Despite the Government’s Best Efforts to Prop Up and Bail Out the Nuclear Industry … It’s Failing
As we noted in May, the American “Nuclear Renaissance” is over, “the change in nuclear’s fortunes is staggering”, and a horrible “cauldron of events” has [brought] the nuclear push to a standstill”.
Even though the American government has done everything possible to encourage nuclear power – bywholly subsidizing nuclear power, reducing safety standards after Fukushima, forcing Japan to re-start its nuclear program, covering up the severity of the Fukushima accident, raising acceptable radiation limits and agreeing to buy radioactive Japanese seafood – the number of nuclear plants worldwide and percentage of electricity provided by nuclear is declining.
The Economist reports:
The [nuclear] industry’s role in electricity production is continuing to decline, according to this year’s World Nuclear Industry Status Report, a compendium of analysis and data by the activist and expert Mycle Schneider. The number of reactors peaked in 2002 at 444, compared with 427 today. The share of electricity they produce is down 12% from its 2006 peak, largely because of post-Fukushima shutdowns in Japan. As a proportion of all electricity generated, nuclear peaked in 1993 at 17% and has now fallen to 10%. The average age of operating plants is increasing, with the number over 40 years old (currently 31 plants) set to grow quite rapidly.
This is no loss. Nuclear power is expensive and bad for the environment. And – no matter what you may have heard – it does not help reduce carbon dioxide.
But the answer is not fossil fuels, either … it is decentralization.