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The WNISR2020 assesses on 361 pages the status and trends of the international nuclear industry and analyzes the additional challenges nuclear power is facing in the age of COVID-19. A focus chapter analyzes nuclear programs in the Middle East as the first reactor started up in the Arab world.
Seven interdisciplinary experts from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Lebanon/U.S. and the U.K., from top think tanks like Chatham House in London and prestigious universities like Harvard in Cambridge, Meiji in Tokyo and Technical University in Berlin, have contributed to the report, along with a data engineer, numerous proofreaders and two artistic designers. The foreword was provided by Frank von Hippel, Professor Emeritus of Princeton University, and Jungmin Kang, former head of the safety authority in South Korea.
In 2019, for the first time in history, non-hydro renewables like solar, wind and biomass generated more electricity than nuclear power plants.
The number of operating reactors in the world has dropped by nine over the past year to 408 as of mid-2020, that is below the level already reached in 1988, and 30 units away from the historic peak 438 in 2002.
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2020 (WNISR2020) provides a comprehensive overview of nuclear power plant data, including information on age, operation, production, and construction of reactors. A new focus chapter in this year’s report is Nuclear Power in the Age of COVID-19 that assesses the safety and security implications of operating nuclear facilities in a pandemic and provides a country-by-country overview of available information on staff infections, impacts and measures. Another special focus is the chapter on Nuclear Power in the Middle East that analyses the significance of the first operating nuclear power plant in the Arab world and the status of nuclear programs in five other countries in the region.The WNISR assesses the status of new-build programs in the 31 nuclear countries (as of mid-2020) as well as in potential newcomer countries. WNISR2020 includes sections on seven Focus Countries representing about two-thirds of the global fleet. The Fukushima Status Report looks at onsite and offsite impacts of the catastrophe that began in 2011. The Decommissioning Status Report provides an overview of the current state of nuclear reactors that have been permanently closed. The chapter on Nuclear Power vs. Renewable Energy offers comparative data on investment, capacity, and generation from nuclear, wind and solar energy around the world. Finally, Annex 1 presents overviews of nuclear power in the countries not covered in the Focus Countries sections.
REACTOR STARTUPS & CLOSURES
Startups. At the beginning of 2019, 13 reactors were scheduled for startup during the year; only six made it, three in Russia, two in China and one in South Korea. No new reactor started up worldwide in the first half of 2020, including in China. Closures. Five units were closed in 2019, of which two in the U.S., and one each in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Eight additional reactors were officially closed in Japan (5), Russia (1), South Korea (1) and Taiwan (1); most of these had not generated power in years. In the first half of 2020, three additional units were closed, two in France and one in the U.S.