Just The Facts

"Just The Facts" sets the record straight on the many myths about nuclear energy that appear in the media. Both proactively, and as part of a rapid response campaign, Beyond Nuclear will draw upon the 2014 World Nuclear Industry Status Report (and where necessary on prior editions and other sources) to set the record straight using empirical data. Nuclear propaganda is replete with plans and promises. The reality on the ground paints a very different story. This page presents the reality, not the myths. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Which nuclear power plants are really "under construction?"

The term "under construction" is often used by the nuclear industry to inflate the numbers to make the new nuclear sector appear to be booming. After all Watts Bar-2 was "under constrution" for 43 years before it finally opened last year. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report has now launched "a fully interactive visualization on nuclear power reactor construction. How many of the 55 reactors currently under construction in the world are behind schedule? Which 13 countries are building nuclear power plants? Who are the technology providers? How long did it take for a specific reactor to be connected to the grid? For how long were the 90 units actually under construction before they were abandoned? 

If you wish to find out these and more details about any of the 754 nuclear reactors that have been under construction sometime between 1951 and 2017, explore the Global Nuclear Power Database now available on the website of the prestigious Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists."


Brilliant debunk shows why nuclear energy is over 

 Physics and electrical engineering professor, Derek Abbott, does a brilliant job of debunking the myths that nuclear energy is needed for climate change in a new article. Nuclear Power: Game Over looks at all the ways the pro-nuclear propagandists vainly try to justify the continued utility of nuclear energy, proving them wrong on every count.  This is a clearly written, accessible piece that should be widely read. Please Tweet and circulate. More 



New renewables leave new nuclear in the dust  

The 2016 World Nuclear Industry Status Report held its U.S. rollout this week, with lead author Mycle Schneider, and contributing author, M.V. Ramana, making some salient points during the presentation.  Beyond Nuclear strongly recommends reading the full report. A few standout observations from the presentation: While nuclear startups are almost all in China, nuclear energy there contributes only 3% of the electricity share and China also leads in renewable installation. The combination of reduced energy consumption, along with renewable energy, has already enabled Japan to replace 56% of the electricity previously provided by its nuclear fleet. Globally, solar power output grew by 33%, wind power by 17%, and nuclear by 1.3%. Renewable energy in the UK produced 29 TWH of electricity in 2015, more than the proposed two Hinkley Point reactors (which The Economist labeled "Hinkley Pointless") can deliver. More 



Stormy Forecast for Nuclear Energy Future

In an article for World Financial Review, Beyond Nuclear's Linda Pentz Gunter writes that nuclear is on the wane.

"While nuclear energy continues to play a role in political discussion and decision-making circles, the financial realities indicate it is a dying industry with no meaningful role in the future energy mix. Too costly, too slow to build, and too inefficient in an energy market heading away from the big grid system and toward distributed electricity generation, nuclear power simply offers too many serious drawbacks to remain viable."

In it, she cites the empirical evidence available today from sources such as Bloomberg and the World Nuclear Energy Status Report.  An excerpt:

"All eyes instead were on renewable energy. The year 2015 saw unprecedented progress during which 64GW of wind and 57GW of solar PV was commissioned, an increase of nearly 30% over 2014, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.1Bloomberg noted that dollar investment in renewables globally soared to nearly six times the 2004 total and a new record of one third of a trillion dollars.

"These numbers are supported by the empirical data found in the independent World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR),2   produced annually and whose 2015 edition concluded: “There now seems to be general recognition that the falling production costs of renewable energy technologies, particularly solar photovoltaics (PV), coupled with the expected falling costs of electricity storage, will accelerate the transformation of the power sector.”3

"Indeed, it is the agility of renewable energy that is contributing to the poor economic outlook for nuclear power, as the 2015 WNISR points out. Large, centralised power stations that rely on baseload, such as nuclear and coal, “that cannot rapidly react to the resultant changing prices and/or demand will increasingly have to continue to generate when they are no longer needed or when they are operating at a loss. As solar or wind power have no fuel costs, they are able to produce power at lower cost and therefore will enter the market, unless obstructed, whenever they are able to generate,” the WNISR states.4"

Read the full article.


Schneider exposes Japan's bogus Fukushima cleanup

Writing in The Ecologist, Beyond Nuclear's Linda Pentz Gunter addressed the cover-up in Japan where efforts are underway to "normalize" radiation exposure and move evacuees back into contaminated areas.  Included in the myths is the concept that radioactivity can be "cleaned up" and areas decontaminated.  This was debunked by WNISR author, Mycle Schneider, in the Beyond Nuclear article:

Of course radiological decontamination is not that easy. Nor is it reliable. It is more like “pushing contamination from one spot to the next”, as independent nuclear expert, Mycle Schneider describes it. And radiation does not remain obediently in one place, either.

“The mountains and forests that cannot even be vaguely decontaminated, will serve as a permanent source of new contamination, each rainfall washing out radiation and bringing it down from the mountains to the flat lands”, Schneider explained. Birds move around. Animals eat and excrete radioactive plant life. Radiation gets swept out to sea. It is a cycle with no end.

The story was also republished on Counterpunch.