The World Nuclear Association is the international organization that promotes nuclear power and supports the many companies that comprise the global nuclear industry. Its members come from all parts of the nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium mining, uranium conversion, uranium enrichment, nuclear fuel fabrication, plant manufacture, transport, and the disposition of used nuclear fuel as well as electricity generation itself.Together, WNA members are responsible for 95% of the world's nuclear power outside the U.S. as well as the vast majority of world uranium, conversion and enrichment production.The WNA says it aims to fulfill a dual role for its members: Facilitating their interaction on technical, commercial and policy matters and promoting wider public understanding of nuclear technology.The WNA was founded in 2001 on the basis of the Uranium Institute, itself founded in 1975. Wikipedia.
Kidd S.,World Nuclear Association
Energy and Environment | Year: 2011
Uranium fuel for nuclear reactors is abundant. Known resources of natural uranium available for mining are considerable, and expanding in line with exploration effort. By-product supplies from phosphates promise to increase these further. Secondary supplies from weapons stockpiles, recycling and re-enrichment of depleted uranium tails also contribute significantly. No shortage of uranium is likely in the foreseeable future. With many leading nuclear countries expecting to deploy nuclear reactors by mid century, a 50-fold increase in energy obtained from uranium is likely from about then. Thorium is also a potential nuclear fuel. Source
A nuclear power plant station model by China National Nuclear Corporation is pictured at the World Nuclear Exhibition 2014, the trade fair event for the global nuclear energy sector, in Le Bourget, near Paris October 14, 2014. Beijing, which began stockpiling uranium in 2007 and is estimated by the World Nuclear Association to have 74,000 tons of inventory - or about nine years of current demand - does not disclose details of its reserves. However, demand is expected to outstrip domestic supply in coming years and a move to increase reserves could give a boost to depressed global prices. "We have been importing over the last few years when the price has been low," said Sun Qin, chairman of the state-owned nuclear project developer, the China National Nuclear Corporation, adding the time was right to build up stockpiles. In its five-year plan released this week, the government said it would "expand the scale of natural uranium reserves", likely signaling the construction of new storage facilities as with oil six years ago. The Shanghai Nuclear Power Office estimates China's natural uranium demand is likely to reach 11,000 tons by 2020, and rise to 24,000 tons in 2030, outstripping production from domestic mines and China-owned mines overseas. The shortfall was expected to rise from 2,600 tons in 2020 to about 10,900 tons a decade later, it said. Increased uranium stockpiles would ensure China would not be at the mercy of supply disruptions or short-term fluctuations in market prices. The latest five-year plan also confirmed the country's intention to double its nuclear generation capacity to 58 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2020, up from 28.3 GW at the end of last year, slightly less than 2 pct of total generation capacity. To meet the target, China, which currently has 30 operating reactors, will need to build around six new reactors a year, although it is expected to build well over 100 new units by 2030 as it tries to ease its dependence on fossil fuels and create a nuclear energy industry capable of competing globally. The 58 GW target will raise China's uranium demand to about 15 percent of the global market, according to the World Nuclear Association. Uranium prices have fallen to around $31 a pound, less than a quarter of the levels seen in 2007 when China first began stockpiling. "It's at least a short-term positive for uranium prices," said Simon Tonkin, an analyst for Patersons Securities in Perth, of the latest plan. "But longer term, it could mean they are not going to be buying as much. By building up the stockpile now, they are getting uranium at a cheap price." Sun said prices have been hit by the closure of plants in Europe and the United States following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the collapse in oil prices. Cheap prices had enabled China to buy up mining assets, but they also discouraged exploration. "We are exploring for uranium resources in Africa, in Namibia and in Mongolia, but with the price too low, there's no way of exploiting them," he said. Sun would not disclose the size of his firm's corporate reserves or total national reserves. Li Ning, dean of the School of Energy Research under Xiamen University and an expert in nuclear power, said it made sense to import more uranium but domestic supplies were also substantial. "China has large enough verified deposits, higher than we originally expected. Fuel use is small in a plant ... so [increased demand] won't impact the price since the market is oversupplied," he said.
