Contribution Of Nuclear Energy Worldwide Falls: A Civilization In Decline

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014 shows that the share of global power production from nuclear energy has fallen to the lowest level since the 1980s. Even leaving aside the shutdown of Japan’s 48 reactors following Fukushima, the number of operating plants has fallen to 388, 50 less than the peak in 2002.

Nuclear power’s share of global energy production has dramatically fallen from 17.6% in 1996 to 10.8%. The shift in new generating capacity (as we know) has been to “renewables,” where in Spain, for example, more power is generated by wind than any other source, beating nuclear energy for the first time.

The average age of the world’s reactors has climbed to 28 years, and more than 170 units, or 44% of the total, are more than 30 years old. In the U.S., in particular, older, “non-competitive,” plants have been shut down, thanks to enormous government subsidies for renewables, and the temporary natural gas boom, thanks to fracking. New construction is not even keeping up with the shutdowns.

Of the 67 reactors under construction, at least 49 are behind schedule; some due to the hysterical temporary halt in construction after Fukushima; others, due to the inflationary increase in costs; and some because the depression-collapse in growth of electricity “demand” (so-called) has postponed when new capacity will be “needed,” leading utilities to stretch out construction.

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