Refurbishment and long-term operation (LTO) of existing nuclear power plants (NPPs) today are crucial to the competitiveness of the nuclear industry in OECD countries as existing nuclear power plants produce baseload power at a reliable cost. A number of nuclear power plants, most notably 73 units in the United States (up to 2012), have been granted lifetime extensions of up to 60 years, a development that is being keenly watched in other OECD countries. In many of these (e.g. France, Switzerland), there is no legal end to the operating licence, but continued operation is based on the outcomes of periodic safety reviews.
This study analyses technical and economic data on the upgrade and lifetime extension experience in OECD countries. A multi-criteria assessment methodology is used considering various factors and parameters reflecting current and future financial conditions of operation, political and regulatory risks, the state of the plants’ equipment and the general role of nuclear power in the country’s energy policy.
The report shows that long-term operation of nuclear power plants has significant economic advantages for most utilities envisaging LTO programmes. In most cases, the continued operation of NPPs for at least ten more years is profitable even taking into account the additional costs of post-Fukushima modifications, and remains cost-effective compared to alternative replacement sources.
The reliable supply of molybdenum-99 (99Mo) and its decay product, technetium-99m (99mTc), is a vital component of modern medical diagnostic practices. At present, most of the global production of 99Mo is from highly enriched uranium (HEU) targets. However, all major 99Mo-producing countries have recently agreed to convernt to using low-enriched uranium targetts for the production of 99Mo. This report describes the market impact of this conversion both in terms of costs, available capacity as well as the policy actions that are needed.
While enrolment in tertiary education has increased dramatically over the past decades, many university-aged students do not enrol, nor do they expect to earn a university degree. While it is important to promote high expectations for further education, it is equally important to ensure that students’ expectations are well-aligned with their actual abilities. Grade Expectations: How Marks and Education Policies Shape Students' Ambitions reveals some of the factors that influence students’ thinking about further education. The report also suggests what teachers and education policy makers can do to ensure that more students have the skills, as well as the motivation, to succeed in higher education.
In 2009, students in 21 PISA-participating countries and economies were asked about their expected educational attainment. An analysis of PISA data finds that students who expect to earn a university degree show significantly better performance in math and reading when compared to students who do not expect to earn such a university degree. However, performance is only one of the factors that determine expectations. On average across most countries and economies, girls and socio-economically advantaged students tend to hold more ambitious expectations than boys and disadvantaged students who perform just as well; and students with higher school marks are more likely to expect to earn a university degree – regardless of what those marks really measure.
An important activity of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in the field of radioactive waste management is the organisation of independent, international peer reviews of national studies and projects. This report provides an international peer review of the long-term safety strategy and assessment being developed by the Belgian Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials, ONDRAF/NIRAS, as part of the licence application for the construction and operation of a surface disposal facility for short-lived, low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in the municipality of Dessel, Belgium. The review was carried out by an International Review Team comprised of seven international specialists, all of whom were free of conflict of interest and chosen to bring complementary expertise to the review. To be accessible to both specialist and non-specialist readers, the review findings are provided at several levels of detail.
This report on the recent Australian experience with activation policies contains valuable lessons for other countries that need to improve the effectiveness of employment services and control benefit expenditure. It provides overview and assessment of labour market policies in Australia including the main institutions, benefit system, training programmes, employment incentives, and disability employment assistance.
Australia is unique among OECD countries in that its mainstream employment services are all delivered by over 100 for-profit and non-profit providers competing in a “quasi-market”, with their operations financed by service fees, employment outcome payments, and a special fund for measures that tackle jobseekers’ barriers to employment. In most other OECD countries, these services are delivered by the Public Employment Service. In the mid 2000s, several benefits previously paid without a job-search requirement were closed or reformed, bringing more people into the effective labour force.
Australia now has one of the highest employment rates in the OECD and this report concludes that its activation system deserves some of the credit for this relatively good performance. The Job Services Australia model, introduced in 2009, reinforced the focus on employment outcomes for highly-disadvantaged groups. This report assesses the latest model for activation and puts forward some recommendations to improve its effectiveness.
This publication highlights the importance of promoting growth in all types of OECD regions, particularly in underdeveloped ones. Helping underdeveloped regions to catch up will have a positive impact on a country’s national growth; in some cases more so than in already well-developed regions. Furthermore such growth helps to build a fairer society, in which no territories and their people are left behind. An important question is whether this potential to catch up is possible? The evidence suggests that this IS the case. Examinations of patterns of growth reveal that underdeveloped rural and intermediate regions tend to grow faster. Their catching-up potentially largely depends on human capital development, infrastructure and innovation-related activities but also on institutional factors and policies. This publication is based on anlaysis among all OECD regions and 23 case study regions from ten OECD countries over the period 1995-2007.
Ce premier examen des performances environnementales de la Slovénie évalue les progrès réalisés dans le domaine du développement durable, l'amélioration de la gestion des ressources naturelles, l'intégration des politiques environnementales et économiques et le renforcement de la coopération internationale. Il couvre des sujets tels que la croissance verte, la gestion environnementale, le changement climatique, la pollution atmosphérique et la gestion des déchets.
This report highlights the issues faced by local areas against the backdrop of policies or planning models that have directed local development in the past decades (e.g. introduction of new industries such as information technology/bio-technology following the de-industrialisation of mining/manufacturing industries) but today appear less suitable than expected to ensure the sustainability of local development.
This report is timely in discussing cases from 20 countries around the world and particularly signalling local strategies and initiatives for policy consideration and learning. The report considers together issues at the crossroads of modern local development in the context of demographic change: population mobility and urban shrinkage, regeneration strategies to stimulate sustainable growth, and social dynamics underpinning community stability.
Korea, the world’s thirteenth-largest economy and the seventh-largest exporter, is an energy-intensive nation. In 2008, the country adopted a long-term “green growth” strategy to foster economic development by means of low-carbon technologies and clean energy; since then, the government has implemented many policies to support these goals.
In 2012, Korea announced an emissions-trading scheme -- the first of its kind in Asia -- which will be implemented in 2015. This represents a major step towards achieving its target of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Strong energy efficiency policies have been developed to complement the emissions-reduction target. Korea has made efforts to enhance energy security by taking measures to diversify energy sources, reduce the use of fossil fuels and foster the development of renewable energy alongside the expansion of its nuclear energy programme. Government expenditure on energy-related RD&D is among the highest in the OECD.
Progress in some sectors has been slower, and the lack of a clear, long-term vision for its electricity and natural gas markets is one of the greatest energy-policy challenges facing the Korean government. Energy markets are dominated by incumbents and have been slow to open up to competition.
This review analyses the energy-policy challenges facing Korea and provides sector-based assessments and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.