IAEA Projects Up to 100% Growth of Nuclear Energy by 2030
The use of nuclear energy will increase between 23 percent and 100 percent by 2030, the annual report of the International Atomic Energy Agency projects.
Released for the agency’s annual conference in Vienna, Austria, the report notes that the 2011 nuclear accident in Japan continues to slow the expansion of nuclear energy.
The report also stresses the importance of nuclear energy in combating climate change, saying that achieving “the twin goals of ensuring sustainable energy supplies and curbing greenhouse gases” will be “difficult for the world to achieve” without it.
And despite a slowed rate of growth, “countries with growing energy requirements continue to retain nuclear power as an important option to increase electricity production,” the report says.
A separate report from Exxon Mobil, presented the previous week at the World Nuclear Association’s annual symposium in London, calls for the use of nuclear energy to double by 2040 to meet increases in world electricity demand, and especially in China and other developing countries.
Worldwide, 437 reactors are operating and 67 reactors are under construction. Nearly 20 IAEA member nations are planning or considering new reactors. The United Arab Emirates last year became the first country in 27 years to break ground on its first nuclear energy facility.
On the disposal of used nuclear fuel, the IAEA report observes that most of its 158 member states have delayed the construction of repositories. “Consequently,” it says, “although in recent years there has been a slight decrease in the amount of spent fuel being generated, the trend of growing inventories … is expected to continue.”
The report cites an earlier meeting whose participants concluded that “most of the storage facilities necessary for extended storage have not yet been designed or built, though experience so far has shown that storage periods are likely to be longer than anticipated.”
Established in 1957 as the "Atoms for Peace" organization within the United Nations, the IAEA promotes the safe and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.