Asia’s Nuclear Power Plans May Be Thwarted by Labor Shortage
Asia’s plans to triple its nuclear power plant capacity through 2030 may be hindered by a dearth of qualified personnel, according to Lloyds Register estimates.
The region wants to build 300 nuclear power units by 2030 compared with 115 now, said Jerzy Grynblat, nuclear business director for Lloyds Register, an inspection and certification agency. A typical nuclear facility of one gigawatt capacity may need as many as 300 people for operations and maintenance, he said. A “considerable” number of them may require as much as 10 years experience.
“There are no experienced people available to work in new plants,” Hong Kong-based Grynblat, who has more than three decades of experience in the nuclear industry, said in an interview by phone today. “It will have an influence on Asia’s nuclear plant building program.”
China and India plan to add about 86 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2020. That is equivalent to U.K.’s current total power generation capacity.
China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, wants to build 400 nuclear generators by 2050, according to Grynblat. The country is planning a tenfold increase in capacity to 80 gigawatts by 2020, 200 gigawatts by 2030, and 400 gigawatts by 2050, he said. The U.S. has a nameplate nuclear capacity of about 107 gigawatts, according to the Energy Department.
India aims to generate 20 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2020 from 3.7 gigawatts in 2007, Grynblat said. The country produces about 650,000 engineering graduates every year while 3,900 undergraduates enrolled in nuclear engineering last year in China, according to a Lloyds Register presentation.
“The most challenging is to get enough skilled, experienced people,” Grynblat said. World capacity may increase by the equivalent of one gigawatt every five days in the decade after 2015 if China and India execute their plans successfully, he said.
Vietnam and Indonesia will also have to develop personnel to manage their planned nuclear reactors, according to Grynblat.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Clyde Russell at email@example.com
Bloomberg moderates all comments. Comments that are abusive or off-topic will not be posted to the site. Excessively long comments may be moderated as well. Bloomberg cannot facilitate requests to remove comments or explain individual moderation decisions.