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WNA report paints bright future for nuclear

November 11, 2019

Nuclear output increased in 2018 and there are another 55 new reactors under construction around the world.

That’s the finding of the World Nuclear Association’s (WNA) World Nuclear Performance Report 2019 that was released in September.

According to the report, the world’s nuclear reactors made a growing contribution to the clean electricity supply in 2018 as nuclear generation hit 2,563 TWh, up 61 TWh from the previous year.

“The world’s nuclear plants continue to perform excellently. Growth is strong, with more than 20 new reactors scheduled to be connected before the end of 2020,” said WNA Director General Agneta Rising in the report’s preface.

“For the industry to reach the Harmony goal of supplying at least 25% of the world’s electricity before 2050, much greater commitment from policymakers will be required.”

The report noted that 2018 was the sixth consecutive year that nuclear generation has increased.

The report also highlighted the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station’s refurbishment as an example of a successful nuclear project.

“The three main contributors to the project’s success are employee expertise; transparency and communication; and looking ahead to anticipate issues and risks, and mitigating them before they have an impact,” said Ontario Power Generation Senior Vice President Enterprise Projects Dietmar Reiner. “Years of planning and preparation have gone into the refurbishment project with a clear definition of scope prior to its execution.”

The report also said interest in the on- and off-grid applications of SMR technology in Canada is “notable” and pointed to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ goal of siting an SMR on its Chalk River site by 2026.

Rising concluded by noting the increased urgency over the past 18 months for the world to meet the Paris Agreement’s targets and tackle climate change.

“If we are to be serious about climate change we should also be serious about the solutions,” said Rising. “Transitioning to a low-carbon economy that meets the energy needs of the global community presents a daunting task. But it is a challenge that must be met, and one that can only be met by using the full potential of nuclear energy.”

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