News Article | August 15, 2016
In a totalitarian state, the presence of thousands of anti-nuclear demonstrators in the streets for several days is not only a surprise, it also represents the deep unease people there have about a nuclear energy facility that hasn’t even broken ground. A massive $15 billion effort to build a facility to make MOX fuel was last week the subject of protests involving thousands of people in the city of Lianyungang in Jiangsu Province located about 300 miles (480km) north of Shanghai (YouTube Video). The city is one of six potential sites for the spent fuel reprocessing center to be built in a partnership between China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) and Areva. The plant would be built based on the same technology used by Areva at a MOX fuel plant in France. The demonstrators disregarded warnings from the government and police to stop. Protest groups flooded Chinese social media with anti-nuclear slogans. The protests in the streets and online stem from a growing unease over industrial pollution and other environmental issues linked in a part to corrupt practices. The plan for the nuclear reprocessing facility site at this stage involves site selection and no decision has been made yet. Lianyungang city officials short-circuited a response from CNNC by telling the demonstrators they would not allow the plant to be built there. The apparent loss of the site in Lianyungang does not mean the project is on the ropes. There are five other sites in other parts of the country still under consideration. The other sites include locations in the provinces of Shandong, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, and Gansu. All have existing nuclear facilities and are located at coastal sites. There are two Russian built VVER commercial nuclear reactors at the Tainwan power station in Lianyungang. Two more units are under construction which will be commissioned in 2018 and there are plans on paper to add yet two more units to them. Their presence does not seem to have been a factor in the protests. The protests in Lianyungang occurred on the anniversary of a massive chemical explosion that took place at the Ruihai International Chemical warehouse in the city of Tainjin on August 12, 2015. A reported 173 people were killed and over 800 injured by the blast caused by hundreds of tons of dangerous chemicals illegally stored in the warehouse. The subsequent investigation revealed a complex web of corruption, negligence, lax regulatory oversight, and poor emergency responses services. Cleanup of the site has stalled due to the complex and toxic nature of the residual chemicals and their combustion byproducts. An estimated 470,000 cubic meters of material needs to be removed from the site, but there are few places to put it. This is not the first time protests in China have led to reconsideration of a proposal for a new nuclear facility. In 2013 protests erupted involving over 1,000 peo0ple over plans to build a commercial nuclear fuel plant in Heshan in Guangdong province resulted in the government cancelling that particular site with plans to relocate it. Coincidentally, the nuclear fuel plant that was the subject of these protests includes planned production of commercial fuel assemblies for the VVER units at Lianyungang. The initial plan for the reprocessing plant was first set in motion in 2007 as part of a deal that also resulted in Areva building two 1650 MW EPR reactors in Taishan, China, just west of Hong Kong. Once a site is selected for the reprocessing facility, construction of the 800 tonne per year plant is suppose to start in 2020 and be completed by 2030. Technical details about the plant are more or less complete. During a visit to France in June 2015, China’s premier Li Keqiang called for financial and contractual details to be completed by the end of this year. The La Hague, France, MOX plant, on which the 800 tonne per year Chinese plant will be based, is much larger and is capable of handling 2,700 tonnes per year. As a practical matter, the 800 tonne per year plant is not going to in the short term make a serious dent in the inventory of spent nuclear fuel in China. By 2020 China is expected to have 12,300 tonnes of spent fuel in mostly wet storage though there is some ongoing transition to dry casks. With a service life of about 60 years, the plant could handle at least 40,000-50,000 tonnes of spent fuel. However, China has ambitious plans to build more nuclear power plants which will significantly increase the amount of spent fuel it will have to manage as part of its policy re-using the fuel. Within the first ten years of operation, by 2040, a second reprocessing plant with at least the same capacity would have to be built to handle the load. In the meantime, China may decide to move its spent fuel from wet storage at reactors to an interim site involving dry casks mostly likely located near the first MOX plant. According to the World Nuclear Association, mainland China has 34 nuclear power reactors in operation, 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world’s most advanced, to give a doubling of nuclear capacity to at least 58 GWe by 2020-21, then up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050. An English language report published in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) last week indicates that China has an acute shortage of experienced nuclear plant technical staff and that the problem will get worse before it gets better. The SCMP report cites a Chinese language report in China Business News which quotes Prof. Ai Deshang, Dean of Graduate Programs, in the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, at Tsinghua University, who says China will need 30,000 to 40,000 trained nuclear technicians by the end of the 2020s, but that currently the nation’s universities are only capable of graduating a few hundred individuals per year. The China Business News report also quotes He Yu, President of China General Nuclear (CGN) who said that China plans to build over 100 new reactors by 2030 to meet energy needs and to reduce pollution from coal fired power plants. Staffing of there new reactors will required 50,000 to 80,000 trained staff. The extraordinary pressures on existing experienced reactor staffs are also cited in the report indicating that in at least one instance self-reporting of safety incidents were covered up. A March 2015 pump failure at the Yangiiang Nuclear Power Station in Guangdong province was not made public until May 2016. The environmental ministry reportedly cited four operators over the incident. A spokesman for CGN, which owns and operates the plant, said that it only found out about the failed pump during a inspection which took place this year. The power station is composed of four CPR-1000 reactors three of which have been commissioned and a fourth unit that will come online in 2017. Construction of units 5 & 6, which are slated to be the new Hualong One 1000 MW PWRs, is set to start in 2018. The lack of skilled staff may also impact China’s plans to export its nuclear reactors. China has a pending deal with Argentina to build its new Hualong One reactor there and another deal, which is under review in the UK, to build up to three of them at the Bradwell site near London.
