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Costs and financing key to Europe's nuclear future

07 November 2019

WORLD NUCLEAR NEWS–Nuclear has a place in Europe's energy mix, but rising costs – even if only perceived – need to be addressed to ensure future growth, speakers agreed at the New Nuclear Watch Institute's (NNWI's) first annual forum, held in London yesterday.

Speaking at NNWI Forum 2019: Nuclear energy as part of Europe's energy mix, Jonathan Cobb, senior communication manager at World Nuclear Association, noted that nuclear's primary role is to generate electricity, not to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, he noted that the use of nuclear energy – which accounts for 10.5% of global electricity demand – reduces global CO2 emissions by 2.5 billion tonnes annually, compared with fossil fuels....

Kirsty Gogan, executive director of Energy for Humanity and partner at LucidCatalyst, stressed: "The vast majority of nuclear new build that's happening around the world today is extremely competitive and being built over sensible schedules." In order to attain the UK's target of net-zero by 2050, a median of about 45 GWe of new nuclear capacity will be needed, she said. This will require a build programme to begin in earnest in 2021, building on average 1.5 new projects every year from 2021 to 2044, with an average of six years for construction.

Gogan presented three approaches to cost reduction: improving delivery via a programmatic approach (including continuous building, multiple units per site and standardised designs); designing for low cost; and designing to increase the deployment rate.

Read the full article here.