A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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China is the Fastest growing Nuclear Power in the world

The CCP say that China has to stay with coal, but The West ought pay attention more to the rapid growth of nuclear power. Last September I noted that China was poised to be the largest global nuclear power by 2030, overtaking the USA in the next nine years. In the last twenty years, China has increased its fleet of nuclear power reactors from three to 49, with 17 more plants under construction. That means it will soon surpass France which has 57 reactors. At the rate the USA is closing plants, China may hit the No 1 spot faster than expected.

China has also opened an experimental fusion reactor called the Artificial Sun, while the ITER international consortium keeps delaying the opening of the French fusion experimental reactor.

Rise of Nuclear Power in China.

It is sobering to know that despite the rapid growth of nuclear, it is still only 5% of the total energy supply in China.*

Electricity generation in 2019 increased by 5% compared with the previous year, to 7.3 PWh, according to figures published by the China Electricity Council. That from fossil fuels was 5045 TWh (69%), from hydro 1302 TWh (18%), […]

China poised to be the largest global nuclear power by 2030

President Xi will be delighted that so many industrial competitors are sabotaging their electrical grids with erratic, unreliable solar and wind power. Right now, The People’s Republic of China is the biggest platform in the world for the deployment of nuclear power technology. In twenty years, China has increased its fleet of nuclear power reactors from three to 48, with 11 more plants under construction. That means it will soon surpass France which has 57:

By the end of the twentieth century, France’s mature nuclear energy industry operated over fifty nuclear power reactors to supply about 80 percent of the electricity consumed by its population of 60 million people.1 By contrast, when China connects its fiftieth nuclear power reactor to the grid, which is expected in a few years, China’s nuclear power plants will contribute only about 5 percent of the electricity demanded by its population of 1.4 billion.2

Carnegie Endowment

At the moment the USA has the largest nuclear generation in the world, with more than double the production of the nearest competitor — France. But China began stockpiling uranium in 2007, and in the last five year plan released in 2016 — China aimed […]

UK – Three quarters of Gen Z doesn’t even know Nuclear is “low carbon”

Do young adults learn anything that matters in school?

They’re protesting in the streets but can’t even answer the most baby-basic questions about energy or their pet molecule “CO2”.

It’s almost like carbon dioxide is totally irrelevant? Teachers don’t care. Kids don’t care. Media don’t care, and when they all grow up the adults won’t care either.

More than 72% of Gen Z ‘don’t know nuclear power is low carbon energy’

Dimitri Macrokefalidis EnergyLive News:

Only 26% of people aged 18-24 understand that nuclear power is a low carbon source of electricity, compared with 76% for renewables such as wind and solar, according to a new poll by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Older people are more likely to say that nuclear power is low carbon. The poll found the level of understanding rising from 47% among 35 to 44-year olds to 61% among 65 to 74-year olds, although it remains well below levels seen for renewables.

Good on the Mech Eng’s for asking. I call “fake” on the protesters that tell us the world is at stake but can’t be bothered learning the basics.

Wait til they find out […]

Japan: The precautionary principle killed more people than the Fukushima nuclear disaster

The panicked closure of nuclear power in Japan pushed electricity prices up. The UN agrees that no people died from radiation in the Fukushima event, but the frenzied over-evacuation killed up to 2,000 people. After that, higher electricity prices led to at least 1280 extra deaths in the 21 largest cities. That translates into 4,500 deaths if the mortality rate was similar across the rest of the country.

Japan nuclear shutdown did ‘more harm than good’, study finds

World Nuclear News

Be Cautious with the Precautionary Principle: Evidence from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, by Matthew Neidell, Shinsuke Uchida and Marcella Veronesi. A discussion paper by the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics.

“Our estimated increase in mortality from higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality from the accident itself, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production caused more harm than good.”

The authors calculated that these higher electricity prices resulted in at least an additional 1280 deaths during 2011-2014. This is higher than a previously documented estimate of 1232 deaths which occurred as a result of the evacuation after the accident, they say.

“Since our data [on mortality […]

There are 451 nuclear power plants in the world (and Australia has none of them)

Several National MP’s have pushed for the Australian Parliament to discuss whether the land with more uranium than anywhere else should use nuclear power. Typical how it takes conservative politicians to raise the question about one of the most successful low-carbon generations there is. On the one hand a million animals might go extinct, seas will swallow up our cities and children won’t know what snow is. On the other hand, one forty year old plant in a modern democracy came unstuck when a 13 m tidal wave hit and at least one person died. The Greens are more afraid of nuclear power than they are of climate change.

If there really was a problem with global warming, we’d want conservatives in charge, because they’d solve the problem, and more cost effectively.

Unbeknown to most Australians there are 451 nuclear plants around the world. The only advanced nations that are truly without it are Australia and New Zealand. Nations like Norway, Ireland, and Poland don’t have nuclear power plants but are connected via a grid to countries which do.

