France, Korea, Belgium, UK, China Will Expand Nuclear Energy

The UK has setup a new program called Great British Nuclear, which has the goal of building up to seven new nuclear reactors by 2050. They will identify sites, cut through red tape to speed up the planning process, and bring together private firms to run each site.

The United Kingdom currently has eleven operable reactors and is considering extending the operation of one nuclear power plant by twenty years.

The EU mported more than 60 percent of its energy in 2019. Russia provided 47 percent of the EU’s imported coal, 41 percent of its imported natural gas, and 27 percent of its imported crude oil.

In March, Belgium chose delay by a decade a plan to scrap nuclear energy in 2025.

South Korea’s incoming government will reverse korea’s nuclear phaseout plan. South Korea is one of the world’s top-five importers of fossil fuels. Korea imports 20 percent of its coal from Russia. Korea generated 139 terawatt-hours of electricity from nuclear in 2019 from 24 reactors. South Korea is the fifth-largest nuclear power producer in the world. This was 26 percent of Korea’s total electricity generation.

Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will reverse Moon Jae-in plan to shut down 7 nuclear reactors by 2034.

France is voting on April 24 to choose between Macron and Le Pen for the next President. Both plan to increase nuclear power by 7-20 nuclear reactors.

President Macron outlined a plan to build six new nuclear reactors of the EPR 2 type, examine eight other projects, and extend existing plants.

Candidate Le Pen wants to extend the life of existing power plants to 60 years, reopen the Fessenheim plant (which was closed in 2020), build five pairs of EPRs by 2031 and five pairs of EPR 2s by 2036.

High energy prices are motivating China to increase nuclear power. China’s plan calls for more demonstration projects of advanced reactors and early-stage research into nuclear fusion reactors.

SOURCES- Bloomberg, Financial Times, France24, Reuters
Written by Brian Wang,

27 thoughts on “France, Korea, Belgium, UK, China Will Expand Nuclear Energy”

  1. H2 being 11 times worse than CO2 means its net benefit for the climate is huge,or you can use coal and gas they have Hydrogen as well, just are not beneficial for the climate.

  2. If you're thinking of Centrus, Kirk Sorenson was mentioning that they are functionally incapable of fueling even one commercial reactor load in a reasonable timeframe right now, and it would take a boatload of money plus 3 years or so to ramp up HALEU production. Also Centrus HALEU is expensive.

  3. Companies such as NuScale will build reactors in factories that can be trucked to the site, no expensive rebar concrete work at the plant site.
    First pant to connect to the grid in 2029 in Idaho, there is already great demand from overseas.
    Renewables have had 70 years and we've gone backwards in our global warming situation.

  4. Wind and solar have pitiful capacity factors the wind doesn't blow when you need it most, nuclear has ben th only energy source that quickly reduced a nations emissions,France US Belgium and Sweden,lots of left leaning Russiophlies in those countries so nuclear plants were closed.

  5. Well Belgium can be proud they support war crimes in Urkraine by their support of coal gas and oil,nuclear avoids all three, so we can't have that, be proud you're not German.

  6. Capillary electrolysis sounds pretty good, if it can be brought to commercial scale. But AFAIK, fuel cells are still inferior to gas turbine generators in multiple ways.

    So the alternative to beat is simply using existing natural gas fueled power plants less and less over time. Those can easily evolve from being a major source of generated electricity (today) to just filling daily renewable energy shortfall periods, and eventually to just filling in on the occasional days when renewables with batteries fall short.

    And as excess renewable electricity becomes common enough to start producing 'green hydrogen', existing gas turbines can be converted to burn it.

  7. Manufacturing for international orders probably though. Domestically within Korea there is still a substantial anti-nuclear coalition, but they are starting to be realists in so much that that sites that have already broken ground (thus design complete) ought to be finished.

  8. CCGT's are combined cycle (gas turbine brayton plus steam turbine), so that's why they're 63%. That TPV is 40% straight, but needs at least a 1900C heat source…

    You're more likely to see that TPV paired with something like a molten silicon thermal storage battery.

  9. The reasons for the creation of the NRC were errant. The reasons were environmental protection, protecting workers and the public from harm form radiation, and securing nuclear materials.
    Environmental is silly, as any other power source at the time created vastly more harm to the environment. If anything, reactors have helped the environment and just jest because of what they replaced. In Florida, they have probably been instrumental in supporting manatees who benefit from the warm waters.
    The harm from radiation was also flawed science. And has been proven false for some time. All the regulations are based on the Linear no-threshold (LNT) dose-response model. They know this is bunk, but they have no purpose for existing without it, so they keep pushing it.

