Up to 2040, maintaining current reactors will cost $100 billion, according to the World Nuclear Association

According to the World Nuclear Association, continued and well-coordinated investment in the global nuclear supply chain will be necessary for the nuclear power sector to expand at the rate and scale necessary to accomplish the goals of net-zero, energy security, and sustainable development.

The association's World Nuclear Supply Chain 2023 includes the construction, operation, and decommissioning phases of nuclear power facilities. The paper examines the supply chain's potential beyond 2040 in addition to its existing state.

According to the estimate, there will be 437 operational power reactors with a total combined producing capacity of 394 gigawatts of electrical energy (GWe) by the end of 2022. Over 400 additional homes were in various stages of planning, and another 60 units were now being built.

The World Nuclear Association predicts that nuclear generation capacity might increase to 839 GWe by 2040 under one scenario in its 2021 Nuclear Fuel Report.

Depending on whether the series effect and cost optimisation from "nth-of-a-kind" (NOAK) builds are realised, the capital expenditure needed to build the new reactors is of the range of US$ 900 billion to US$ 1.8 trillion, the paper states.

In the meantime, it's possible that more than 140 existing reactors will continue to operate past 2040. According to the research, the entire cost of this work could surpass US$ 50–100 billion and require US$ 3–4 billion in annual international procurement.

Additionally, the industry for decommissioning and waste management is worth $6 to $10 billion yearly.

According to the World Nuclear Association, "consistent policies to encourage investment are needed to ensure that a rapid worldwide nuclear development can be supported by the nuclear supply chain, without bottlenecks, and build in resilience against potential supply chain shocks. The success of the nuclear business in the upcoming years will depend on how well it can utilise enabling technologies and industrial innovation within the supply chain.

In order to optimise the supply chain, the report makes a number of recommendations, including: lowering the cost of the procurement process by fostering relationships with suppliers and implementing new business and financing models; lowering the cost of components by utilising strategic procurement techniques, maximising the use of commercial-grade components and commercial-off-the-shelf dedication, and utilising innovative manufacturing and construction techniques in nuclear plant development.

Director General of the World Nuclear Association Sama Bilbao y León stated that the outlook for nuclear power has greatly improved since the release of the previous edition of the study. "A growing number of governments are realising that nuclear energy offers a reliable and cost-efficient way to meet net-zero greenhouse gas emission commitments.

"In addition, worries about the price and dependability of gas supplies, made worse by the Ukraine issue, have drawn attention to the significance of energy security and sovereignty, areas where nuclear power also has benefits.

The nuclear industry's capacity to build and outfit hundreds, and even thousands, of nuclear power plants efficiently will be one of several criteria that determine its ability to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the current energy issues.

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