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World Energy Outlook Warns Nuclear Industry On Decommissioning And Disposal via NucNet

12 Nov (NucNet): The nuclear energy industry needs to be ready to manage “an unprecedented rate” of decommissioning with almost 200 of the 434 reactors that were operating commercially at the end of 2013 to be retired by 2040, a report by the International Energy Agency says.

World Energy Outlook 2014 (WEO), released today in London, says “the vast majority” of these reactor retirements will be in the European Union, the US, Russia and Japan.

The industry will need to manage this unprecedented rate of decommissioning, while also building substantial new capacity for those reactors that are replaced, WEO says.

The IEA estimates the cost of decommissioning plants that are retired to be more than $100 billion.

But WEO warns that “considerable uncertainties” remain about these costs, reflecting the relatively limited experience to date in dismantling and decontaminating reactors and restoring sites for other uses.

Regulators and utilities need to continue to ensure that adequate funds are set aside to cover these future expenses, WEO says.

It also warns that all countries which have ever had nuclear generation facilities have an obligation to develop solutions for long-term storage.

In one scenario examined in WEO, the cumulative amount of spent nuclear fuel that has been generated (a significant portion of which becomes high-level radioactive waste) more than doubles, reaching 705,000 tonnes in 2040.

Read more at  World Energy Outlook Warns Nuclear Industry On Decommissioning And Disposal

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