|  05.05.2014

Nuclear power worldwide: where we stand 3 years after Fukushima

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants: the installed base capacity on the global nuclear power market could increase by 26% until 2030

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The global nuclear market continues to grow, driven mainly by China and Russia. Since Fukushima (March 2011) and despite decisions by some countries to phase out nuclear energy in the short or long term, about 70 reactors are currently under construction around the world, half of them in China and Russia.


In its new study, "Nuclear worldwide: Where we stand 3 years after Fukushima", Roland Berger Strategy Consultants shows that the global nuclear installed base decreased on balance by only 9 units: 13 new operations, 2 restarts and 24 shutdowns, of which 16 were driven by the disaster in Japan and 8 were at the end of their lifecycles.


Where do we stand 3 years after Fukushima?


The Roland Berger study shows that global nuclear installed capacity could increase 26% by 2030 in a low scenario (from 435 units today to 489 units, or 372 GW vs. 470 GW). Roland Berger estimates that of 581 nuclear projects planned or announced and assuming highly favorable circumstances, only 123 to 224 are likely to materialize. These plants will be built in various countries on several continents: more than half in China (56), Russia (16) and India (14), but also in new countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.


Some countries will start replacing or slightly expanding their installed base (e.g. the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, South Korea and even the United States, depending on a potential operational life extension to 80 years that is currently under discussion).


The nuclear transition: Will existing assets be replaced?


The nuclear market is at a crossroads: by 2030, 70% of nuclear reactors will be between 40 and 60 years old, and governments will have to decide whether to renew them or make a transition – the same decision needs to be taken in Romania as well (concerning Cernavoda Reactors 1 & 2). Regarding nuclear power's lifecycle (decisions, construction, commissioning), the 2015-2030 period is a critical time for the replacement market.


Beyond 2030, the big markets for total or partial replacement will not only be France and Russia, but also the United States (for the US, it is currently difficult to make a longer-term assessment, as the impact of cheap unconventional gas as a competitive source of energy has yet to be accurately quantified).


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