The Number of Global Nuclear Electric Plants Increased in 2014

Five new nuclear electric plants went on line in 2014 that included three in China, one in Argentina and one in Russia. Construction started on three nuclear units during 2014. The new construction includes the second unit of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Belarus, the third unit of the Barakah plant in the United Arab Emirates and Argentina’s prototype CAREM-25, ref. 1, small modular reactor, (SMR).

Argentina has become an important player in the fledgling SMR market, having started construction of a national design, by the Central Argentina de Elementos Modulares (CAREM). The development is led by the the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) and includes the countries leading nuclear companies, ref. 2. A demonstration unit called CAREM-25, is a 25 MWe prototype project now under construction. The project is designed to prove the technology and will be used to validate inovations proposed for larger commercial versions of 150-300 MWe.

The nuclear renaissance in North America and Europe, where power demand has slowed considerably, has stalled, ref. 2. Other countries including Argentina, China, Korea and Russia have SMRs under construction. When will the current U.S. administration wake-up to the fact that the SMR offers a tremendous opportunity for job growth and nuclear technology advancement? Apparently a few other countries, are awake and understand the economic potential the SMR offers. They are taking an aggressive approach to obtain an early lead in SMR development.
References:
1. “Nuclear generating capacity rises in 2014″, World Nuclear News, 05 January 2015, http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Nuclear-generating-capacity…
2. Kovan, Dick, “Advanced SMRs: Providing new nuclear opportunities”, Nuclear News, p.85, December 2014.