The Age and Future Size of the Global Nuclear Fleet

This is the last in my mini-series on global nuclear power. There are 441 reactors operational world wide today with an average age of 29.3 years. The current fleet is ageing. The oldest reactors in service today are 47 years old. By assuming that reactors will close aged 50 and by making simple assumptions about the commissioning of reactors under construction and those planned I estimate that come 2036 the fleet will comprise 424 units. The number is slightly down on today but the increase in mean power rating suggests that installed capacity will increase by about 25%.

Let me begin by thanking Russian commenter Syndroma for extracting the reactor data for me from the World Nuclear Association web site.

A good starting point is to look at the age distribution of the current fleet of 441 operational reactors* (Figure 1). With a mode of 31-35 years and a life expectancy of 50 years the fleet is getting rather long in the tooth. With only 12 reactors in the 6 to 10 year category it did look as though the global nuclear industry was going to die. But there has been a renaisance in recent years, especially in countries like China, India and Russia. But is this going to be sufficient to turn nuclear fortunes around?

[* note by using the term reactor I mean a nuclear power station that may contain more than one reactor. For example, in the UK today, most nuclear power stations have two reactors.]

Figure 1 The current age distribution of the global nuclear fleet.

Table 1 The current distribution of global reactors by design type.

Table 1 shows that the current fleet is dominated by pressurised and boiling water reactors. The majority of these are Generation II reactors though some Generation III boiling water reactors were operational in Japan.

So how do we work out what the future holds? The proper way to do this would be to assemble actual data for every reactor but I have neither the time nor inclination to do that for a blog post. Instead I have assumed that reactors will be retired at age 50. Some of course will go sooner and some later. I have further assumed that the 60 reactors currently under construction will become operational in the next 10 years. (note that despite over runs at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France, that the mean time to construct a reactor is 7.5 years). I have further assumed that the 172 reactors currently planned will come into operation 10 to 20 years from now. There is of course scope for this number to grow. And finally I have ignored what is going on in Japan.

Doing this creates the following pictures for operational reactors in 2026 (Figure 2) and 2036 (Figure 3).

Figure 2 Come 2026, the number of operational reactors has declined by 7 to 434 as current new build is insufficient to replace retirement of those reactors currently in the 41 to 50 year bracket.

Figure 3 Come 2036 the number of operational reactors has declined by a further 10 units to 424.

The broad picture is one of general stability in the size of the global nuclear fleet with a slow decline in reactor numbers being compensated by a growth in the average operating capacity.

The average power rating today is 868 MWe. Hence total capacity =

441 * 868 = 383 GWe

Come 2036, 249 reactors operational today will be retired and replaced by 232 larger Generation III reactors which have a mean power rating of 1350 MWe. The capacity of the future fleet therefore will very roughly be

(192*868)+(232*1350) = 480 GWe

That represents a significant capacity increase of 25% (Figure 4).

Figure 4 The distribution shown in Figure 3 weighted for average capacity. 0 to 20 years = 1350 MW per reactor. 21 to 50 years = 868 MW per reactor.

Finally, looking further into the future we see there is just one more large cohort of reactors awaiting retirement in 2036 (Figure 3). Once those are gone the number of annual retirements falls to <30 / year. If new build continues at 80+ per year then the contribution from nuclear power to the global energy mix will rise significantly beyond 2041. I will be 84 years old and ready for retirement too 😉

The nuclear mini-series

Global Nuclear Power Snapshot
How Long Does it Take to Build a Nuclear Power Plant
Nuclear Options

Footnote

For those wondering where the world’s 6 operational 47 year old reactors are, here ya go.

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81 Responses to The Age and Future Size of the Global Nuclear Fleet

  1. Willem Post says:

    Euan,

    “The broad picture is one of general stability in the size of the global nuclear fleet with a slow decline in reactor numbers being compensated by a growth in the average operating capacity.”

    You may want to add “and an increase in average capacity factors.”

  2. Leo Smith says:

    Mmm. All this is predicated on the assumption that something really bad doesn’t happen – either to push nuclear off the map altogether or, more likley in my opinion, some salient event doesn’t trigger a panic that the world will be left without any energy at all if we don’t get to building reactors in a hurry.

    I think, from rather too little direct evidence, that whilst the vox populi is still largely against nuclear, in the UK and in Asia, at least, there is a tacit acceptance in TPTB that we would be wise to have nuclear power.

    Also the current interest in SMRS which could in theory once type approved, be popped in as fast as a CCGT plant, renders assumptions about costs and time-scales entirely open to question.

    I.e whilst your analysis is correct if things stay more or less the same, my feeling is that they won’t!

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Its difficult to build known unknowns into a model. I think we will see the number of planned reactors that come on line in 10 to 20 years time grow. But, for example, Roger had a story about Rosatom building 16 new nukes in Saudi, these are already in the WNA planned category.

      And so yes, what we see 10 to 20 years out likely bigger than shown here, but its what happens beyond that, that is interesting. Perhaps we see 200 units per 5 years being built with <30 being retired.

      I'm unconvinced about the future of SMRS. I just don't believe the public will buy into small nukes littering the countryside.

    • Peter Lang says:

      Leo Smith,

      Also the current interest in SMRS which could in theory once type approved, be popped in as fast as a CCGT plant, renders assumptions about costs and time-scales entirely open to question.

      I.e whilst your analysis is correct if things stay more or less the same, my feeling is that they won’t!

      I agree wholeheartedly. It is inevitable … but will not happen overnight. It will take decades – once the impediments to progress are removed – to get back to the learning rates and accelerating deployments rates that prevailed up to about 1970 for learning rates and to about 1976 for deployment rates (based on construction start dates).

  3. Alex says:

    The cohort retiring in 2036 is possibly largely made up of French reactors. As they are in a concentrated region, they will have to be replaced as a cohort – rather than on the steady new build approach.

    That means that France has to start looking about now for about 60-90GW of nuclear power in the 2030s. Which makes you wonder why they’re not pushing a wide SMR program like the UK.

    • robertok06 says:

      “Which makes you wonder why they’re not pushing a wide SMR program like the UK.”

      They are not doing it because:

      1) The “wide SMR program in the UK” is, in my humble opinion, just bllshit of the finest kind you can find around. I bet a simbolic pound/dollar/euro that this “program” will not produce A SINGLE Wh 20 years from now.

      2) Why leave the known path… hyper-reliable and known PWRs, for a kind of reactor that nobody, commercially speaking, has a clue about?

