The Fukushima nuclear disaster will slow the growth of global nuclear energy supply, and its share of total electricity production will shrink in coming years, CH2M Hill said.
“Nuclear brings out emotional responses,” said Lee McIntire, chief executive officer of CH2M, the closely held company involved in cleaning up some U.S. nuclear weapons facilities. “Nuclear will still be a big part of the world’s energy supply, but it won’t grow as fast as everything else, so the percentage share will go down.”
Governments around the world have called for inspections of existing nuclear sites, while Germany aims to exit atomic energy by 2022 in response to the Fukushima crisis.
Nuclear generates about 14 percent of the world’s electricity, McIntire said Tuesday in an interview in Singapore.
About 30 percent of Germany’s electricity supply comes from nuclear plants, and its planned exit may force the country to import from France and Russia, which also rely on nuclear energy, McIntire said.
Nuclear energy supplied 74 percent of power generated in France in 2010, while in Russia the share was 17 percent, according to the World Nuclear Association website.
In Japan, nuclear energy accounted for 29 percent of the power supply in 2010, according to the association.
Cleaning up the areas around the Fukushima No. 1 plant may cost billions of dollars and will probably take years, McIntire said.
His company helped turn Rocky Flats, a former nuclear weapons production site in Denver, into a national wildlife refuge. The cleanup, completed in 2005, cost the U.S. government $7 billion, according to the Department of Energy website.
CH2M is a Colorado-based company that handles projects from water treatment to nuclear decontamination with gross revenue of $6.3 billion in 2010, according to its website.
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