World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2023


Nuclear industry continues in decline despite hype of a “renaissance”

“Truth has rarely been a friend to nuclear power and for that reason it hasn’t always been easy to find accurate information about the industry’s vital signs. This is why the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the current state of the commercial nuclear power industry,” writes veteran nuclear energy journalist Stephanie Cooke in her forward to the WNISR 2023 edition published on December 06, 2023 and hybrid rollout from Brussels, Belgium.

The status report’s headline topics include “Nuclear Production Sees Biggest Slump in a Decade” noting, “As of mid-2023, 407 reactors with 365 GW were operating in the world, four less than a year earlier, 31 below the 2002-peak of 438.” Globally, there were more permanent reactor closures than new startups.  Here in the United States, the “nuclear share of commercial electricity generation declined to 18.2 percent, its lowest level in 25 years. After 10 years of construction, the first of two new reactors at Plant Vogtle (Unit 3) was connected to the grid in April 2023. Cost estimates for the two units exceed US$35 billion.” As for France, “Nuclear generation dropped below the level of 1990.”  And in the UK, “Only nine units remain operating. The cost estimate for two reactors under construction at Hinkley Point C has reached US$(2021) 44 billion in February 2023, with first grid connection delayed to June 2027.”

Other critical topic areas focus on “Fukushima Status”, “Nuclear Economics and Finance,” “Small Modular Reactors (SMRs),” “Decommissioning” and “Renewable Energies Orders of Magnitude Ahead of Nuclear Power.”

The WNISR 2023 is a free 549-page online compendium of nuclear power insights, statistics and the trends-to-date that even the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency has now respectfully, though quietly, adapted to.

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