      3) Please give me ANY TIME 58 more reactors like those running now for EdF… I’d take them over any other technology any time of any day… there’s no better way to produce electricity on this planet… in Energiewende-land, of course, everything’s about just fine by simply installing 3 kWp on your rooftop… 🙂

      My 2c$.

      • Alex says:

        Your scepticism over SMRs may or may not be justified, but if France doesn’t spend a bit of time and money on it, they won’t know (or might end up having to buy it from Britian or China).

        Why leave known PWRs?
        – Reason to leave: EPR looks like costing $8,000 / KW
        – Reason (perhaps) not to leave: The US is completing AP1000s for $3,500/KW, which might be acceptable for a replacement program.

        Terrestrial and Moltex are looking at below $2,000/KW. Will they – or someone else – be successful? Perhaps not. But if they are, will France be happy to buy the units from a factory in the UK?

        France does actually have a program for MSRs in Grenoble, which by some accounts has some great designs. But they’re not moving at commercial speed. They expect to have a Gen IV MSR for prototyping in about 2035.

        • robertok06 says:

          “France does actually have a program for MSRs in Grenoble”

          Hi: any info/document on this? I happen to have worked at the ESRF, next door to the CEA site in Grenoble, for 12 years… and as far as I know there is NO MORE any nuclear research done that… the two (or three?) small research reactors which were on site have been dismantled and the area is back to “green field” (actually I think it has been made a parking lot)… the only nuclear thing on site is the 50 MWth highly-enriched, heavy-water-moderated reactor for neutron research, the ILL.

          All (or the large majority) of French civil nuclear research is done in Cadarache and Saclay, and the military one near Bordeaux (see the large LASER MEGAJOULE inertial-fusion experiment, mainly to be used for validating the nuclear military codes for weapons).

          So, please, tell me which group/lab does this SMR work in Grenoble, I’m really interested to know.

          R.

          • Alex says:

            This is a quote from a site visit report from last year:
            ————————
            September XX, 2015 we visited the LPSC, Grenoble pumped, flinak, molten salt gas injection loop facility. Véronique Ghetta PhD is the principal with support from Julien Giraud. The loop has been operating since 2009 with first separations of bubbles in 2014. Its goal is the study of bubble separation for the molten salt fast reactor (MSFR)……

            A new facility is being prepared that I did not see nor find out when it will be operational. It will address safety issue for SAMOFAR (Safety Assessment of Molten salt Fast Reactor) having to do with safety issues caused by frozen layers.
            —————————
            Looking through this again, it looks like they are working on parts of the Gen IV MSR reference design, in conjunction with lots of other researchers. That seems like a recipe for research rather than progress.

            The “Gen IV-” designs of Terrestrial, Moltex and ThorCon are much more readily implementable than the Gen IV forum design as they neatly sidestep the major issues. Of course, in terms of maturity, those designs are some way behind Westinghouse and NuScale.

          • robertok06 says:

            THanks Alex!… looks like they are doing some research, but no real reactor construction.
            Anyway, interesting stuff.

      • The successful French nuclear programme was built on copying (cloning) Westinghouse 3-loop and 4-loop designs. All the home grown designs (gas reactors, fast reactors and the EPR) have been flops.

        • robertok06 says:

          The EPR is not a at ll a flop, technically. It is a flop PR-wise. It is a voluntary-shoot-yourself-in-the-foot-kinda-flop from the financial point of view, simply because someone, higher up in the chain of command, has decided not to push full steam for the completion of the EPR in Flamanville. Which is understandable, by the way, since France with its “floppy” old nuclear boilers is decades and decades ahead of the geniuses across the Rhine who install wind mills and PV panels as if there were no tomorrow… France is at 44 gCO2/kWh, the Einsteins are at 600+… just to mention the ecological (and health!) impact… not to mention the 45 Euro/MWh of the floppy ones vs the 300 Euro/MWh of the geniuses’ PV…. how about that as a crappy solution?… and yet is is PR-ed as the best, the goal to tend to in the future…

          The EPR is technically an excellent project, it is extremely safe, it makes very good and efficient use of the fuel in it, it can do a lot of deep load-following (not to be confused with balancing the ever increasing and ever useless production from intermittent sources, which should take care by themselves about balancing their intermittency…).

          Is the EPR expensive? Let’s take 20 billion Euros, and split 10 on an EPR (with included the cost of fuel for the next 60 years, largely) and 10 on any intermittent source which is fashionable now… PV?… and then let’s see which one of the two 10 billion Euros has generated more power after 50 or 60 years, under which conditions, with which impact on the environment, on economy, on the cost of electricity for households and industry… there’s simply no comparison possible, even the “floppy” EPR wins, simply because there is no way that any extremely low-power source can beat the one with the highest power of them all… it is W/m2 vs kW/m2… 3 orders of magnitude better for the floppy one… it is simple physics and math.

          Occam’s razor says that anything which suffices 1 km2 to generate 25 TWh/y (2 EPRS) and can use the existing distribution network MUST be better than the “green” alternative which needs 28 GWp and all the bells and whistles of the (yet to be designed) “smart grid”… extending from Norway to Sicily to cover intermittency and seasonality, and related storage needs.

          I go with Occam anytime.

          Cheers.

          • Alex says:

            The AP1000 has just agreed a build price in Georgia of $3,500/KW.

            Hinkley is budgeted at about $8,000/KW. Granted, Hinkley is expensive, and I’d be surprised if they don’t meet their budget, but the cost difference is too big to call the EPR “not expensive”.

          • mark4asp says:

            Just because an EPR is far better than windmills and solar panels does not make it a success. Assume an AP1000 price of US $3500 per reactor, 67% of capital borrowed, and a discount rate = 6%. That implies a strike price = £55/MWh. Far below Hinkley. I think a CfD = £55/MWh is something I could sell to the public.

          • robertok06 says:

            @Alex:

            Well, Georgia is not in the UK, or is it?
            Let’s compare then the cost of the chinese EPRs?

            @mark4asp
            A large part of the 8000/kW cost is POLITICAL, nothing to do with the real cost, and therefore should not be taken as a reference. Let’s wait until another reactor design passes the nuclear safety agency’s control and checks, and a real proposal in a real site is made… and then we’ll see how much they will cost IN THE UK?

          • Peter Lang says:

            EIA’s recent estimate (2013) of the Overnight Capital Cost of AP1000 is $5,530/kW for US build http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/capitalcost/pdf/updated_capcost.pdf. Add roughly 30% for investment costs.

      • Leo Smith says:

        Er – at least some of the SMRs ARE PWRs.
        These are not new technology, they are established technology shrunk to be suitable for factory mass production.