The IEA last week published a report titled “Nuclear Power in a Clean Energy System”. I’ll say more about that soon. […]

A not so dead stranded asset: India chooses more coal, cancels 57 nuclear plants.

Australia is so irrelevant. India is cancelling fifty times as many nuclear power plants as Australians ever dreamed of building.

Let’s build another million wind farms.

If we abandoned the country and talked our Kiwi and Canadian friends into moving to Mars with us, we could not make up the carbon credits this decision just vaporized.

Energy Post – thanks to GWPF.

The Financial Express, one of India’s major newspapers, reports that the Narendra Modi government, which had set an ambitious 63,000 MW nuclear power capacity addition target by the year 2031-32, has cut it to 22,480 MW, or by roughly two-thirds.

The drastic reduction in planned construction of new reactors will diminish India’s plans to rely on nuclear energy from 25% of electrical generation to about 8-10%. The balance of new power requirements will likely be met by use of India’s enormous coal deposits.

Please tell us again how coal is a stranded asset?

The country accounts for eight percent of world’s total coal consumption. About two-thirds of India’s electricity generation comes from coal.

India holds the fifth biggest coal reserves in the world. The country’s proved coal reserves are […]

Love those 30 year old coal and nuclear plants — nothing gives cheaper electricity

The gold-plated stars of our national grid are the old coal plants we’ve built and paid off.

A US report (thanks Lance) shows how fantastically cheap and bountiful old coal and nuclear plants are. The LCOE or the Levelized Cost of Electricity includes the costs of the concrete, turbines, car parks and coal, plus the maintenance and salaries. It reveals that thirty year old, and even fifty year old coal plants, are the gift from past generations — enormous infrastructure, built and paid for, and ready to churn out bargain electrons. Or in crazy-land, ready to be blown up.

Look how long it takes to pay off the capital cost of building them (the red sector in the graph), and look how wonderfully cheap that electricity is from a 30 year old plant. Watch the pea. All those “investigative news stories” that compare the cost of building new coal to the cost of solar or wind are hiding the most brilliant and essential assets on our grid. Reopen Hazelwood now. (!)

Both sides of politics are choosing to destroy the family jewels in the hope of controlling global weather.


From the report by Stacy and Taylor, of the […]

Psychoanalysis shows Nuclear Power stops countries meeting climate targets

Only higher education could produce something this silly.

The University of Sussex gets the credit for a paper that argues that countries that are committed to nuclear energy are progressing slower towards the holy grail of meeting “climate targets”. This discovery coincidentally comes exactly as the UK Hinkley Point “hangs in the balance”. What were the odds?

The Newspeak starts in the headline — what’s a “climate target”. My personal climate target is to move into the tropics each winter, but the EU climate target is not about reducing temperatures over Spain, but about “more windmills”. The climate target of the EU has apparently got nothing much to do with the climate:

…the EU’s 2020 Strategy — to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, increase the share of renewable energy to at least 20% of consumption, and achieve energy savings of 20% or more by 2020…

They cluster countries in to 3 groups and discover that the countries that plan to maintain or expand nuclear energy (eg Bulgaria, Hungary and the UK) are not cutting emissions as fast as countries that have no nukes (Denmark, Ireland, and Norway).

Could it be, I wonder, because […]

UK Government hides its own graphic comparing Nuclear to Wind and solar

Is this a 2013 Streisand-Effect finalist?

The UK has decided to build its first new nuclear power plant in 20 years. The UK Department of Energy & Climate Change posted this graphic below in a News Story probably to help justify why it really did make sense to go nuclear rather than renewable. The Renewable Energy Association called it “unhelpful”, and lo, it disappeared from

Credit goes to Emily Gosden’s Tweet, and Will Heaven‘s Blog. Hat tip to Colin.


(Click to enlarge to see the fine print)

The fine print (edited out in the small copy here) says that Hickley Point C “is estimated to be equal to around 7% of UK electricity consumption in 2025 and enough to power nearly 6 million homes.” About onshore wind, the fine print reads: “The footprint will depend on the location and turbine technology deployed. DECC estimates the footprint could be between 160,000 and 490,000 acres“. That’s quite some error margin.

How many National Parks does one nuclear plant save then?

It’s a good representation of just how much of the Earths surface we have to give up if we want to live off renewables at the moment. So who […]

Australia can meet it’s 2020 targets with just 35 nuclear power plants or 8000 solar ones!

Roger Pielke, Jr. has looked closely at Australia’s ETS targets and helpfully put some numbers into the hypotheticals.

With all their subsidies, goodwill and fervent wishes, solar, wind, and geothermal produce just 3% of our energy needs. Fossil fuels produce a whopper 94%. And “energy” on these grand continental scales is measured in quadrillion BTUs which is known as “one quad”. Australians use about 5 quads / year, and to make that we pump out about 400 Mt of carbon dioxide per year. (These kind of big-picture numbers are often hard to find, so I wanted to capture that to keep things in perspective.)

Population growth is a big factor in Australia 7.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings […]