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Thursday, September 11, 2008

OECD nuclear chief says 1,400 reactors by 2050 is 'realistic'

[For comparison, there are 443 reactors in operation worldwide]


Washington (Platts)--10Sep2008A world with 1,400 nuclear reactors operating by 2050 is "realistic" if
there are sufficiently high levels of government and public support, Luis
Echavarri, director general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development's Nuclear Energy Agency, on Wednesday told a Washington briefing.
Echavarri was previewing findings from the agency's forthcoming "Nuclear
Energy Outlook" report to be published in October.
He said NEA found that it would be "feasible" for the world nuclear
industry to construct about 54 new units annually between 2020 and 2050 if
national governments and the public commit to a goal to address climate change
and energy security issues. It would take the industry about 10 to 15 years to
gear up to those production levels, he said.
In an alternate scenario in the NEA report, nuclear power develops "very
slowly" and is seen as less attractive due to its high costs and public
concerns. Even with those assumptions, world nuclear capacity could rise from
about 300 GW now to 500 GW by 2050, Echavarri said.
There are "plenty" of uranium resources to support nuclear power
expansion for "hundreds of years," and advanced reprocessing and recycling
technologies offer the possibility of extracting 17 to 50 times more energy
from that uranium, he said.
--Steven Dolley, steven_dolley@platts.com

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