In our last article, we had looked at the key nuclear developments in Asia in 2015. It was eventful year with significant developments coming out of China, both on the domestic and international front. With 2016 just starting, ANBP spoke with several nuclear industry experts to get their thoughts and insights on their predictions for the nuclear industry in 2016 and some of the nuclear developments to watch for this year.
Nuclear Economics Expert
Executive VP, International
We started off by first asking them on their predictions for the nuclear industry in 2016.
- Interest in nuclear power will increase, as countries look for ways to meet COP21 climate goals
- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will become a new factor in the financing of nuclear power plants
- Financing of decommissioning will become more widely discussed, as licensees and governments look for ways to accelerate (or accommodate accelerated) decommissioning and find creative ways to fund decommissioning activities.
- Asian OEMs will step up their activity outside of Asia
- There will be more closures in US and Western Europe due to economic factors. No new U.S. builds on the horizon
- 2016 will give a strong indication whether traditional western OEMs will continue to be active in the new build business or will bow out and yield to the (Eur) Asian players.
- China gets another reactor sale abroad
- China starts construction on eight new reactors
- Japan restarts at least six reactors
- India finalizes deals with France and Russia for new reactors
- Japan – more nuclear power plants get permission to restart operation
- China – announcement of first nuclear power plant export deal (not counting Pakistan units now under construction)
- US – More merchant nuclear units decide to retire early
- World – more environmentalists concerned about carbon emissions openly endorse nuclear power
Our panelist next shared their thoughts on some of the key nuclear developments to watch in 2016.
- Continued progress of reactor restarts in Japan
- Status of foreign technology reactor sites in India
- Construction progress of the Barakah Project in UAE
- Will the current new build projects run by traditional OEMs recover or fall into deeper troubles?
- Will Japan succeed with reactors restart? Or will the restart smoothly transition to decommissioning?
- Developments in the small/advanced nuclear
- There is all the buzz about new technologies, but nothing coming to fruition near term
- Restart of nuclear power plants in Japan
- Preparation of the first Gen3+ NPPs start-up in China (AP1000 and EPR)
- Development of the Turkish and Vietnamese nuclear projects
- Launching of the Hinkley-Point project in the UK (EDF EPR)
- Germany – recognizes that nuclear power phase-out was a mistake and starts process to undo it
- US – federal/state government takes action to prevent further nuclear power plant early retirements
- World – nuclear power becomes a real option for countries developing COP21 plans
- World – horizon for carbon reduction goals changed from 2030 to 2050
- Further industry consolidation among suppliers (e.g., recent Westinghouse-CBI purchase, etc.)
- Russia’s ability to finance export reactors becoming more difficult given low oil prices, domestic economic problems, etc.
- Uncertainty with power markets in U.S. and Western Europe making life difficult for operating reactors
- Growth opportunities in Middle East, especially potential new deals signed for construction in Saudi Arabia
What are your predictions for the nuclear industry this year and what are the key developments to watch for? Share with us your views.
Global nuclear power developments with a strong focus on Asia, will be discussed during the 4th edition of Asia Nuclear Business Platform which will take place 18-19 May 2016 in Hong Kong.
Asia Nuclear Business Platform is a 2 day programme covering the breadth and depth of the nuclear value chain. The industry gathering will have 250-300 senior participants with all the key stakeholders across the nuclear supply chain present: emerging NPP stakeholders, government, regulators, NSSS vendors, construction companies, law firms, and financial firms.
For more information, email [email protected] for a copy of the agenda.