"Industry Meltdown: Is the Era of Nuclear Power Coming to an End?"

"From Europe to Japan to the U.S., nuclear power is in retreat, as plants are being shuttered, governments move toward renewables, and key companies face financial troubles. Even some of the industry’s biggest boosters believe nuclear is on the way out."

"Is the nuclear power industry in its death throes?  Even some nuclear enthusiasts believe so. With the exception of China, most nations are moving away from nuclear — existing power plants across the United States are being shut early; new reactor designs are falling foul of regulators, and public support remains in free fall. Now come the bankruptcies.

In an astonishing hammer blow to a global industry in late March, Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse — the original developer of the workhorse of the global nuclear industry, the pressurized-water reactor (PWR), and for many decades the world’s largest provider of nuclear technology — filed for bankruptcy after hitting big problems with its latest reactor design, the AP1000.  

Largely as a result, its parent company, the Japanese nuclear engineering giant Toshiba, is also in dire financial straits and admits there is “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern.     

Meanwhile, France’s state-owned Électricité de France (EDF), Europe’s biggest builder and operator of nuclear power plants, is deep in debt thanks to its own technical missteps and could become a victim of the economic and energy policies of incoming President Emmanuel Macron.  "

Fred Pearce reports for Yale Environment 360 May 15, 2017.


"Struggling Nuclear Industry Lobbies State Governments For Help" (NPR)

"EIA: Natural Gas, Renewables Squeeze Nuclear Capacity" (Utility Dive)

Source: YaleE360, 05/17/2017