The Atomic Energy Agency expects a jump in the generation of “nuclear electricity” to 792 GW by 2050 from 393 GW last year

  • 20 September, 2021
  • 4:36 pm EEST

In the global pursuit of carbon neutrality, the Atomic Energy Agency has forecast a promising future for nuclear power in generating clean electricity, even raising its forecast for nuclear electricity generation by 2050, an increase of 10% from last year.

“The agency’s new forecasts show that nuclear power will continue to play an indispensable role in the production of low-carbon energy,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

The IAEA expects global nuclear generation capacity to double to 792 GW by 2050, from 393 GW in 2020 at the latest.

Thus, the agency has raised its forecast from last year, which amounted to 715 gigawatts by 2050, an increase of more than 10%, according to the “WNN” website concerned with nuclear energy news.

Fukushima station accident

This is the first time since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has revised its increase forecast.

Last April, 10 years after the accident, the agency revised public safety requirements that were published as part of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 2011 safety standards.

It also reviewed requirements relating to the legal and regulatory framework, emergency preparedness and response, and nuclear safety.

The 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was caused by a massive 9-magnitude earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami, which was the worst emergency at a nuclear power plant since the Chernobyl accident a quarter of a century ago.

Nuclear electricity generation

The 41 edition of the Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Energy Estimates for the period to 2050 provides detailed global trends in nuclear energy.

These estimates indicate that global final consumption of electricity will increase by about 15% from 2020 levels by 2030, and by about 30% by 2050.

Estimates also predicted that electricity consumption would grow at a faster rate of about 2.4 percent annually, and double between 2020 and 2050, and total electricity capacity would rise by about 30 percent by 2030, and more than double by 2050.

The report classifies its forecasts for the electrical generation capabilities of nuclear energy between low and high.

Under low estimates, global nuclear generation capacity will decline by about 7% through 2030, and then bounce back to roughly the current level of 392 GW by 2050.

According to high estimates, nuclear capacity will increase by about 20% by 2030, and more than double by 2050, compared to 2020.

However, in both scenarios, the share of nuclear power in total generation capacity is expected to decline by 2050.

New nuclear reactors

The Atomic Energy Agency estimates that nuclear power could contribute about 12% of global electricity by 2050, up from 11% in last year’s 2050 forecast.

Nuclear energy generated about 10% of the world’s electricity during 2020, and about two-thirds of nuclear power reactors have been operating for more than 30 years, which highlights the need for new nuclear capacity to replace a large number of reactors scheduled to be shut down in 2030 and beyond, especially in North America and Europe. .

In order to fulfill its growing expectations, the IAEA has called for coordinated actions, including the rapid implementation of innovative nuclear technologies.

Nuclear power production

The International Atomic Energy Agency noted that “the current pace of nuclear energy development shows that urgent action is needed to preserve the current role of nuclear energy in the energy mix.”

The agency said the change in its annual forecast for nuclear power “does not yet indicate a new trend, but it does come as the world aims to move away from fossil fuels to combat climate change.”

She indicated that many countries are considering the introduction of nuclear energy to enhance the production of reliable and clean energy.

A study conducted by researchers from the New Nuclear Monitoring Institute warned countries of the world that reducing nuclear capacity, whether through deliberate phasing out, or failure to commit to new construction, poses significant risks to energy security.

The study issued last August – entitled “Energy Security in an Era of Ambition Towards Carbon Neutrality and the Nuclear Energy System” – stated that nuclear construction enhances energy security at the system level, increases the resilience of the electricity grid, and helps reduce dependence on energy imports.

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