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Nuclear power hard to justify in cheap gas world: GE via Reuters

(Reuters) – Nuclear power has become hard to justify as the shale gas revolution creates an abundance of natural gas that makes it the fuel of choice to back up renewables, the chief executive of General Electric told the Financial Times on Monday.

A sharp rise in shale gas production in North America in the past five years has pulled U.S. natural gas prices down close to 10-year lows and could turn the country into a gas exporter soon.

Large conventional offshore gas findings in Europe and Africa in the past two years, vast existing reserves in Russia and Central Asia and increasing production in Australia also mean gas is abundant elsewhere as well.

At the same time, nuclear power has come under pressure following the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima reactor during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, with countries such as Germany and Switzerland pulling out of nuclear power generation.

“They’re finding more gas all the time. It’s just hard to justify nuclear. Gas is so cheap and at some point, economics rule,” the newspaper quoted GE CEO Jeff Immelt as saying in an interview on Monday.

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◇ in Japanese:

米GE「原発の正当化、難しい」 CEO発言、英紙報道 via 朝日新聞

Posted in *English, *日本語.

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