  4. it seems you are assuming that after 2026 the numbers of starting construction will almost
    tripple world wide.

    And why don’t you add a plot for the situation in OECD countries
    China (+Russia?) and the rest of the planet.

    So, the real question in my view is for nuclear future the next 10-20 years in Western Europe
    .. I see now way, it does not matter if I like it or not, that nuclear capacity and nuclear TWH produced will decline steeply. And China will not pay for keeping lights on in Europe..

    • Leo Smith says:

      All we need to reverse the trend is Russia flexing its Gazprom muscles, and a total failure of the European grid due to lack of winter wind and sun, and public perceptions will alter.

      At the moment nuclear debate is dominated by a vociferous minority who dont want it, and even smaller minority who do, and a vast silent majority who really haven’t given it much thought.

      Silent majorities however, as Brexit shows, can be woken up if the issue becomes important enough.

      • PhilH says:

        Isn’t the take-home message of the Brexit referendum that people are fed-up with being told what’s good for them by so-called experts, and if you do wake them up, they’re likely to continue to follow their gut instincts, which as you note have been shown in poll after poll to be much more anti-nuclear than pro-nuclear?

    • robertok06 says:

      WOW!… nonetheless than Michael “uranium will finish in 10 years” Dittmar!… it’s gonna be interesting… let’s see.

      (Sorry, after having seen your wonderfully UNinforming seminar/presentation at CERN’s library two years ago or so I couldn’t resist.)

      R.

      P.S.: Western Europe? Who cares? We’ll keep importing your (Germany’s) famously branded “photovoltaic surpluses”, right? Ahahaha… sorry again, but it is impossible to resist… I still remember when, causing a large spike in my blood pressure, you stated flat out (at CERN) that “look at the failure of French nuclear, which has to import surplus german PV DURING WINTER”!… and you are a PhD professor at one of the most respected universities of this planet, right?

      • Roberto
        as you seem to want to attack me without having read my paper
        you might want to compare the last few years of uranium mining with
        my model ..
        looks pretty accurate on the real production and far better
        than any other forecast model.

        but here is the paper:
        http://ihp-lx2.ethz.ch/energy21/STOTEN14690.pdf

        and the last 4 years of uranium production you can find at the WNA
        website.. http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/mining-of-uranium/world-uranium-mining-production.aspx

        So why don’t you comment on the real situation in Western Europe
        and the OECD countries in general..

        How many new reactors do you expect to be constructed during the
        next 5 and 10 years.

        I just asked the question.

        • robertok06 says:

          @anti-nuclear pasdaran

          I know your paper very well, don’t worry… and I must admit that sometimes I think that there are 2 Michael Dittmars, one who writes scientific papers like that, and one who likes to go around and spew misinformation using apocaliptic tones, because that’s what you have done at CERN.

          Your model may predict/estimate the data well, but this doesn’t change a thing. Uranium for reactors is nowhere to be a source of trouble… in fact there are companies who recently have lost market because U is so damn cheap now (strangely, rare things get more expensive, usually) that they can’t afford staying on the market… your doomsday scenario is nowhere to be seen.

          Talking about Europe’s nuclear?… who cares what will happen in YOUR future?…

          What matters is that nuclear IS NOW, and has been for the past decade (and maybe even longer) the first source of electricity in the continent!… that’s a fact, Michael Dittmar… 810 TWh in 2015… and by doing that it has been responsible for a large parte of this:

          “we calculate that global nuclear power has prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent (GtCO2-eq) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning.”

          http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/kh05000e.html

          If for you this is a small thing than it means that YOU have a big broblem with reality, Michael Dittmar!…

          Concerning a possible future, that unfortunately due to people like you will probably never materialize…

          “On the basis of global projection data that take into account the effects of the Fukushima accident, we find that nuclear power could additionally prevent an average of 420,000-7.04 million deaths and 80-240 GtCO2-eq emissions due to fossil fuels by midcentury, depending on which fuel it replaces. ”

          Is it clear, Michael Dittmar? I can explain with different words and different references if you wish so.

          Cheers.

          • glad that you read my (this) paper and find that

            “Your model may predict/estimate the data well, but this doesn’t change a thing.”

            .. well lets see if it changes things.
            So far nuclear power plants closed faster in Uranium
            emptied Western Europe,
            for whatever reason, than new builds.
            And the trend is continuing. As you say a stable
            electric Western Europe grid matters for you (and me).

            You argue often that without nuclear
            stable “lights” go off (and not only at CERN).

            and this part of it look reasonable to me.

            but what about:

            “What matters is that nuclear IS NOW, and has been for the past decade (and maybe even longer) the first source of electricity in the continent!… that’s a fact, Michael Dittmar… 810 TWh in 2015 ”

            Do you not know the facts a little better?

            Nuclear power in Western Europe
            2015 = 810 TWH true and 23.7% of the total.
            Gas and coal almost twice as much.

            Nuclear Fraction in Western Europe used to be
            close to 30% only 10 years back and trends show that they declining further.

            and in TWh in 2005 it was roughly 970 TWh from
            Nuclear in what is now EU.

            but.. why don’t you comment on the
            question on the near nuclear energy future
            in Europe?
            lets say 2022 (when Germany ends nuclear)
            and 2035 and so on..

            (as I wrote it does not matter what your or mine
            philosophical view about nuclear power is!)

            It would also be interesting to know why you think
            that with plenty of uranium 235 forever
            one should work on GenIV nuclear breeders?

          • forgot to add
            please have a look especially at section 3
            of the euratom supply agency report
            (certainly the most pro nuclear organisation
            you can find in Europe with real background knowledge
            (not public) about the nuclear future in Europe.

            see table 5
            http://ec.europa.eu/euratom/ar/last.pdf

            Uranium needs are going down further
            2015 = 17 587 tons
            2016-2025 = 16 745 tU/year (gross)
            -2035 = 14 588 tU/year (gross)

            about -1% per year..
            (and no breeders nowhere!)

    • Peter Lang says:

      michaeldittmar,

      So, the real question in my view is for nuclear future the next 10-20 years in Western Europe
      .. I see now way, it does not matter if I like it or not, that nuclear capacity and nuclear TWH produced will decline steeply. And China will not pay for keeping lights on in Europe..

      I foresee the opposite. I accept that the developed countries are delaying progress because of the widespread concerns about the safety of nuclear power. But this is not rational. So it can and, IMO, inevitably will, just as we no longer require a man carrying a red flag to walk 100 yards in front of every motorcar.

