 80% or more of their electricity comes from nuclear power. Obviously it CAN be done safely – the Luddites just don’t want to understand the science behind it.


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