|Charles Kenny blogs that while (some in) the U.S. remain lukewarm about nuclear power, shutting down plants (because of low natural gas prices), the developing world is rapidly adding capacity. Ten new plants came online in 2016, nine of them in the developing world, supporting the largest addition of nuclear power since 1990. This is good news for people living in developing countries and for the global climate, but to make faster progress with safer designs (but can not get much safer), it is high time America started investing in next-generation nuclear power (but that is already well underway with SMRs, etc).|
This year, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Slovakia, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are building ne plants. The IAEA suggests nuclear production could grow 60% by 2030, powered by growth in Asia and the Middle East. And Russia and China are both taking a considerable share of the global business opportunities involved. In 2015, Kenya signed a deal with China, for example, to construct a nuclear power plant by 2025. The year before that, Russia inked deals to sell 10 power plants to India and as many as eight more to South Africa.
Sure, some countries oppose the proliferation of nuclear power plants, including Germany, where politicians have promised to phase out such reactors by 2022 (but they are burning brown coal and expensive natural gas). But deaths from the only two deadly nuclear power accidents, Chernobyl and Fukushima (NO DEATHS), suggest that global nuclear power generation only kills perhaps one person per trillion kilowatt hours of generated electricity compared to roughly 100,000 deaths per trillion kilowatt hours from the air pollution caused by coal-fired plants. Power generation from fossil energy, including coal, causes 54,000 U.S. deaths each year alone (Although this maybe true, needs to cite evidence for this claim).
Otherwise, good read, except that tsunami exposed the core at Fukushima but no deaths.