Axios, Zachary Basu: If China achieves the targets outlined in its Energy Development Strategy Action Plan, it will become the world's nuclear energy leader and fundamentally change the global trajectory of the nuclear power industry.
Nikkei Asian News, Tomoyo Ogawa: Russia accounts for 67% of the world's nuclear plant deals currently in development. By 2030, Rosatom aims to increase its overseas sales to two-thirds of total sales, from 50% currently. Russia is looking to expand its influence through nuclear diplomacy, vying with China for the status of nuclear energy superpower. China is adding nuclear power as fast as possible and will compete globally in the future. The United States is under the thumb of anti-nuclear organizations and go along media and elected officials. California wants to employ mostly wind and solar power. Richard McPherson, member of the Board of Advisors for EFN-USA reported this story.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is to receive USD1.9 million in funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to lead research into ways to efficiently building a power plant based on GE Hitachi's BWRX-300 small modular reactor. The research team includes Bechtel, Exelon, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy (HGNE) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The research aims to identify ways to reduce plant completion costs by 40-60% compared with other SMR designs in development. This, GEH says, would make it cost-competitive with combined cycle gas and renewables.
World Nuclear News: This report describes the future of nuclear power around the world for the next half century. In Europe and North America there are hardly any plans to replace nuclear with new nuclear, except in France and Russia. In Asia, China clearly intends to make full use of nuclear power with their own developed best nuclear technologies. The electric power needs of modern economies are fairly predictable. To meet those needs, it is best to use the most reliable and controllable energy sources. That is what Asia is doing with fossil fuels and nuclear power. In Europe and North America, politicians and certain factions of the public are choosing very dilute wind and solar power, which are variable, unpredictable and even not available at all. This clearly will lead to strong Asian economies and weak economies in Europe and North America. Strong economies have historically plundered weak economies for land, water and resources: the Persian Empire, Greece's Alexander, Rome's European Empire, Hitler's LEBENSRAUM, European conquests of the Americas. Do oblivious self-centered idealists in Europe and North America think it will be otherwise with their elitist environmental dreams of wind and solar power, with most manufacturing being done on the other side of the world?
Scott Montgomery, Lecturer, University of Washington: Yet if the roughly $3.5 trillion invested in renewable power since 2000 had all backed fission, I believe the advances in that technology would have led all remaining coal- and oil-fired power plants to have disappeared from the face of the Earth by now. And if that same money had instead backed fusion, perhaps a working reactor would now exist.
The World Nuclear Association Weekly Newsletter for February 23, 2018 reports that the USA is going to start research on fast reactors again. The United States had a tremendous lead in the 1970s. Presidents Carter and Clinton, President Obama's Science Advisor John Holdren, Natural Resources Defense Council's Thomas Cochran, and Princeton's Frank Von Hippel worked hard to close fast reactors in the USA. The United States may restart research on fast reactors after losing three decades of progress to the Russians and Chinese. Good for Russia and China. Very unfortunate for the USA. The world needs all the energy that it can get from fossil fuels and nuclear. With no false obstacles in the way, the USA could be self-sufficient and an exporter of energy and energy technologies to make a better world for people and nature.
Thomas Cochran has been working with the Natural Resources Defense Council since the 1970s to impede the use of nuclear power, particularly the kind that uses most of the potential energy and produces the lease amount of radioactive waste: In his 1977 testimony to Congress, he makes several assertions against advanced nuclear power: 1) The risks of making massive investments in a plutonium-based energy technology, 2) The misplaced energy priorities characterized by an excessive emphasis on commercialization of the LMFBR technology, neglect of energy conservation potential and under funding of alternative non-nuclear supply technologies.
Charles Barton, lead advocate for advanced nuclear power technologies, in particular from thorium: Thomas B. Cochran is a lobbyist employed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, to attack nuclear power on a full time basis. As befits a Lobbyist, Cochran is well compensated. In 2006 Cochran was one of the 5 highest paid employees of the NRDC, with a total compensation package approaching $200,000. In 2006 the largest single foundation donor to the the NRDF was the Energy Foundation, an environmental funding NGO, that also funds many other anti-nuclear "environmental organizations.
Neil Alexander, Ph.D. radiation damage in steels, business strategist, consultant and advocate for nuclear energy: In the 1950s, civilian nuclear power was born. We had already started using the by-products from the industry for radiation therapies to treat cancer. Now, reactors operating at not much more than atmospheric pressure using molten salts as a coolant. Reactors that can consume nuclear waste or transmute other elements into fuel. So when someone says we shouldn't develop new nuclear technologies because there were some problems in the past, tell them that that is like deciding not to develop the Dreamliner because the Wright flyer was too draughty.
Neil Alexander, Ph.D. radiation damage in steels, business strategist, consultant and advocate for nuclear energy: In this world, when we finally admit the renewables experiment was a failure, we will look around and find we have few other options available to us. New nuclear if we need it will take decades to research, develop, test, license and deploy.