  10. Wind and solar are fine, as long as they don't make up a large fraction of the power. We humans use electric lighting and enjoy the evenings, when the sun does not shine. You can build storage, but that is like having 2 power plants to do the same thing where one has received handed off powerand will only give back 90 to 95% of it.
    You want baseload power too. Then you need much less storage. There are basically 3 choices: nuclear, hydroelectric and geothermal. Hydroelectric is more or less fully exploited in the countries that have large populations relative to land area and rivers that can be harnessed. And what is not, is usually not because it is part of preserved natural beauty.
    There is certainly room to employ more geothermal. Southern California certainly can. But like wind and solar, not every location is equal.
    Wind can almost be baseload in a few very good locations where the wind is reliable, but this is a very limited resource or very remote…like Antarctica.
    And despite history, there is no inherent reason nuclear can't be cheap…very cheap. The high prices are mostly as a result of poor choices and obscene irrational regulation. The length of construction is part of that. It really should not take 7+ years to build a reactor.
    In the US, the cost of building plants tripled after we killed the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and we got the NRC in its place.
    The AEC existed to foster and control the peacetime development of atomic science and technology.

  11. France has companies that have built over 20 reactors each with the same designs. That way, they don't end up with poor quality and crazy cost overruns. And, they are way up the learning curve.

    I don't know if there is a US company that has ever built more than 3. So, we always seem to start at the very bottom of the learning curve.

  12. I think it is too late to restart Fessenheim, dismantling is too far along to revert. This is probably also true of some Belgian and German plants at this point.

  13. Hydrogen is not released like CO2 so that greenhouse effect is moot. Passive solid state hydrogen capture and storage has been commercialized by Plasma Kinetics. And capillary electrolysis can now be done at 95% efficiency. Add potent fuel cells and voilà

  14. Can we discuss how this is the go-slow approach?
    The world installed close to the entire nuclear fleet's output in one year alone using wind and solar. We don't need 10-year build programs; we need 2-year build programs.
    The contribution of coal to the United Kingdom grid hovers around 4%, surely the faster way to get rid of this faster is not nuclear. Why the focus on nuclear?

  15. Wholesale prices might go negative, with a lot of un-needed wind flooding the market, but prices to the average consumer won't go down. Using surplus wind to make hydrogen, and then the hydrogen to make power again, is choosing the most expensive storage fuel and the 'lossiest' manufacturing chain, with the lowest rate of use of capital. Hydrogen needs far more volume than natural gas to store the same energy, makes metals brittle, and loses around 70% of the energy used to make it during the manufacture/storage/reuse cycle. It's also potentially a greenhouse gas, with global warming potential 11x worse than CO2 (mainly from scavenging OH radicals that would otherwise mop up methane, but also from forming water or ice in the stratosphere.),than%20a%20tonne%20of%20CO2%2C

  16. Ukraine is already using fuel from US firm Westinghouse in its Russian-designed reactors, and the Czechs are planning to do the same.

  17. Belgian here too , yep weak leadership, hopefully I got solar panels …. We should make hydrogen with wind , too many time we heard that the electricity prices are negative because of too much wind

  18. '…Our federal minister of energy is an idiot whose qualification is a diploma in African studies' -You forgot to mention her valuable experience working as a lawyer for Gazprom. Those gas plants she wants your government to build, to replace all your reactors, will have to get gas from somebody

  19. South Korea is at least finishing the sites already started, but are unlikely domestically to create new sites or add reactors to existing sites though. The brain drain from the earlier phaseout was pretty bad. I suppose they could always import coal from their northern neighbor…

    Macron did commit France to a fleet replacement of their existing reactors to new EPR2's it seems, but nothing much beyond that. At least the replacement reactors are effectively uprates so they will get more power out of it.

    The UK remains a mess is and is unlikely change their nuclear status though. If you have to say you are cutting red tape, you are probably not cutting red tape.

  20. Errrr, Belgian here. We are ruled by the Green Khmer and there's a law against any new reactors so we won't be "expanding". All but two of our seven remaining active nuclear reactors will be shut down and even the two remaining ones will have to be shut down at least temporarily and probably permanently due to severe government mismanagement. Our federal minister of energy is an idiot whose qualification is a diploma in African studies.


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