Nuclear energy can only make small impact by 2050 according to New Scientist report

Reporting on a communique from the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, published on 16 October New Scientist reports that nuclear power output could be quadrupled by 2050 rising to 1400 gigawatts from present 370 GW and supply roughly 12.5% of total world power use.

This high projection assumes that renewables and CCS don’t “deliver the goods”. If they do it offers a lower projection of 580 GW.

It goes on to say that this would “stretch reactor builders to the limit” by quoting Fabien Roques at Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Paris, France, who says it would be difficult to build nuclear stations fast enough to meet that projection.

We tried to get the original press release, but only proper journalists can get hold of it.

Arguably a programme of wind turbines could be started much more quickly than a programme for nuclear energy factories – with the former it is merely a question of duplicating existing facilities – tank factories were for example up and running in 6 months in WW2 in the US – much harder and slower to replicate the specialist equipment and people to ramp up a nuclear programme.

New Scientist, 25th October 2008 p6