This post is excerpted from an upcoming Worldwatch report on nuclear power in a post-Fukushima world.
With the crisis at Fukushima still unfolding as of early April 2011, the long-term impact of the disaster remains highly uncertain. In mid-March, however, London-based bank HSBC undertook a first analysis of some of the areas where the nuclear sector has been and might be affected. These include:
- Safety reviews of reactors in several countries (e.g., Germany, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K., and the United States);
- Immediate shutdown of older reactors (e.g., Germany);
- Limited or no further lifetime extensions for aging reactors (e.g., Germany, the U.K., the United States);
- Suspension of new plant approvals (including in China, which was expected to account for 40 percent of new installations over the next decade);
- Review of reactors under construction in seismically active zones;
- Higher safety and other costs (as yet hard to quantify) for new and existing nuclear facilities that would render nuclear power less economic or uneconomic; and
- Re-evaluation of planned energy policy in all nuclear countries, with a greater focus on energy efficiency measures and natural gas and renewables installations.
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