      There is sufficient uranium in the upper continental crust at eventually extractable concentrations, when used in breeder reactors, to supply all the energy for 10 billion people, at current US per capita energy consumption rates, for some 20,000 years. On top of that there is thorium and uranium in sea water. Then there’s fusion.

      Nuclear fuel is effectively unlimited!

      • did you ever bother to find out how many real breeders
        (not fast reactors) are existing today and how many prototypes for
        Gen IV wonder reactors have been initiated during the last 15 years?

        by the way the Russian “Fast reactors” are supposed to be there to burn
        military plutonium .. once the excess is gone the WNA says that they will
        change to make plutonium..

        anyway .. if you think that enough uranium is in the crust,
        why do you worry about breeder reactors?

        • Alex says:

          Breeders are uneconomic because Uranium is so cheap. If the price of Uranium rises a few fold, then breeders may become economic, along with sea water extraction, and a number of new mines.

          Uranium depletion is even less of worry than silver depletion stopping the growth of solar PV power.

        • Peter Lang says:

          did you ever bother to find out how many real breeders (not fast reactors) are existing today

          Your comment is silly irrelevant. You appear to be incapable of understanding progression in time. It’s like your grand father in his day asking “did you ever bother to find out how many real computers are existing today”.

          • Jan Steinman says:

            Oh, c’mon, now… don’t be so hard on the guy!

            Zealots will be zealous. Why let silly things like “facts” get in the way?

            Although I’m not a fan of nuclear, I think the door is quickly closing on new, advanced designs. As fossil sunlight goes into permanent, irrevocable decline — while population and life-style expectations continue to increase — there just isn’t going to be enough energy left to build them.

          • Peter Lang says:

            Zealots will be zealous. Why let silly things like “facts” get in the way?

            Although I’m not a fan of nuclear, I think the door is quickly closing on new, advanced designs. As fossil sunlight goes into permanent, irrevocable decline — while population and life-style expectations continue to increase — there just isn’t going to be enough energy left to build them.

            Thank you for telling us about your beliefs, Spoken like a true zealot. Frankly, I don’t care what you believe. i am interested in the relevant facts, not your beliefs.

          • robertok06 says:

            @Jan

            “while population and life-style expectations continue to increase — there just isn’t going to be enough energy left to build them.”

            Actually, if there is one technology that literally is running out of energy it is photovoltaics, which on the other hand is the workhorse of choice of the “green” intellighentsia… just read these:

            http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2013/ee/c3ee41973h

            http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2014/ee/c3ee42125b

            PV is a lost cause…. so far, a.D. 2016, the main technology used for cells, is barely in the green… i.e. it has barely generated more energy than it took to build the said cells…. and unless the growing factor stays below a low value (which has been exceeded during the folly years of high “incentives”) it will go again in the “red” sector, which means more energy is consumed than generated.

            Nuclear reactors reach energy parity (pay-back time) in a matter of 6 months or so.

  5. John ONeill says:

    Does it affect the numbers much if you assume 60 year lives for light water reactors ? It seems to me that most of the people complaining about ‘ ageing reactors ‘ are older than the reactors they’re complaining about, and have been complaining about them, for various reasons, since before they were built.
    Old reactors can be fitted with new turbines and generators, new control systems, and new steam generators. The discovery of microscopic flaws in the pressure vessels of two Belgian reactors proved to be the result of more intense scrutiny, not of progressive weakening – they’re just as safe as when they were built.
    It would be nice if these old workhorses were still churning out carbon free power when Jeremy Corbin and Bernie Sanders were lining up for coronary bypasses and new knees. ( Some of the electrons I used in writing this screed were produced at a hundred year old dam. )

  6. Peter Lang says:

    Euan,

    This may be of interest:

    Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the Period up to 2050
    http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/rds1-35web.pdf

    See the high and low projections of capacity and TWh in Tables 3 and 4, and the bases for their estimates.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Thanks Peter, I’m relieved to see my figures are in the middle of the fairway. In 2030 they are projecting 385 to 632 GWe. My number is 480 GWe in 2036. There is definite scope for upside on that.

  7. Peter Lang says:

    This slide presentation has some relevant charts showing how we got to where we are:
    IAEA, NPP in operation Worldwide
    https://ansn.iaea.org/Common/topics/OpenTopic.aspx?ID=8545

    Notice how the rate of construction starts stalled globally (in 1076) when the Nuclear Rejection Commission came into being (in 1975, I think).

    If we want to return to rapid, accelerating deployment we need to remove the impediments that are blocking progress. The root cause of the problem is the widespread concern about the safety of nuclear power.

  8. robertok06 says:

    @euam

    Nice work you have done, Euan, glad to read it.

    I’d say that even if you were wrong by a factor of 2 too much or too little, it wouldn’t change much for most of the people on this planet. 1000 GW nuclear or 250 GW in place of (let’s round it up) the actual 500 doesn’t constitute more than a nominal fraction of the total electricity (let’s forget about primary energy in total) which will be consumed by this planet in 2050 and beyond.
    Lot’s of… cough!… cough!… coal and nice fracking gas… some “environmentally friendly” (because WWF says so) deforestation to run Drax full steam with US pellets… business as usual for the planet, and lot’s of work for pneumologists all over it… I mean pneumologists in the country were pneumology makes sense.

    Nuclear will remain, anyway, the culminant point of the evolution, energy-wise, of our specie, which is, in my opinion, on the way out (doesn’t mean we will disappear tomorrow, simply that we have reached the top of our scientific/technology evolution as long as providing energy to our specie is concerned).

    Cheers, and thanks again.

  9. Syndroma says:

    Reactor age by country: http://i.imgur.com/j2YaBsV.png

    It’s the dawn of a new age in China. No old reactors to decommission, no spent fuel pools to manage.

  10. Jan Steinman says:

    This whole argument seems to ignore the 800-pound gorilla lurking in a corner of the room: fossil sunlight depletion.

    FACT: it takes fossil sunlight to make nuclear power stations.

    FACT: the fossil sunlight situation is on what the IEA calls an “undulating plateau.” The most optimistic view says this can continue for 20 years. The most pessimistic says oil will begin declining 3% to 6% annually Any Day Now™.

    What happens when “too cheap to meter” meets “unobtainable at any price?”

    • Peter Lang says:

      Jan,

      I’d urge you to conduct objective research and do objective comparisons before making such comments. Your argument is much more applicable to renewables than nuclear. Nuclear fuel is effectively unlimited and nuclear can produce effectively unlimited transport fuels from sea water. Conversely, solar and wind are unsustainable. They do not produce sufficient energy through life to power modern society and reproduce themselves. They are entirely and dependent on fossil fuels.

