At the end of 2017 the global nuclear capacity of the 448 operable reactors stood at 392 GWe, up 2 GWe compared with the end of 2016. Four new reactors were connected to the grid, with a combined capacity of 3373 MWe. The total number of reactors under construction fell by two to 59 over the course of 2017. Five reactors – two of which had not generated electricity for some years – were shut down, with a combined capacity of 3025 MWe.
The median construction time in 2017 was 58 months, down from 74 months in 2016, and equalling the lowest five-year median construction time achieved in 2001-2005.
2015 and 2016 each saw nearly 10 GWe of new nuclear capacity start-up and a more modest 3.3 GWe was connected to the grid in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, more than 26 GWe of new nuclear capacity is scheduled to come online and this will meet the overall target for this first five-year period. 2020 should see nuclear power generation grow beyond old peaks in nuclear power generation.
In the five years from 2015 to 2019 we should see 55 new reactors start in 12 countries. 55 GWe of new nuclear generation will avoid the emission of more than 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
Nuclear capacity must expand to achieve the industry’s Harmony goal to enable nuclear energy to supply 25% of the world’s electricity demand by 2050.”
The Harmony goal will require a tripling of nuclear generation from its present level. Some 1000 GWe of new nuclear generating capacity will need to be constructed by then to achieve that goal.
The pace of capacity additions required to meet the Harmony goal needs to accelerate in the next decade, eventually reaching an average of 33 GWe of new nuclear capacity added each year.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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