Global credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) said in a report that the nuclear power sector will grow in developing economies like Russia, China, and India over the next two decades. Yet the developed economies are planning to phase out their plants and opting for renewables that are competitive, it wrote. The global nuclear industry, accounting for 10% of global power generation is faced with many challenges as governmental and regulatory policies have shifted toward renewables, especially after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, read the report titled ‘The Energy Transition: Nuclear Dead or Alive – S&P’. Concerns about the safety of nuclear plants and nuclear waste storage solutions and massively escalating costs for many new projects have led to the current scenario, the report mentioned.
S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Elena Anankina said the media that the analysts see little economic rationale for new nuclear builds in the US or Western Europe, owing to massive cost escalation and renewable cost-competitiveness, which should lead to a material decline in nuclear generation in those countries by 2040.
The report claimed that several developed countries, including Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and Spain, are planning to phase out nuclear plants. South Korea, Sweden, and even France aim to reduce it. Likewise, in the US, the continuity of nuclear plants and future life extensions are under threat from prevailing low power prices. There will be a marginal increase in the generation of atomic power in the world over the next two decades with the continued growth of nuclear power in some developing markets like Russia, China, and India signals, the report said. Russia and China have established nuclear expertise and funding from the government or from state-related banks, it added.
India is also investing a lot in the nuclear sector. Union Minister Jitendra Singh on June 26 said the present installed nuclear power generation capacity in the country is 6,780 MW. He said the total nuclear power capacity in India would reach 13,480 MW by the year 2024-25 with the completion of projects under construction, including 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) being implemented by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (BHAVINI). A total of 12 other nuclear power reactors aggregating a total capacity of 9,000 MW are scheduled to be added by the year 2031. With those, the total nuclear power capacity would reach 22,480 MW.