Three years after Japan closed all of its nuclear plants in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown and Germanydecided to shut its industry, developing countries are leading the biggest construction boom in more than two decades.
Almost two-thirds of the 70 reactors currently under construction worldwide, the most since 1989, are located inChina, India, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. Countries includingEgypt, Bangladesh, Jordan and Vietnam are considering plans to build their first nuclear plants, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London. Developed countries are building nine plants, 13 percent of the total.
Power is needed as the economies of China and India grow more than twice as fast as the U.S. Electricity output from reactors amounted to 2,461 terawatt-hours last year, or 11 percent of all global power generation, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Energy Agency. That’s the lowest share since 1982, the data show.
“We see most of the constructions in the growing economies, in the parts of the world where you see strong economic growth,” Agneta Rising, the head of the World Nuclear Association in London, said Sept. 24 by e-mail. “In many developed countries there is a large degree of policy uncertainty concerning nuclear.”
China’s electricity consumption is forecast to jump 63 percent by 2020 to 7,295 terawatt-hours from 4,476 terawatt-hours in 2011, while India’s demand is predicted to grow by 45 percent from 2010 through 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Over the same period, demand growth in 22 European members of the OECD is forecast to be 3.6 percent.
The world will need all of the energy sources that it can develop and a significant increase in new nuclear plants would be a big factor in reducing CO2 emissions. We are currently in the foothills of nuclear power’s recovery as it remains controversial, albeit less so in faster growing emerging countries.
Technically, there is a good chance that Uranium bottomed at $28 in May and it has been described as being in a bull market, having risen by over 20% before pausing near this year’s earlier highs. My guess is that the lows will hold although they may be retested. We should find out over the next year or so. The break back above the 200-day May, which has subsequently turned upwards, is technically encouraging. However, I think it is very unlikely that we will see a significant recovery, as last occurred in 2010. That was before the Fukushima disaster. Technical patterns of leading Uranium miners, such as Cameco, suggest that base building will remain a lengthy process.Back to top