At Work: our annual report

At Work is an annual report of the World Nuclear Association's activities. You will find details of the Association's everyday work and plans for the year ahead.

Download At Work 2019 Edition.



This year looks set to be an exciting one for nuclear energy, with the number of new reactor starts expected to hit a 30-year high. Last year saw major advances for new nuclear generation, with more nuclear capacity coming online than any time since 1990 and new reactor models starting up. Elsewhere, failing markets presented challenging conditions for nuclear operators, but we also saw the first steps taken to address these issues with measures such as the introduction of the Zero Emissions Credit scheme in several states in the US.

In 2018 more than 10 GW of new nuclear capacity was connected to the grid, with seven reactors coming online in China and two in Russia, exceeding the average capacity addition required between 2016-2020 by our Harmony programme. Four reactors were restarted in Japan, meaning a total of 15 GW of nuclear capacity started supplying electricity in 2018. Overall, nuclear generation supplied more than 2500 TWh of electricity, meeting 10.5% of global demand and, after hydro, was the second largest low carbon energy source.

Turkey began construction of the first of four reactors to be built at Akkuyu. And, one year after the start of construction of Bangladesh’s first nuclear reactor, construction of the second unit started at Roopur.

World Nuclear Association membership has continued to grow over the course of 2018, with 185 member companies from 40 countries. Our working groups have been active, with new reports published on lesson-learning in nuclear construction projects, I&C architecture and reforms proposed for the export control regime.

World Nuclear University continues to focus on developing future industry leaders. The Summer Institute in South Korea brought together people with the most potential in our industry to be trained and mentored by some of our most experienced experts. The first Extended Leadership Development Workshop in Bariloche, Argentina, gave an opportunity for past fellows to further their learning. WNU also organized short courses in China, South Korea and Brazil, where a record 400 participants took part.

By advocating for nuclear energy among key decision makers we are promoting the continued expansion of nuclear capacity worldwide, in both established and emerging nuclear countries. In Bulgaria, we called on the Parliament to make a strong commitment to a new nuclear build programme. I was pleased to note that later in the year the Bulgarian parliament mandated the country’s energy minister to resume the process of attracting investors to a second nuclear plant at Belene.

Our World Nuclear Spotlight Poland event, organized in collaboration with Foratom, brought together more than 125 international industry representatives, Polish government officials and decision-makers in Warsaw to discuss opportunities for Poland to drive forward its nuclear power plans. A few days later, just ahead of the COP 24 meeting in Katowice, Poland launched a draft energy policy document that envisaged 6-9 GWe of nuclear capacity in operation by 2043.

Earlier in the year we organized Spotlight Indonesia in cooperation with the National Nuclear Energy Agency of Indonesia (BATAN). Government representatives from Indonesia met with global industry experts to discuss the requirements for the development of nuclear energy in their country.

To grow institutional support for nuclear energy we have developed new relationships with key international organisations. In November we took part in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Ninth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development in Kiev, Ukraine.

Supporting the launch of the Nuclear Innovation Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative in May brought nuclear into the Clean Energy Ministerial process alongside other low carbon technologies. It is vital that nuclear energy is included in these international forums to be part of the response to meeting the world’s future energy and environmental goals.

We formed a new partnership aimed at encouraging support for nuclear technology as part of the global energy transition at the 24th World Energy Congress taking place in UAE in September 2019.

These are just some of the steps we have taken in 2018 to bring nuclear to the forefront of the energy debate and move forward with the actions needed to achieve the Harmony goals. Our fruitful collaboration with international organisations has led to several joint projects that we will be developing this year. We are already planning events in Brazil and Kazakhstan, to name just a few, to continue this mission. I look forward to 2019 and the work that it will bring.


Also available: At Work 2021, At Work 2020



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