Nuclear fuel report sees positive long-term future (World Nuclear News – September 8, 2021)

Nuclear generation capacity is expected to grow by 2.6% annually, reaching 615 GWe by 2040 in the Reference Scenario of The Nuclear Fuel Report: Global Scenarios for Demand and Supply Availability 2021-2040, launched today at World Nuclear Association Annual Symposium 2021. Only 74% of 2020’s reactor requirements were covered by primary uranium supply.

The report is the latest in a series of reports published at roughly two-yearly intervals since 1975. Drafted with input from over 80 experts from across the global nuclear industry co-chaired by Alexander Boytsov of Tenex and James Nevling of Exelon Generation, the report uses publicly available information gathered from organisations active in the nuclear fuel cycle – both members and non-members of the Association – to produce projections for nuclear capacity and uranium production.

Its three scenarios – designated Reference, Upper and Lower – cover a range of possibilities for nuclear power to 2040.

The proprietary model used by World Nuclear Association to prepare projections for fuel requirements has been thoroughly revised for this edition, with a reassessment of the various factors affecting nuclear fuel demand, such as thermal efficiency parameters, enrichment levels and fuel burn-ups.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are considered in the report from a qualitative point of view but are not yet incorporated quantitatively in the model, other than the inclusion of the Russian-designed KLT-40S, two of which are now in operation on the floating nuclear power plant Akademic Lomonosov.

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