World Bank says no money for nuclear power

The World Bank building entrance is seen on May 8, 2007, in Washington, DC
The World Bank building entrance is seen on May 8, 2007, in Washington, DC.

The World Bank and United Nations on Wednesday appealed for billions of dollars to provide electricity for the poorest nations but said there would be no investment in nuclear power.

"We don't do ," said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim as he and UN leader Ban Ki-moon outlined efforts to make sure all people have access to electricity by 2030.

Kim said $600-$800 billion a year will be needed to meet the campaign target of universal access to electricity, doubling and doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030.

In some countries, only 10% of the population has .

So far, the campaign has a pledge of one billion dollars from the OPEC Fund for International Development, Bank of America has raised $500 million through the world's first 'green bond' and Norway has committed to spend two billion krone ($325 million) on efforts in 2014.

Kim said the World Bank is preparing energy plans for 42 countries that would be ready in June, but said any money raised would only go to new power sources.

"Nuclear power from country to country is an extremely political issue," Kim told reporters.

"The World Bank Group does not engage in providing support for . We think that this is an extremely difficult conversation that every country is continuing to have.

"And because we are really not in that business our focus is on finding ways of working in hydro electric power in geo-thermal, in solar, in wind," he said.

"We are really focusing on increasing investment in those modalities and we don't do nuclear energy."

Kim highlighted private financing for power expansion in Nigeria and Ivory Coast and said efforts were being made to launch a similar deal for Myanmar, where the government has launched major reform efforts.

"We are working and moving very quickly to try to ensure that Myanmar experiences a clear democracy dividend," Kim said.

The World Bank chief said it had been difficult to find long term capital for poorer countries but insisted: "We will show investors that sustainable energy is an opportunity they cannot afford to miss."

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© 2013 AFP

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Nov 27, 2013
""We don't do nuclear energy," said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim... So far, the campaign has a pledge of one billion dollars from the OPEC Fund for International Development..."

Nov 27, 2013
"finding ways of working in hydro-electric power"

-Yeah because the world certainly needs more of these

"The Banqiao dam and Shimantan Reservoir Dam are among 62 dams in Zhumadian that failed catastrophically or were intentionally destroyed in 1975 during Typhoon Nina.
The dam failures killed an estimated 171,000 people; 11 million people lost their homes. It also caused the sudden loss of 18 GW of power, the power output equivalent of roughly 9 very large modern coal-fired thermal power stations.

"It was subsequently rebuilt."

-The failure of these from earthquake, typhoon, or simply bad design and construction is far worse than any meltdown could ever be.

Nov 27, 2013

"Exodus continues near China's Three Gorges Dam
"Another 110,000 people could move from reservoir's danger zone... 254 incidents of collapsing riverbanks and 235 landslides between 2008, when the water surface reached its norm at 175 meters above the reservoir bottom, and 2011. Thousands of homes and about 13,800 people were affected... Most of the 1.1 million people who moved to higher ground... to make way for the Three Gorges Dam between 1993 and 2008 originally lived in the valleys that flooded as the reservoir filled."

-Recently 1000s of tons of garbage have accumulated behind it and designers admit they did not anticipate the magnitude of recent floods when they designed it.

Nov 28, 2013
I hope Thorium power changes the energy landscape when it comes around.

Nov 28, 2013
World Bank should give some money for development of aneutronic fusion energy, no risk of nuclear meltdowns and no weapon proliferations.

Nov 28, 2013
Lots of misunderstanding on thorium based nuclear power,THe real promise from both economic and inherent safety considerations derive from using a circulating liquid fuel:currently various fluorides of thorium (currently undeveloped potential to bomb making) but could also use uranium or plutonium.Also note that even so-called thorium reactors actually use the 233 isotope of uranium (U233) as the primary energy generating atoms (natural thorium is converted into U233 in the reactor and fissioned.The safety problems from all current reactors derive from building up a dangerous inventory of fission products under pressure inside metal tubes mostly in water cooled massive vessels under pressure.Expensive safety systems are needed to be sure the fuel is kept cool and the barriers are not breached---these safety systems are expensive and not infallible.Liquid fluoride fuels are not volatile and operate at atmospheric pressure.If all fails;auto shutdown and await cleanup-"no" release offsite

Nov 29, 2013
It's an extremely difficult conversation, and several percent of government money is netted on fossil fuels, and the World Bank, I suspect, depends on government money. So they're not going to lead.

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