News Article | July 10, 2015
Welcome to Japan, land of cherry blossoms, sushi and sake, and 17,000 metric tons of highly radioactive waste. That’s what the country has in temporary storage from its nuclear plants. Supporters of atomic power say it’s cleaner than fossil fuels for generating electricity. Detractors say there’s nothing clean about what’s left behind, some of which remains a deadly environmental toxin for thousands of years. Since atomic power was first harnessed more than 70 years ago, the industry has been trying to solve the problem of safe disposal of the waste. Japan has been thrown into the center of the conundrum by its decision in recent months to retire five reactors after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. It also decided this week to begin the restart process of one reactor despite public opposition. “It’s part of the price of nuclear energy,” Allison Macfarlane, a former chief of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in an interview in Tokyo on atomic waste. “Now, especially with the decommissioning of sites, there will be more pressure to do something with this material. Because you have to.” For more than half a century, nuclear plants in more than 30 countries have been humming away -- lighting up Tokyo’s Ginza, putting the twinkle into New York’s Broadway and keeping the elevators running up the Eiffel Tower. Plus powering appliances in countless households, factories and offices around the world. In the process, the world’s 437 operating reactors now produce about 12,000 tons of high-level waste a year, or the equivalent of 100 double-decker buses, according to the World Nuclear Association. Most countries now agree burying atomic waste deep underground is the best option. Other ideas like firing it into space or tossing it inside a volcano came and went. The U.S., with the most reactors, spent an estimated $15 billion on a site for nuclear refuse in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Local opposition derailed the plan, meaning about 49,000 tons of spent fuel sits in cooling pools at nuclear plants around the country. Japan faces another challenge. Four years ago, the country had a nuclear accident unlike anything seen before. An earthquake and tsunami ripped through the engineering defenses at the Fukushima plant north of Tokyo and caused the meltdown of three reactors. It will need billions of dollars and technology not yet invented to clean up Fukushima. How long that will take is disputed. The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., estimates 40 years. Greenpeace says it could take twice that time. All Japan’s 43 operational reactors have been offline since September 2013 for safety checks after the disaster. The government has said atomic power is essential to energy supply and reactors that meet safety standards will be allowed to restart. The first in line belongs to Kyushu Electric Power Co., which today said it has finished refueling one of its units in southern Japan. It plans to restart the plant in August, which means generation of more nuclear waste. It will be a “failure in our ethical responsibility to future generations,” to restart reactors without a clear plan for waste storage, the Science Council of Japan said in April. Japan’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization, known as NUMO, has been searching for a permanent storage site for years, initially inviting districts to apply as a host. In 2007, it got one when the mayor of a town called Toyo submitted interest. Like the residents near Yucca Mountain in the U.S., Toyo’s citizens didn’t like the idea and voted him out of office. His successor canceled the plan. Now facing the accelerated shutdown of some reactors post-Fukushima, NUMO in May ditched the idea of waiting for a volunteer. Instead, scientists will nominate suitable regions. “We’d like all citizens to be aware and feel ownership of this situation,” said Takao Kinoshita, a NUMO official. “We should feel grateful for the community that’s doing something for the benefit of the whole country and respect their bravery.” NUMO’s plan for a final underground repository was drawn up in 2007 and would cost 3.5 trillion yen ($29 billion). It would contain about 40,000 canisters, each weighing half a ton and holding waste at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius (392 Fahrenheit). The contents would give off 1,500 sieverts of radiation an hour, a level that would instantly kill a human being. The canisters need to cool in interim storage for as long as 50 years before heading 300 meters below ground. Their stainless steel inner layer is wrapped in bentonite clay to make sure water can’t leak inside. “That’s the biggest risk we see, water leaking through,” said Kinoshita. Finland and Sweden are the only two countries so far to have selected and reached a public agreement on a final site and storage technology for high-level nuclear waste. Finland’s is expected to open in 2020. Taking apart a reactor, known as decommissioning, produces a few tons of highly radioactive material, usually the used fuel and coolant. The buildings and equipment account for thousands of tons of so-called low-level waste. Japan’s government