      • RDG says:

        Peter, Shell’s Pearl GTL cost $20B for a 140k bbl/d production of liquids from NG. It’s easy to see that replacing just 10% of the ~50 Mbbl/d gasoline capacity would have an astronomical capex.

        If the catalysis has major breakthroughs over the next decade, scaling to proof of concept and then building a plant similar to Pearl will take an additional decade

        I don’t know how your comment below can be considered serious:

        Lang: “Nuclear fuel is effectively unlimited and nuclear can produce effectively unlimited transport fuels from sea water. “

        • Peter Lang says:

          RDG,

          I don’t know how your question can be considered serious – given you’ve given no indication you understand anything about the matter. Ask a serous question, together with some demonstration you have some understanding, and I’ll be happy to respond. BTW, I said nothing about development time or time fossil fuels will last, so your point about capex is not relevant to the discussion.

        • robertok06 says:

          “Lang: “Nuclear fuel is effectively unlimited and nuclear can produce effectively unlimited transport fuels from sea water. “”

          Peter Lang is right. Even leaving out the practically unlimited amounts of U in the earth’s crust, there are 6 billion tons of U dissolved, in electrochemical equilibrium, in sea water.
          U could be extracted today from seawater, if need be (which makes the conclusions of the MIchael Dittmars incosequent to say the least)… and once you start extracting it from seawater there is a similar amount which re-establishes the equilibrium concentration seeping U from the seafloor… making uranium a RENEWABLE source capable of powering mankind for millennia tu come.

          Have a reality check:

          “The engineered protein is thermally stable and offers very high affinity and selectivity for uranyl with a Kd of 7.4 femtomolar (fM) and >10,000-fold selectivity over other metal ions. We also demonstrated that the uranyl-binding protein can repeatedly sequester 30–60% of the uranyl in synthetic sea water. ”
          http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/v6/n3/abs/nchem.1856.html

          Should there be anything you don’t understand, I’ll be happy to explain.

          Cheers.

    • Leo Smith says:

      FACT: it takes fossil sunlight to make nuclear power stations.

      FACT: It need not take fossil sunlight to make nuclear plants in future.

      FACT: the fossil sunlight situation is on what the IEA calls an “undulating plateau.” The most pessimistic view says this can continue for 20 years. The most optimistic says oil will begin declining 3% to 6% annually in 50 years.,

      FACT: so what? see above.

    • robertok06 says:

      @Jan Steinman

      WOW!… it seems that you can spew more/fater thanBS than Peter!… incredible! 🙂

      “This whole argument seems to ignore the 800-pound gorilla lurking in a corner of the room: fossil sunlight depletion.”

      Fossil SUNLIGHT?

      “FACT: it takes fossil sunlight to make nuclear power stations.”

      Wrong.

      “FACT: the fossil sunlight situation is on what the IEA calls an “undulating plateau.” The most optimistic view says this can continue for 20 years. The most pessimistic says oil will begin declining 3% to 6% annually Any Day Now™.

      “What happens when “too cheap to meter” meets “unobtainable at any price?””

      You are completely out, man!… the “too cheap to meter” did not refer to fission power.

      Try harder… after some study, maybe?

      • Jan Steinman says:

        the “too cheap to meter” did not refer to fission power.

        While it is true that the phrase “fission power will be,” it was uttered by the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, leaving one to surmise.

        If the CEO of MacDonalds said, “Food will be too cheap to pay for,” one might surmise he was talking about Big Macs, no?

        If Elon Musk said, “Driving will be too cheap to meter,” one might assume he’s talking about electric cars, no?

        But if Oscar Wilde said, “I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent,” one could assume that he was not talking about @robertok06, since they never met. Or did they…

  11. jacobress says:

    “I have further assumed that the 172 reactors currently planned will come into operation 10 to 20 years from now.”

    One thing is sure: the old reactors will be closed.
    Assuming that 172 “planned” reactors will be built – is a dubious assumption. Talk (“planning”) is cheap. We will see…

    Anyhow, in the best of cases nuclear power will stagnate – i.e. supply no greater share of electricity than it does now. In the best of cases.

    In the developed countries (US, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan) – nuclear is moribund. No new reactors, not even “planned” (see Hinkley).
    India, China, South Korea and Dubai and Saudi Arabia are the new world nuclear champions, which will barely manage to slow down the nuclear decline (in the best of cases).

    • jfon says:

      The old reactors don’t have to be closed – not, at any rate, the light water reactors, which make up the great majority of the world’s fleet. Russia’s and the UK’s old graphite moderated plants will be, but the Russians seem to be organising that better than the Brits are.
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nuclear-power-plant-aging-reactor-replacement-/

    • robertok06 says:

      “In the developed countries (US, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan) – nuclear is moribund. No new reactors, not even “planned” (see Hinkley).”

      This is utter BS!… and don’t tell me I’m “bad” or unpolite!

      The latest US reactor has been connected to the grid ONE MONTH ago, and there are at least 3 or 4 under advanced construction, in Georgia and South Carolina.

      Canada, on his part, has decided to invest several billion CND$ for uprating/upgrading an existing reactor (the web page of World Nuclear News has a piece on it), Japan is trying to re-start 20 of theirs (which have more than 20 years to go, on average) and Australia?… who cares?… 30 million people who will keep on buring coal?…
      Nuclear in the richest and most advanced part of the planet, Europe, is the first source of production of electricity!…. 810 TWh in 2015.

      What the hell are you talking about?

      • jacobress says:

        I’m talking about the data presented in this survey. (A very useful survey, thanks). You just refuse to read or understand.
        Most of the current reactors are in the rich countries, most of them are old, all of them will close sooner or later. No new ones are planned in these countries. These are the facts.

        • Alex says:

          The UK is planning 16GW of new capacity by 2030.

          You can argue whether the plan will be achieved. But it’s indisputable that it’s a plan.

          Beyond that there are concepts / intents. The UK will probably look for several 10s of GW more capacity by 2050.

        • Thinkstoomuch says:

          “No new ones are planned in these countries. These are the facts.”

          Right, after all the US didn’t start a new plant this year not at 100% yet. Oh and they don’t have any planned except about 8 in FL alone.

          So you have an interesting view on facts. Perhaps eyeglasses are required.

          T2M

          • jacobress says:

            The U.S. has two under construction, no further ones are planned. I mean actual plans, not vague talk.

          • Thinkstoomuch says:

            jacobress ,

            So you contradict your own statement!

            Definitely need eyeglasses or blinders removed.

            2 under construction sounds different than, “No new ones are planned in these countries. These are the facts.”

