Nearly 20 new reactors are under construction in China over the next five years

2022-05-26 0 By

► Nuclear energy can play a key supporting role in curbing global carbon dioxide emissions.► France recently announced plans to build as many as 14 new nuclear reactors by 2050.► China is already a major nuclear power, with nearly 20 new reactors under construction in the next five years.From 2009 to 2019, global renewable energy consumption grew at an average annual rate of 13.4%.During that time, global renewable energy consumption grew from 82 gigajoules to 280 gigajoules.However, during this period, global carbon dioxide emissions increased by more than 4 billion tons per year, reaching an all-time high in 2019.The reason is that total global energy consumption increased by 920 gigajoules between 2009 and 2019.Renewable energy is growing much faster, but at current rates it will take decades for global carbon dioxide emissions to be significantly reduced.That is why nuclear power can play a key supporting role in controlling global carbon dioxide emissions.However, nuclear energy is concentrated in a few countries, and few countries are developing nuclear energy production.France recently announced plans to build as many as 14 new nuclear reactors by 2050.It marks a policy reversal since French President Emmanuel Macron pledged four years ago to abandon nuclear power and shut down 12 reactors.This winter, some of France’s nuclear power plants were shut down, forcing them to switch to coal.France will build six new nuclear reactors and study the possibility of building eight more.Macron said the launch of new nuclear reactor projects would help solve the energy shortage, given electricity demand and the need to predict the transition period and the end date of existing reactors.The vast majority of new nuclear construction over the next five years will take place in the Asia-Pacific region.This is important because this is the region where carbon dioxide emissions are growing the fastest.China is already a major nuclear power, with nearly 20 new reactors under construction in the next five years.India is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing energy consumers, but it is not yet a major nuclear power producer.However, with the construction of eight new nuclear reactors set to begin by 2027.More nuclear power in China and India could help meet rising energy demand while avoiding a sustained surge in carbon dioxide emissions in the region.In fact, it may be the only solution that can reasonably achieve this goal.In the United States, the world’s largest producer, nuclear power generation has been flat for the past 20 years.But that should change this year with the commissioning of Vogtle units 3 and 4.These would be the first nuclear plants to be built in the United States in more than 30 years.Admittedly, the industry still faces many headwinds after the 1986 Chernobyl and 2011 Fukushima disasters.But with the plants now under construction, there is at least some hope that nuclear power will regain its legitimacy and make a growing contribution to curbing the growth of global carbon emissions.