is responsible for dealing with the most radioactive waste. The plant operator handles the rest. “Even in the low-level category there is the relatively higher-level waste and the nation’s technical solutions are not ready,” Makoto Yagi, the president of Kansai Electric Power Co., said at a June briefing in Tokyo. Shaun Bernie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany, said this shows Japan’s reactor program and high-level nuclear waste policy is “in a state of crisis.” Without a clear disposal strategy, costs to take apart the reactors can end up being double original estimate, said Colin Austin, senior vice president at Energy Solutions, which has worked on every decommissioning project in the U.S. Another wrinkle in Japan for finding a final disposal site is that the country sits on a mesh of colliding tectonic plates that make it one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. Former NRC chief Macfarlane, who is also a seismologist, said that doesn’t make it impossible to bury the waste. A repository hundreds of meters underground is partly protected against quakes in the same way submarines are during high storms, she said. Leaving nuclear waste on the surface indefinitely means it will get into the environment so Japan has to solve this, she said. “An adequate place underground is better than waiting for the best possible place.”
AP: Beyond Record Hot, February Was 'Astronomical' and 'Strange' Earth got so hot last month that federal scientists struggled to find words, describing temperatures as "astronomical," ''staggering" and "strange." They warned that the climate may have moved into a new and hotter neighborhood. This was not just another of the drumbeat of 10 straight broken monthly global heat records, triggered by a super El Nino and man-made global warming. February 2016 obliterated old marks by such a margin that it was the most above-normal month since meteorologists started keeping track in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dyson will invest £1B in developing new battery technology by 2020 as the business best known for its vacuum cleaners branches out into new areas. Revealing strong annual sales and profit growth, chief executive Max Conze hinted at the company’s ambitious plans. “We have invested £100M looking at batteries in the past five years,” said Conze, referring to Dyson’s research on “energy density” that hopes to deliver more powerful batteries. “We are now stepping up that work and will spend £1B by 2020. Solving energy density is the greatest engineering challenge in the 21st century.” Reuters: Bloom Energy Share Sale Marks Valuation Drop of More Than 40 Percent Last week, private equity firm GSV Capital Corp (GSVC.O) quietly announced that it had sold its small stake in the last remaining cleantech unicorn at a loss, calling it "dead money." GSV was not a strategic investor in fuel-cell maker Bloom Energy and its stake was worth less than $3 million, but the price represented a 42.7 percent drop in valuation from Bloom's last fundraising round, according to PitchBook, a private equity and venture capital database. Investor enthusiasm for so-called "unicorns" -- venture-backed companies valued in the private market at $1 billion or more -- has waned since the end of last year, and valuations have contracted. Bloom is a former clean energy technology, or cleantech, star which has taken far longer than expected to deploy its technology on a large scale, despite examples of big deals. Wall Street Journal: Ivanpah Solar Plant May Be Forced to Shut Down A federally backed, $2.2 billion solar project in the California desert isn’t producing the electricity it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp., which says the solar plant may be forced to shut down if it doesn’t receive a break Thursday from state regulators. MIT Technology Review: How Old Is Too Old for a Nuclear Reactor? As the...climate summit in Paris...moved from rosy exhortations by world leaders to the gritty, behind-closed-doors business of crafting an international agreement on limiting emissions of greenhouse gases, one theme...emerged: it is now broadly acknowledged that any path forward must include nuclear power. The International Energy Agency says that worldwide nuclear capacity must more than double by 2050 in order to help limit global warming to 2° C, the target set by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to avert catastrophic consequences. As of late 2015, a total of 66 reactors [were] under construction worldwide, the highest number in 25 years. (There are 437 civilian nuclear reactors operating worldwide, according to the World Nuclear Association.) Unfortunately, in the U.S. the nuclear industry is headed in the other direction. [CB Insights] started working with The New York Times in late 2015 to identify and rank the top 100 venture capital professionals using the CB Insights Investor Mosaic algorithm. It is a purely data-driven/algorithmic ranking that uses CB Insights data. We’d gathered this data via our machine-learning technology (dubbed The Cruncher) as well as via several thousand direct submissions from firms and individual professionals using The Editor. Here are the top 100.