The decline of the nuclear industry

Fission diagram

I was reading an amazingly good press release about the collapse of the nuclear industry at scoop, did some Googling around and found additional evidence for this in part of a wiki about the nuke industry:

The world’s reactor fleet is aging quickly and not enough new units are coming online. As of April 1, 2011, there were 437 nuclear reactors operating in the world, which was seven fewer than in 2002. For the first time, in 2010 total installed nuclear power capacity in the world (375 gigawatts) fell behind aggregate installed capacity (381 GW) of three specific renewables — wind turbines (193 GW), biomass and waste-to-energy plants (65 GW), and solar power (43 GW).

Any so all of this got me interested some more about long term storage of high level nuclear waste - you know the 10,000 year under a mountain stuff. Well that would probably be Yucca mountain in the Nevada desert. Freaky how they reckon it could crack and leak waste after a while say if there was an earthquake. I was fairly surprised when I read - excerpt below - that the US government had done some freaky nuke testing on its own public back in the old days:

At the Hanford Plutonium Production Facility in Washington State, the Department of Energy has admitted releasing 557,000 curies of radioactivity material, mostly Iodine 131 for the years 1944, 1945, 46 and 47. Up to 270,000 men, women and children were exposed as downwinders. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that biological agents were released upon an unsuspecting public in San Francisco and in the New York subway system during the 1960's.


A quite old piece from Greenpeace I found in their archive shows clearly how contruction looks like it peaked in XYZX and deconstrucions are now picking up nicely:

Greenpeace decline of nuke graph

Here you can see the industry plateau very nicely in this graph from China Dialogue:

Nuclear industry plateau

A graph from lowcarbonkid, which would be way cooler if it showed some history rather than just starting at 2010:

A video that shows how nuclear, hydro, and coal power work at stations in Onatrio:

And now a nice succinct video about Chernobyl to finish:

Posted by tomachi on May 8th, 2011 filed in Environment