A world energy read

Key World Energy Statistcs 2006 from the IEA (2MB pdf)

The most noticeable thing about it is how many colours there are. The second most noticeable thing is that is has lots of statistics in it as you would expect.

The graph comes from page 16 showing the nuclear production. Over the period between 1994 and 2004, nuclear production worldwide grew by 20% and within the OECD by 15%.

You may be wondering where all this OECD capacity came from if nuclear power has been "dead" all these years. First, the OECD includes Japan, which is committing to expanding its nuclear sector as part of a strategy of energy security. Second, just because new reactors are not being built, it doesn't mean that capacity is not being expanded. In the US, efficiency improvements and capacity uprates totalling near 5GW, has achieved the effect of adding capacity, without actually building new units.

So to the question of why there has been no new build recently, why build a new unit when there is so much potential to squeeze more capacity out of the ones you've already got?

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