IEA: China Nuclear Power to Exceed US

Output in Europe has dropped over the past few years.
Output in Europe has dropped over the past few years.

China will exceed US nuclear power production soon due to recent initiatives taken by Beijing to accelerate the adoption of alternative fuel source, according to an International Energy Agency official. "The Asian nation’s total capacity may also surpass that of the European Union," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol told reporters during International Petroleum Week in London, Oil Price reported.

“China is coming back strong. Today there are about 60 nuclear power plants under construction and more than one-third of them are in China. China is growing and as a result of that we will soon see China overtaking the United States as the number 1 nuclear power in the world,” Birol said at the conference.

Output in Europe, particularly in France, a major European nuclear investor, has dropped over the past few years.

The lack of roadmap for future facilities in the US is causing a similar effect in North American nuclear markets.

“If it continues like that, the US nuclear capacity will go from 20% of overall power supply to 7%,” Birol said.

“I can tell you that what is happening is the same story as we have seen in solar. China is learning by doing, bringing costs down and therefore they are now ready to export their technology and are much more cost-effective than others. And they challenge the established exporters such as the US, Japan, Korea and European countries.” In the last 20 years, the US has seen only one new nuclear reactor that is functional, constructed by a government entity—the Tennessee Valley Authority.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission shows that there are only four reactors currently under construction in the entire country. Two would be at the Alvin W. Vogtle station in Georgia and two at the Virgil C. Summer plant in South Carolina.


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