Japan set ambitious 2050 goals, feed-in tariffs

Japan seems to become pretty serious about climate change as it will soon make official a law mandating for 80 percent cuts of greenhouse gases emissions  by 2050 (compared to 1990, just in line with IPCC recommendations) Not totally unrelated to these most commendable goals, the country enacted generous feed-in tariffs for solar, wind and … Read more

Bad news are piling up on nuclear

Just as Grist is asking if Germany did the right move on nuclear – here is as a reminder my opinion piece on Cleantechies – several bad news for the industry of this energy source got my attention this week.

First and foremost, the reactor number 2 of Fukushima had probably experienced “spontaneous” fission “ according to an official quoted by the Agence France Presse.

Furthermore, it has been estimated that fully decommissioning Fukushima could take no less than 30 years. All this could have terrible consequences for the whole industry.

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Can the Chinese nuclear expansion be safe ?

To Yale Environment 360 : “In the wake of the Fukushima meltdowns, some nations are looking to move away from nuclear power. But not China, which is proceeding with plans to build 36 reactors over the next decade.

Now some experts are questioning whether China can safely operate a host of nuclear plants.” Indeed, building so many reactors in such a little time seems dangerous, especially if as the article goes :

” The International Energy Agency suggests that 30 new nuclear reactors must be built each year between now and 2050 to cut CO2 emissions in half.

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Poland and Lithuania are thinking about nuclear

While the decisions of both Germany and Switzerland to stop using nuclear made headlines, little has been written about Poland ‘s thinking about building two nuclear reactors, which would be build by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

The reactors could go online in 2020 if an agreement was signed in 2014. The capacity would reach 3,000 MW. The country relies on highly polluting coal for 94 percent of its electricity to date. (source)

As its electricity consumption is due to increase over the next decades significantly, and as something has to be done on climate change, it is willing to diversify its energy sources.

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Iran starts its first nuclear reactor

To the New York Times, 36 years after the construction began, Iran finally opened its first nuclear reactor. The plant has a capacity of one gigawatt (compared to the 1,650 MW of an EPR).

Many around the world are fearing for the region’s peace as the uranium used in the plant could also be used for bombs and missiles. The Iranian government promised to give the spent fuel rods to Russia – who helped building this plant.

This would prevent proliferation. The Bushehr plant will begin producing electricity later this year , once the 82 tonnes of low-enriched uranium will have been delivered by Russia.

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Vietnam, Bulgaria and Kuwait to build nuclear reactors

According to the Wall Street Journal ” Vietnam plans to have 13 nuclear reactors online by 2030, with a combined capacity of 15 gigawatts, the government said Wednesday. “

” Nuclear power will account for 10% of the country’s total generation capacity, the government said on its website, citing a nuclear-power development plan recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. “

Similarly, Bulgaria and Kuwait are interested in either expanding or starting nuclear programs. This shows that more than ever, nuclear is seen as a trustworthy low carbon solution.

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Jordan, Chile and many others are going nuclear

nuclear-reactorLast week Jordan announced plans to build a nuclear reactor by 2013. Other are due to follow.  This is done to answer the country’s energy needs which are due to double by 2030. This is a big issue as Jordan imports 95% of its energy.

It is the opportunity to focus on an interesting article on how nuclear interests as much as 60 new countries. To date 30 nations are already using this energy source to bring gigawatts of low carbon electricity to their grids.

A low carbon alternative to oil and coal, whose productions are likely to peak sooner than expected, nuclear deserves to me a more positive look.

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