This year’s World Nuclear Industry Status Report is released today and reveals that the growth in global nuclear electricity output of just 1% is massively overshadowed by growth in solar (+35 percent) and wind (+17 percent). The report also highlights an ongoing decline in new nuclear power plants and the ageing of existing plants, where the mean age is now 30 years. The report concludes that nuclear is unlikely to have a place in the energy transition which is needed to tackle climate change.
The Green group in the European Parliament helped fund the report. Molly said of this year’s report:
“It’s clear that the smart money is in renewables. Nuclear has no place in the transition needed to tackle dangerous climate change. Solar energy and wind power are eclipsing nuclear and leaving it behind.”
Molly, who has been a fierce critic of the Hinkley C project in Somerset, went on to say:
“This report confirms that Hinkley is a hugely wasteful white elephant. It is not too late to ditch the project, especially as it continues to be plagued by delays and cost over-runs. It is time instead to unlock the potential for renewables. This could create thousands more jobs in the South West than nuclear ever could and provide genuine energy security as well as guarantee lower energy costs for businesses and consumers.”
Citing the UK as an example, the report also says that one of the key drivers for extending the life of nuclear reactors and building new plants is the interdependence between civil and military nuclear infrastructures. The report quotes the UK’s Nuclear Industry Council “Nuclear Sector Deal” which states that “the sector is committed to increasing the opportunities for transferability between civil and defence industries and generally increasing mobility to ensure resources are positioned at required locations.”
“It is clear that not only are the economic arguments for nuclear in meltdown but that turning from nuclear to renewables is a case of swords to ploughshares. Supporting nuclear power is also perpetuating nuclear weapons; the two are inseparable.”