The Nuclear Fuel Report Expanded Summary


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World Nuclear Association has published reports on nuclear fuel supply and demand at roughly two-yearly intervals since its foundation in 1975. The 19th edition of The Nuclear Fuel Report was released in September 2019 and includes scenarios covering a range of possibilities for nuclear power to 2040. Forecasts beyond 2040 are beyond the scope of the report and would require a rather different approach to capture the larger range of uncertainty; however, the key issues examined in the report are likely to have continued relevance during that longer period. 

This expanded summary will provide readers with explanations of what factors are affecting the growth of nuclear power, what new concepts were introduced in the 19th edition, and what developments the industry may require between now and 2040. It describes the major conclusions of the Report, in particular, the supply/demand projections in different stages of the nuclear fuel cycle and the nuclear generation projections for the next 20 years. 

The full version of The Nuclear Fuel Report can be purchased from the World Nuclear Association’s online shop

Nuclear power currently contributes over 10% of the world’s electricity production and is expected to continue playing an important role in future electricity supply for several reasons, including:

  • Nuclear power produces near-zero greenhouse gas and other pollutant emissions.
  • Nuclear power is a reliable and secure power source, which is particularly attractive to industrializing countries and those lacking indigenous energy resources.
  • Nuclear power has long-term cost-competitiveness, compared with the levelised cost of both fossil and clean energy sources.
  • There are many industrial and human-capital benefits associated with nuclear energy’s development and use.  

Despite these advantages, nuclear energy faces competitive challenges from other electricity generation sources, especially in deregulated markets as they are currently designed, along with continuing regulatory and political hurdles. Furthermore, electricity demand growth has slowed down especially in the countries where nuclear power is well-established. However, the nuclear sector remains strong in many developing countries and it is in these countries that the majority of nuclear capacity growth is expected.


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