As the mood in Japan, Germany, Italy and even France hardens, China is restarting a £170bn reactor programme and India is looking to atomic power to shore up its creaking grid
A nuclear fuel pellet the size of your little finger provides more energy than 800 kilograms of coal or 650 litres of oil – and all without belching any carbon dioxide or other fumes into the atmosphere.
But the intense power of uranium, the raw material of nuclear fuel, was demonstrated to the world by the Fukushima disaster last year. Its price on global markets has collapsed, from a record $136 a pound in 2007 to just $44 last week – a slump so severe that some of the world’s biggest miners have decided they’re better off leaving the mineral in the ground.
The market suffered further blows in the last month or so as several developed-world governments announced or confirmed plans to move away from atomic power for good.
But even as the west retreats, the nuclear industry may be about to rise again – in the developing world. In the last few days, China announced plans to restart its massive £170bn reactor building programme, intended to create generating capacity so large that it could power the whole of Spain.
Last March, Japan went into lockdown and shut all of its nuclear plants, which had provided 30% of the nation’s electricity. Fears of a nuclear apocalypse rippled across the globe, turning the lights out at reactors around the world, and many of them still lie idle 18 months later.
The future of the UK’s nuclear ambitions also hangs in the balance after Vincent de Rivaz, the chief executive of EDF Energy, the French company charged with building new reactors in the UK, told parliament the company had yet to make up its mind whether it was worth building plants without support from the government. Two German companies – RWE and E.ON – have already pulled out of the Horizon joint venture to build new nuclear plants in the UK.
Uranium miners have noticed the cool wind too. This summer, BHP Billiton, the giant Anglo-Australian mining group, shelved plans for the world’s largest open-pit copper and uran, and announced it has no plans to build or acquire other uranium minesium mine in south Australia. The £12bn Olympic Dam mega-project would have transformed the mine 350 miles north of Adelaide into a massive pit capable of producing 19,000 tonnes of uranium a year. Explaining the decision to stall the project, Marius Kloppers, BHP’s chief executive, said demand for uranium had “collapsed”. BHP has also sold off its Yeelirrie uranium field in Western Australia.
Canada’s Cameco, the world’s third-largest uranium miner, has said it is only worth pressing ahead with its Kintyre uranium project in Australia’s Great Sandy Desert if the uranium price climbs back above $67 a pound.
Continue reading at Nuclear power turns to developing world as west recoils from Fukushima
Choose Language / 言語
Updates / 最新記事
- 台湾:原発建設中止の大規模デモ 台北に数万人 via 毎日jp
- Radioactive goldfish found in Ohio nuclear plant via Russia Today
- 「民間提言」に経産省が関与 原発の再稼働や輸出求める via 朝日新聞
- ３号貯水槽から移送開始 ８４００トン、地上タンクへ via msn.産経ニュース
- Senators voice MOX support via The Aiken Standard
- Bad Radioactive Waste Bill Increases Threats to Texas While Rewarding a Major Perry Donor via The Gilmer Mirror
- Hanford waste moved across town with parade permit via King5.com
- EDF Slumps After Nuclear Price Concerns Trigger Stock Downgrade via Bloomberg Businessweek
- 市民の放射能検査に貢献 伏見の測定所、開設１年 via 京都新聞
- Torness Nuclear power station back open to public via scotsman
Archives / 月別アーカイブ
- May 2013 (104)
- April 2013 (156)
- March 2013 (199)
- February 2013 (191)
- January 2013 (173)
- December 2012 (92)
- November 2012 (198)
- October 2012 (229)
- September 2012 (207)
- August 2012 (255)
- July 2012 (347)
- June 2012 (231)
- May 2012 (168)
- April 2012 (116)
- March 2012 (150)
- February 2012 (198)
- January 2012 (292)
- December 2011 (251)
- November 2011 (252)
- October 2011 (364)
- September 2011 (288)
- August 2011 (513)
- July 2011 (592)
- June 2011 (253)
- May 2011 (251)
- April 2011 (571)
- March 2011 (494)
- February 2011 (1)
- December 2010 (1)
By Topic / トピック一覧
anti-nuclear energy movement Atomic Age Capitalism East Japan Earthquake + Fukushima energy policy EU food France health Hiroshima/Nagasaki IAEA India Inequality labor nuclear waste Nuclear Weapons Oi Radiation exposure restart Russia/Ukraine/Chernobyl TEPCO U.S. UK エネルギー政策 メディア ヨーロッパ ロシア/ウクライナ/チェルノブイリ 上関 健康 公正・共生 兵器 再稼働 労働における公正・平等 原発推進 反原発運動 大飯原発 女性・フェミニズム 広島・長崎 教育 東京電力 東日本大震災・福島原発 米国 脱原発 被ばく 資本主義