The feasibility and costs of spent nuclear fuel management and the consequent disposal of ultimate waste continue to be the subject of public debate in many countries, with particular concern often expressed over the lack of progress in implementing final disposal. Uncertainties about back-end costs and the financial risks associated with management of the back end have also been singled out as possible deterrents to investment in new nuclear build. This report offers an appraisal of economic issues and methodologies for the management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste from commercial power reactors.
This report outlines international efforts to strengthen nuclear regulation, safety, research and radiological protection in the post-Fukushima context. It also highlights key messages and lessons learnt, notably as related to assurance of safety, shared responsibilities, human and organisational factors, defence-in-depth, stakeholder engagement, crisis communication and emergency preparedness.
This report addresses the increasingly important interactions of variable renewables and dispatchable energy technologies, such as nuclear power, in terms of their effects on electricity systems. These effects add costs to the production of electricity, which are not usually transparent. The report recommends that decision-makers should take into account such system costs and internalise them according to a "generator pays" principle, which is currently not the case.
Although nuclear energy currently provides over 20% of electricity in the OECD area and does not emit any carbon dioxide during production, it continues to be seen by many as a controversial technology. Public concern remains over its safety and the management of radioactive waste, and financing such a capital-intensive technology is a complex issue. The role that nuclear power will play in the future depends on the answers to these questions, several of which are provided in this up-to-date review of the status of nuclear energy, as well as on the outcome of research and development on the nuclear fuel cycle and reactor technologies.
Nuclear Energy Data is the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency's annual compilation of statistics and country reports documenting the status of nuclear power in the OECD area. Information provided by member country governments includes statistics on installed generating capacity, total electricity produced by all sources and by nuclear power, nuclear energy policies and fuel cycle developments, as well as projected generating capacity and electricity production to 2035, where available.
In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, questions are being raised about the future of the uranium market, including as regards the number of reactors expected to be built in the coming years, the amount of uranium required to meet forward demand, the adequacy of identified uranium resources to meet that demand and the ability of the sector to meet reactor requirements in a challenging investment climate. This 24th edition of the “Red Book”, a recognised world reference on uranium jointly prepared by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency, provides analyses and information from 42 producing and consuming countries in order to address these and other questions.
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While some countries have taken positive actions in terms of nuclear education and training, in a number of others human resources could soon be facing serious challenges in coping with existing and potential new nuclear facilities. This is exacerbated by the increasing rate of retirement as the workforce ages. This report provides a qualitative characterisation of human resource needs and appraises instruments and programmes in nuclear education and training initiated in a number of countries. It also outlines a job taxonomy which could be a basis for addressing the needs of workers across this sector, and examines the current and future uses of nuclear research facilities for education and training purposes.
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Interest in expanding nuclear power to cope with rising demand for energy and potential climate change places increased attention on the nuclear fuel cycle and whether significant moves are being taken towards ensuring sustainability over the long term. This report reviews developments in the fuel cycle over the past ten years, potential developments over the next decade and the outlook for the longer term. It analyses technological developments and government actions (both nationally and internationally) related to the fuel cycle, and examines these within a set of sustainability parameters in order to identify trends and to make recommendations for further actions.
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