Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to bring temporary service irregularities resulting in a contraction in nuclear power generation, says GlobalData

As nuclear plants plan to continue operation in the pandemic they face a stiff challenge from a reduced workforce. The general safety embedded measures implemented in plants across the world are modified work schedules, adherence to social distancing guidelines. This has led to the drop in workforce availability, overburdening workers on-site, as their work schedules and routines are likely to increase.

Reduced workforce availability is likely to have impacted the under-construction plants in the new markets like Bangladesh, Turkey, Belarus, and UAE. These plants would require labor-intensive construction regimes and also visits from specialists from different parts of the world. With the lockdown and travel restrictions in place, the project constructions are likely to face delays.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, the demand for electricity had reduced across different countries. In this scenario, some operators are gambling on taking up risks. Some operators are using the period of low demand, to carry out maintenance work, whereas others continue to operate delaying scheduled outage.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “It is estimated that the nuclear-based electricity generation in 2020, is likely to drop by about 2% globally from 2019 to 2,559TWh. However, Nuclear project owners are utilizing this low electricity demand scenario, to complete the planned refueling maintenance outage with a reduced scope limited to refueling only.  

“As an added worry, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a curtailment in the supply of uranium, as top producers suspended production and closed their mines owing to the lockdown. These would have a likely reduction in production volumes for the upcoming few months.”

More Media