            Under construction (why construction is based on plans, isn’t it) is still planned they are not completed, connected to the grid generating power. At least to me. Though I am somewhat flexible on what to call them.

            Having already obtained State approval and stepping through the federal approval process is more than “empty talk”. Spending millions of dollars on the plan approval is more than “empty talk”. Again in my view of the world.

            Plants under construction don’t qualify either for you, see above.

            Please make up your mind as to definitions and/or statements you make. Then let us know what they are.

            Think I am done.

            T2M

        • robertok06 says:

          Well, the same can be said for PV then!… in Europe basically nobody installs panels anymore, the “incentives” party is over, even Energiewende-land Germany is below the yearly projected rate of installations… and in fact the most installations happen in?… China!… biggest producer of wind mills?… a Chinese company… first country for wind installations?… China again… so, who’s refusing to understand?

          Europe is, energetically speaking, at the planetary level, ” a detail”… what China, India and all the other poor and developing countries will do matters… and these will overwhelmingly use/burn coal, gas, oil.

          All projections for nuclear production in the future show a steady state (worse policy case) or a rise, even substantial… clearly the weight/percentage of nuclear will go down because even in case of rise it will happen at a rate smaller than the rate of increase of demand, planetary wise… but still nuclear will be, for at least a decade to come, IN EUROPE, responsible for this:

          “we calculate that global nuclear power has prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent (GtCO2-eq) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning. ”

          … again, if for you these are details… and do the hola when you read that nuclear will decrease, then it means that you are completelay detached from reality.

          I repeat: the USA have one new reactor and 4 under advanced construction, so stop telling blatant lies, please.

  12. cyhalothrin says:

    I’m encouraged to see the work that China is doing with nuclear.

    I’m depressed to say though that where I live – in Taiwan – we just elected a new government that is dedicated to shutting down our nuclear power industry, and replacing it with “renewables.” They are citing Germany as their role model. If anything, our greenie nutcases are worse than Germany’s. I’m getting ready for brownouts and blackouts for the next few years, before the Taiwanese come to their senses.

    • robertok06 says:

      “I’m getting ready for brownouts and blackouts for the next few years, before the Taiwanese come to their senses.”

      Don’t worry!… you Taiwanese people will simply have to learn how to consume less energy/electricity, and degrade your standard of living to what it was back then, in the 60s?…

      Get with the program, pal! 🙂

    • Alex says:

      A cunning plan! Wait 20 years, and then accept Chinese nuclear power in return for reunification.

  13. ristvan says:

    Nice post. There are a few wrinkles worth noting.
    Where nat gas is abundant, the better pathway is CCGT plus research on 4th gen nuclear (there are several candidate technologies, see essay Going Nuclear). Where it isn’t, 3rd gen nuclear (e.g Westinghouse AP1000/1200) makes imminent sense (South Korea) , as does scrubbed supercritical coal if one gets over the CO2 warmunist nonsense (China, India, Poland). It will only take one winter intermittent renewables multiday blackout (multiday because of the black restart complications) to change the world’s mind on renewables. UK unfortunately has a very good chance of becoming that opinion leader.

  14. Greg Kaan says:

    As a counterpoint to some of the comments about stagnation/contraction, Terrestrial Energy has been invited by the US DOE to submit the second part of a loan application to licence and build an IMSR in the USA

    http://terrestrialenergy.com/duke-energy-joins-terrestrial-energys-corporate-industrial-advisory-board/

    Their advisory board has been joined by Duke Energy so they would seem the likely customer for this first unit

    http://terrestrialenergy.com/duke-energy-joins-terrestrial-energys-corporate-industrial-advisory-board/

  15. Alex says:

    Not 100% sure how to interpret this:

    http://analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.com/sweden-allow-new-nuclear-plants-us-utility-fixes-ap1000-build-cost

    [Quote]
    South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) has chosen a fixed price option for the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for its 2.2 GW V.C. Summer 2 and 3 power plant project, SCANA, owner of SCE&G, said.

    The irrevocable fixed price option will amend the EPC contract to fix, as of June 30, “substantially all of the costs” for the remaining scope of the project, SCANA said in a statement May 26.

    SCE&G has notified the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (SCPSC) that total project costs have risen by $852 million to $7.7 billion, including owner’s cost, transmission, escalation and allowance for funds used during construction.
    [/Quote]

    Is that $3,500/KW?

    Moorside by the way is “budgeted” for £10 billion, or about £3000/KW.

  16. Pingback: The Age and Future Size of the Global Nuclear Fleet – Olduvai.ca

  17. Jura says:

    @ Peter Lang: U said: ” There is sufficient uranium in the upper continental crust at eventually extractable concentrations, when used in breeder reactors, to supply all the energy for 10 billion people, at current US per capita energy consumption rates, for some 20,000 years.

    Cu pls provide the source u got the numbers form?

    • Jan Steinman says:

      Cu pls provide the source u got the numbers form?

      It’s well documented on every cornucopian, nuclear-fanboy website!

      But pay close attention to the future-tense verbs (and phrases like “eventually extractable concentrations”) and the “ifs” and “buts,” most of which make it infeasible in a future with declining fossil sunlight.

      • Jura says:

        Well… I’m trying to be familiar with as well Malthusian as cornucopian arguments and I do pay attention to feasibility and interconectability of the a/m mentioned conditions, constraints.
        That’ s why I have put my question.
        In fact that’s exactly the paragraph U mentioned: “eventually extractable concentrations” turned my internal red alarm bulb as my imagination served me with scenes of environmental destruction of higher than the ones from Niger delta.
        EROI speaks to me as to a engineer, but I’m also familiar with the economy of scale thus trying to find out my view on the energy issue.
        Up to now I tend to be follower of the opinion that “we are not facing the energy crisis but consumption and overpopulation one”

  18. Peter Lang says:

    Jura,

    Background

    Most of the authoritative estimates of the life of uranium are very conservative. The assume current exploration and mining practices or limited improvement to the,. But I urge readers to consider how exploration, mining and extraction practices (and energy inefficiencies) for all mineral and energy resources have improved over time – e.g. over the past 50 years, 100 years, 200 years, 1000 years, 10,000 years and 200,000 years (since man first learn to control fire). A log-log plot of per capita energy consumption versus time for teh past 200,000 years is almost straight. Similar for our ability to extract and process energy. There is no rational reason to argue this long term trend will not continue.

    Recently, I estimated there is sufficient ultimately recoverable uranium from the upper continental crust to supply 10 billion people at the current US per capita energy consumption rate for 24,000 years. I’d welcome a check and discussion of my estimate.

    Enough uranium to supply all the world’s energy for 24,000 years

    Here I estimate the numbers of years the world could be supplied with energy from uranium in the Upper Continental Crust. I assumed 0.1% can be extracted eventually (this may be optimistic) and it is used in breeder reactors. I have not included uranium in sea water or thorium. My estimate is 6.75 million TW-years of electricity. I estimate 10 billion people could be supplied at the 2011 US rate of total primary energy consumptions per capita for 24,000 years.

    Assumptions:
    Mass of Continental Crust (CC) = 2.171E+22 kg [1]
    Mass of Upper Continental Crust, including sediments = 8.141E+21 kg [1]
    Uranium concentration in the Upper Continental Crust = 2.8 ppm [2]
    Heat Content (energy density), in FNR = 28,000 GJ/kg [3]
    Convert MJ to kWh @ 33% efficiency = x 0.0926 [3]
    USA Total Primary Energy Consumption per Capita (2011) = 296.5 GJ/per person [4]
    Convert ½ the electricity to transport fuels and other energy @ 33% overall loss

    TW-years of electricity generation from uranium possibly ultimately extractable from the Upper Continental Crust:

    Mass of Continental Crust 2.171E+22 kg
    Mass of Upper Continental Crust, including sediments 8.141E+21 kg
    Uranium concentration in the Upper Continental Crust 2.8 ppm
    Uranium in the upper continental crust, mass 2.280E+16 kg
    Proportion that could be extracted ultimately 0.001
    Uranium ultimately extractable 2.280E+13 kg
    Energy density, in FNR 28,000 GJ/kg
    Energy content (thermal) 6.383E+17 GJ
    Conversion: MJ to kWh @ 33% efficiency: x 0.0926 0.0926
    Electrical energy (MWh) 5.910E+16 MWh
    Electrical energy (TW-years) 6.747E+06 TW-y

    Years of energy supply for 10 billion people at 2011 US per capita energy consumption rate:

    Energy content (thermal) 6.38E+17 GJ
    conversion to electricity @33% efficiency 2.13E+17 GJ
    Total Primary Energy Consumption per Capita, USA 2011 296.4648 GJ/person p.a.
    World Population (10 billion) 1.00E+10
    Total primary energy consumption for 10 billion population 2.96E+12 GJ
    Years of energy available excl. conversion from electricity) 7.18E+04 years
    Energy conversion to transport fuels, say 33% 2.37E+04 years

    Conclusion

    The quantity of uranium in the upper continental crust at eventually extractable concentrations, if used in breeder reactors, could power the world with 10 billion people consuming the same average per capita primary energy consumption as the USA in 2011 for 24,000 years.

    References:

    [1] Peterson, B. T. and Depaolo, D. J. (2007), Mass and Composition of the Continental Crust Estimated Using the CRUST2.0 Model
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFM.V33A1161P

    [2] Chemical Composition of Continental Crust and the Primitive Mantle
    http://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/9784431539957-c1.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-1164445-p174109899

    [3] WNA, (2010) Heat values of various fuels
    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Facts-and-Figures/Heat-values-of-various-fuels/

    [4] EIA, Total Primary Energy Consumption per Capita
    http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=44&pid=45&aid=2&cid=regions&syid=2008&eyid=2012&unit=QBTU

    • Peter Lang says:

      Here are some examples of the estimates and projections based on existing technologies and expectations of technology improvements over the short term future, not over centuries and millennia.

      Supply of Uranium
      (Updated September 2015)
      http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Uranium-Resources/Supply-of-Uranium/

      Uranium is a relatively common metal, found in rocks and seawater. Economic concentrations of it are not uncommon.

      Its availability to supply world energy needs is great both geologically and because of the technology for its use.

      Quantities of mineral resources are greater than commonly perceived.
      The world’s known uranium resources increased by at least one-quarter in the last decade due to increased mineral exploration.

      Known Recoverable Resources of Uranium, 2013:

      http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Uranium-Resources/Supply-of-Uranium/
      tonnes U percentage of world
      Australia 1,706,100 29%
      Kazakhstan 679,300 12%
      Russian Fed 505,900 9%
      Canada 493,900 8%
      Niger 404,900 7%
      Namibia 382,800 6%
      South Africa 338,100 6%
      Brazil 276,100 5%
      USA 207,400 4%
      China 199,100 4%
      Mongolia 141,500 2%
      Ukraine 117,700 2%
      Uzbekistan 91,300 2%
      Botswana 68,800 1%
      Tanzania 58,500 1%
      Jordan 33,800 1%
      Other 191,500 3%
      World total 5,902,500

      The price of a mineral commodity also directly determines the amount of known resources which are economically extractable. On the basis of analogies with other metal minerals, a doubling of price from present levels could be expected to create about a tenfold increase in measured economic resources, over time, due both to increased exploration and the reclassification of resources regarding what is economically recoverable.

      This is in fact suggested in the IAEA-NEA figures if those covering estimates of all conventional resources (U as main product or major by-product) are considered – another 7.3 to 8.4 million tonnes (beyond the 5.9 Mt known economic resources), which takes us past 200 years’ supply at today’s rate of consumption. This still ignores the technological factor mentioned below. It also omits unconventional resources (U recoverable as minor by-product) such as phosphate/ phosphorite deposits (up to 22 Mt U), black shales (schists – 5.2 Mt U) and lignite (0.7 Mt U), and even seawater (up to 4000 Mt), which would be uneconomic to extract in the foreseeable future, although Japanese trials using a polymer braid have suggested costs a bit over $600/kgU. Research proceeds.

      See Figure: Known Uranium Resources and Exploration Expenditure http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Uranium-Resources/Supply-of-Uranium/

      It is clear from this Figure that known uranium resources have increased almost threefold since 1975, in line with expenditure on uranium exploration.

      Reasonably assured and inferred resources at <US $260/kgU increased by 50% from 2005 to 2013 due to increased exploration
      http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Uranium-Resources/Supply-of-Uranium/

      Uranium Resources Estimate Mt U
      known conventional economic resources 7.3-8.4
      phosphate/ phosphorite deposits – up to: <22
      black shales, schists 5.2
      Lignite 0.7
      Sea water – up to: <4,000

      • Jura says:

        Thanks Peter for your effort to enlighten a nuc greenhorn
        It is going to take some time before I digest the info provided and try to find a questionary part (if any)
        Definitely the extraction and nuc waste storage environmental impact, (energy intensiveness)
        I believe it must have been disputed before so if U happen to know some resources in the topic I;d be grateful to have it on the table

        • Peter Lang says:

          I am not clear on your question(s).

