The World Nuclear Industry Status Report statistics show the rise and fall of nuclear energy, with nuclear energy accounting for only 4.3% of total global energy needs.
The world’s interest in alternative energy sources, particularly nuclear energy, has surged as a result of the global energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, as explained below, many nuclear programs would be difficult to rapidly undo due to the age of nuclear infrastructure, the fact that the technology had started a phase-out mode in many countries, and the ongoing opposition to new nuclear projects.
The majority of nuclear energy programmes were launched in the 1970s, according to statistics from the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (pdf below), which is reflected in the age of nuclear reactors today. The number of nuclear programmes worldwide has plateaued for many decades despite some of them coming to an end (and many more being planned for phase-out), most recently the United Arab Emirates and Belarus in 2020. Poland declared its intention to use nuclear energy in 2033 at the end of October. Six additional nuclear programmes, including those in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain, are set to shut down around that time, though this may now alter. Italy, which is talking about resuming nuclear operations under its new right-wing administration despite renouncing and even outlawing the technology after the 1986 Chernobyl accident, might help offset a decline in nuclear programmes. Sweden and the Netherlands may see more u-turns.
In nations known for adamant hostility to nuclear energy, some modest efforts toward nuclear extension are being made, although they are encountering the expected obstacles. In the midst of a heated public discussion, Germany has extended the usage of its final three reactors until April 2023. The nation had initially intended to turn off all reactors by the end of this year. Some reactors in Japan, where the number of operational reactors has considerably decreased since the Fukushima tragedy in 2011, are getting close to 60 years old he former lifespan cap that the country might now do away with due to the current circumstances. A petition to delay the September shutdown of one reactor in Belgium, where the average reactor age is over 40 years, was fruitless, but the government extended the end-of-life dates for three other reactors from 2023 to 2025 in response to the invasion of Ukraine and may even keep some of them operational until 2035.
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Although nuclear energy initiatives have reached a plateau, the technology’s relative relevance has diminished as other energy sources’ capacities have surpassed nuclear ones. The technology produced less than 10% of the world’s electricity in 2021, down from a peak of 17.4% in 1995 and 1996. Nuclear energy made up just 4.3% of total global energy needs, not just electricity.
Read the report given below: