US bucks global trend of closing down nuclear power stations

by ClickGreen staff. Published Thu 07 Jun 2012 14:37
US extends lives of 71 nuclear reactors
US extends lives of 71 nuclear reactors

Official figures show Europe expects to decommission almost 150 of its nuclear power plants by 2030, while the US has granted life extensions to 71 and chosen to close only five, according to a report by energy experts GlobalData.

The new report shows that the figure for Europe accounts for nearly 69% of the total global number of expected nuclear power reactor closures by 2030, the largest amount for any region. Barring any changes, the European commercial nuclear decommissioning market value stands at $81,484m.

As of January 2012, France, the UK and Russia have the highest decommissioning market values in Europe, with market values of $21,494m, $18,717m, and $13,446m, respectively.

The Asia-Pacific region represents the second highest market value at $20,317m, while North America offers the smallest amount at a relatively small $8,175m.

Following the 2011 disaster at Fukushima several European countries have decided to phase out the generation of nuclear power, with both Germany and Belgium aiming to end production by 2030 and Switzerland by 2034.

The US however remains undeterred and has announced plans to extend the lives of 71 of its nuclear reactors by 20 years, with further life extensions expected in the future. Only five reactors in the US are due to undergo the decommissioning process by between 2012 and 2030 while neighbours Canada will shut down 17.

GlobalData’s report shows that more than 200 nuclear power stations across the world are expected to be closed by 2030, almost half of the number that are currently in operation.

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