          If you are asking about my 20,000 year estimate there is an enormous range of estimates based on assumptions. At the short end they are talking about availability of U235 for use in LWR plants and using existing known reserves at current U prices. Some argue there is insufficient to fuel proposed nuclear for this century.

          The most “questionary part” is the assumption of 0.1% will ultimately be extractable. There is a whole other level of detail to go into to support that figure. we start with the proportion of uranium at different concentrations in different deposits and extrapolate to the proportion that could eventually be extractable. The 0.1% may be too high, but we also need to recognise we are talking about thousands of years in the future with, by then, self-motivated “nano” doovalackies http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=doovalacky doing in situ extraction of radioactive atoms with no mining involved.

      • Jan Steinman says:

        I have a couple problems with Peter Lang’s assessment.

        First, his primary source (world-nuclear.org) appears to be a nuclear industry advocacy site, funded by members who “are responsible for virtually all of world uranium mining, conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication; all reactor vendors; major nuclear engineering, construction, and waste management companies; and most of the world’s nuclear generation.”

        I got no problem with advocacy groups, but it should be made explicit and transparent. Peter has done the equivalent of taking the Green Party’s views about nuclear power and stating it as fact, without identifying the biases of the source. His numbers should be considered “best case,” the wet-dreams of the nuclear industry!

        On the basis of analogies with other metal minerals, a doubling of price from present levels could be expected to create about a tenfold increase in measured economic resources, over time

        I have even more of a problem with this philosophy, based on conventional economic theory, which is based on the assumption of infinite growth. There necessarily must be something underneath fiat currency, or you end up with the Wiemar Republic’s example of a wheelbarrow full of trillion-mark notes to buy a loaf of bread.

        I submit (with considerable help and support) that energy must ultimately underlie fiat currency.

        The US has enjoyed hegemony by making the US Dollar the only means of procuring petroleum, which has supported its fiat currency since Bretton Woods unlinked the US Dollar from gold.

        If you agree with that assumption, then the assumption that doubling the price of uranium will result in a ten-fold rise in extractable resource becomes a race to see if nuclear can scale up at a rate greater than the rate at which fossil fuel scales down.

        We see at this moment that linear assumptions and predictions do not necessarily hold true as supply and demand become close. When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, something has to break.

        Oil is low today, not so much because of excessive supply, but because the $147 price shock, followed by years of $100-$120 oil, caused a combination of high investment, plus demand destruction.

        So now petroleum is in a difficult pinch: too inexpensive for new sources to produce it, or too expensive for consumers to afford it. This results in a chaotic market that scares investors and consumers alike. Such chaos is closer to the predator-prey relationships modeled by the logistics equation, than it is to conventional economic theory, which says that Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” causes the price to rise forever, which causes alternatives to become fruitful.

        (In fact, I used the ecological logistics equation to model petroleum prices for my class project in a graduate-level ecology class in the 90s, and it seems to be in general agreement with evolving reality!)

        It would be foolish to assume the present state of affairs would not afflict nuclear fuel production at some point, as well, no?

        Believe that rising prices will result in rising reserves at your peril. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” is giving us the finger.

        • Peter Lang says:

          Jan Stennman,

          I have a couple problems with Peter Lang’s assessment.
          First, his primary source (world-nuclear.org) appears to be a nuclear industry advocacy site.

          Your comment is incorrect from the get go, so warrants just four responses:

          1. You apparently jumped in to comment without understanding what you were reading. The WNA link was the main source for the second comment, not the first / main comment. You need to read the second in context with the first. My first comment explains the basis of estimate; read it and refer to the references. The second comment is an example showing why estimates – by the very cautious industry groups as WNA (and USGS) – are short term estimates and gross underestimates of the uranium that will eventually be economically extracted as technology improves over time, as has been doing for millennia).

          2. You have not shown any error in the basis of estimates.

          3. Instead you tried to use the ad hominem fallacy approach – i.e. try to discredit the source rather than show error in the argument, the assumptions or the facts.

          4. You appear to be unaware how resources increase in response to an increase in funding for exploration. Do some research on this. Look at Australia for a recent example. Funding for exploration increased and uranium resources doubled over a decade or two (from memory – look up reports by Geoscience Australia and ABARE to get the exact numbers).

          • Jan Steinman says:

            You appear to be unaware how resources increase in response to an increase in funding for exploration. Do some research on this.

            You appear to be unaware that things work in cycles, and that linear projections always fail at some point. Do some research on this. I recommend the work of Buz Holling on Panarchy Theory.

          • Jan Steinman says:

            Hey, this just in — some more “research” to help you understand “how resources [do not always] increase in response to an increase in funding” — please read Gail Tverberg’s latest post.

            I’m genuinely interested in your reaction to Tverberg… although I’m betting on “arrogant dismissal of anyone who disagrees with me.” Prove me wrong!

          • Peter Lang says:

            Jan Steinman,

            I don’t think we can have a rational debate.

            Here is “A flowchart to help you determine if you’re having a rational discussion” http://twentytwowords.com/a-flowchart-to-help-you-determine-if-you're-having-a-rational-discussion/ . Do you answer “Yes” to each of the boxes?

            You have not addressed the issues I raised, and have not attempted to show any errors. You seem to want to talk about economic theories. I am not. I am interested in the realities, demonstrated by 200,000 years of human activity.If so: Do you accept the estimate of the quantity of Uranium in the Earth’s Upper Crust; if not please explain the error.

            If you accept that first point, then we can move on to the next.

            Or you could cut it short by saying you accept all up to a point then explain where you disagree, why you disagree and what number you would insert instead of mine, then complete the calculation to estimate the quantity of uranium fuel available for future extraction.

            If you don’t want to address the first comment (the main point) and show a significant error in it, I am not interested in responding to your and the theories you believe in.

          • Jan Steinman says:

            You have not addressed the issues I raised…

            Sorry, not my job.

            I’m trying to show you that the amount of uranium in the Earth’s crust is irrelevant, but you cannot even admit that possibility. So you hit “NO” in the very first block in your flow chart!

            This is not a discussion. I will not talk to you.

          • Peter Lang says:

            I’m trying to show you that the amount of uranium in the Earth’s crust is irrelevant

            You failed. It is not irrelevant. You don’t understand.

            And I did not hit “No” in the first box. That is you displaying intellectual dishonesty.

    • Peter Lang says:

      The second sentence in my first comment should have read:

      “The assume current exploration and mining practices or limited improvement to them.

Comments are closed.