Reuters, Tom Hals, Emily Flitter: In 2012, construction of a Georgia nuclear power plant stalled for eight months as engineers waited for the right signatures and paperwork needed to ship a section of the plant from a factory hundreds of miles away. The approach - building prefabricated sections of the plants before sending them to the construction sites for assembly - was supposed to revolutionize the industry by making it cheaper and safer to build nuclear plants. But Westinghouse miscalculated the time it would take, and the possible pitfalls involved, in rolling out its innovative AP1000 nuclear plants, according to a close examination by Reuters of the projects. The miscalculations underscore the difficulties facing a global industry that aims to build about 160 reactors and is expected to generate around $740 billion in sales of equipment in services in the coming decade, according to nuclear industry trade groups.
The Economist: THE Barakah nuclear-power plant under construction in Abu Dhabi will never attract the attention that the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in neighbouring Dubai does, but it is an engineering feat nonetheless. Remarkably, its first reactor may start producing energy in the first half of 2017—on schedule and (its South Korean developers insist) on budget. That would be a towering achievement. Of 55 plants under construction, the Global Nuclear Power database reckons almost two-thirds are behind schedule. The delays lift costs, and make nuclear less competitive with other sources of electricity, such as gas, coal and renewables.
Michael Shellenberger, Founder-President of Environmental Progress: Global demand for electricity is set to rise 70% over the next 25 years. New nuclear reactor components can increasingly be mass-manufactured in factories and shipped around the world for reassembly on site. What’s at stake is a market worth $500 to $740 billion over the next decade and hundreds of thousands of high-skill and high-wage jobs. This essay applies to America and other countries who promote nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, and nuclear science for peaceful purposes. This new Atoms for Peace effort could inspire and unite the world around something almost everyone wants: cheap, clean energy and its beneficial and very valuable by-products and services.
Andrew Kenny, Nuclear Africa: Decommissioning of nuclear power plants is neither mysterious nor very expensive. In the USA, more than a dozen nuclear facilities have already been successfully decommissioned, and all around the world many more are being decommissioned or are about to be. New nuclear plants are easier to decommission than old ones, so as time passes the process of decommissioning will become easier and cheaper. Furthermore, as techniques improve, especially with the increased use of robotics instead of humans to dismantle the plants, costs will come down and exposure to radiation will decrease.