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April 13, 2012

World Nuclear Generation in 2011 was 2518 TWh

Total nuclear electricity generation in 2011 was 2518 TWh, 4.3% less than the 2630 TWh generated in 2010, according to figures from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Generation had increased in 2010 following three consecutive years of decline. Japan's generation was down 127.7 TWh and world generation was down 112 TWh. Germany shutdown reactors for another 30.7 TWh decrease. So the world generated 46.4 TWh more if the effect of Japan and German shutdowns were excluded. Looking at 2012, generation will increase from 14 new nuclear reactors. However, if Japan's reactors are not restarted then Japan would end up with 140 TWh of nuclear generation less in 2012 than in 2011.

Japan's nuclear electricity generation fell by 44.3% in 2011 to 152.6 TWh, compared with 280.3 TWh in 2010.

The accident resulted in Germany imposing a three-month moratorium on the operation of its oldest reactors. This was followed by a decision to permanently shut down the seven units that began operating in or before 1980, plus one reactor that has been in long-term shutdown. As a result, Biblis A and B, Neckarwestheim 1, Brunsbüttel, Isar 1, Unterweser, Phillipsburg 1 and Krümmel were closed, wiping 8336 MWe from Germany's generation capacity. These shutdowns helped contribute to a 23.1% decrease in the country's nuclear electricity generation, from 133.0 TWh in 2010 to 102.3 TWh in 2011.





Michael Dittmar wrote a series of posts about nuclear energy that was published on The Oil Drum in 2009. In the first post of the series, he said that uranium "civilian uranium stocks are expected to be exhausted during the next few years" and "the current uranium supply situation is unsustainable". Basically lack of uranium production from uranium mines would cause lack of nuclear fuel which would result in steadily dropping nuclear power generation. I made a series of three bets with Dittmar

1. World Uranium production (Brian won for 2011)
2. World Nuclear power generation bets going to 2018 (Dittmar won for 2011)
3. Uranium production in Kazakhstan (Brian won for 2011)

Reviewing The Nuclear Generation Bet Series

Dittmar won the nuclear power generation bet for 2009. He said 2575 TWH and I said 2600 TWhe

Dittmar                   Brian                     Midpoint     Actual

2009   2575 TWhe            2600 TWhe               2587.5      2558
2010   2550 TWhe            2630                    2590        2630
2011   2550                 2650                    2600        2518
2012   2550                 2700                    2625
2013   2525                 2750                    2637.5
2014   2250                 2800                    2525
2015   2250                 2900                    2575
2016   2250                 3200                    2725
2017   2250                 3500                    2875
2018   2250                 3800                    3025


Brian Wang      Dittmar               Midpoint
2010   16500 tons      15000 tons            15750 tons 17,803 tonnes in 2010
2011   18000 t or more 17,999.9 tons or less 18000 tons 19450 tons

Industries and New Technologies Vice Minister Berik Kamaliyev predicted October 12, 2010 at a cabinet session that Kazakhstan will mine 17,800 tonnes of uranium in 2010, according to newskaz.ru.

World uranium production bets for 2010 through 2018
Uranium predictions
      Brian Wang  Dittmar            midpoint
2010  56000 tons  45,000 tons        50,500 tons 53,663 tonnes 
2011  60000 tons  45,000             52,500 tons 55,400 tonnes
2012  64000 tons  45,000             54,500 tons
2013  68000 tons  45,000             56,500 tons
2014  72000 tons  45,000             58,500 tons
2015  76000 tons  45,000             60,500 tons
2016  80000 tons  45,000             62,500 tons
2017  84000 tons  45,000             64,500 tons
2018  88000 tons  45,000             66,500 tons

2011 Nuclear Summary

As a result of the instant loss of capacity and the gradual shut downs, Japan's nuclear electricity generation fell by 44.3% in 2011 to 152.6 TWh, compared with 280.3 TWh in 2010.

The accident resulted in Germany imposing a three-month moratorium on the operation of its oldest reactors. This was followed by a decision to permanently shut down the seven units that began operating in or before 1980, plus one reactor that has been in long-term shutdown. As a result, Biblis A and B, Neckarwestheim 1, Brunsbüttel, Isar 1, Unterweser, Phillipsburg 1 and Krümmel were closed, wiping 8336 MWe from Germany's generation capacity. These shutdowns helped contribute to a 23.1% decrease in the country's nuclear electricity generation, from 133.0 TWh in 2010 to 102.3 TWh in 2011.

The weighted average energy availability factor of the world's plants operating in 2011 was 78.7%, down from 81.0% in 2010, according to the IAEA.

Apart from the Japanese and German units, just one other reactor was shut down in 2011. The UK's Oldbury 2 Magnox unit shut down in June 2011 after 43 years of commercial operation.

Six new nuclear power reactors were connected to the world's electricity grids in 2011: two units in China (Lingao II unit 2 and Qinshan II unit 4), plus Kaiga 4 in India, Bushehr in Iran and Kalinin 4 in Russia. Together, the new units added 4014 MWe of capacity. Additionally, the Chinese Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) was also connected to the grid for the first time in July, and was expected to ramp up to its full 20 MWe power before the end of 2011.

Capacity uprates at plants in the Czech Republic, Finland, Mexico, Spain and the USA added in excess of 440 MWe to the world's total nuclear generation capacity, and by 31 December the world had recorded 14,713 reactor-years of nuclear power generation.

Only two reactors formally began construction in 2011: Pakistan's Chashma 3, a 340 MWe (gross) pressurized water reactor in May, and India's Rajasthan 7, a 700 MWe (gross) pressurized heavy water reactor in July. Construction had been scheduled to begin on at least three new Chinese units during the year, but the country, which has more than 25 reactors currently under construction, temporarily suspended issuing approvals for the start of construction of new nuclear plants after the Fukushima accident.

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