nuclear power

Despite Setbacks, The Use Of Nuclear Power Will Double By 2030

After the devastating Fukushima disaster, some countries such as Japan and Germany made promises to end or scale down the use of nuclear power. But globally, it’s still growing.

Nuclear power is facing a future defined by conflicting trends across the world. Working against the future of nuclear plants:

At the same time nuclear power is enjoying some positive news that includes:

In essence, nuclear power in on the rise in less-developed countries and flat or declining in the developed world.

The Economist describes the nuclear industry as experiencing a  “half-death” in the developed world,  due to high operating costs and competition from solar and natural gas-generated power.

nuclear power

Today’s Nuclear Power Landscape

Currently, 30 countries operate nuclear power plants, as shown on the map below:


Map courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Stats via the NEI

The top producers of nuclear energy are the U.S., France, and Russia, which together produce more than half of the worldwide nuclear energy output.

Almost a third of all nuclear output is produced in the U.S. On their website, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has a map of all operating U.S. nuclear reactors, which are mainly situated in the eastern half of the country.

nuclear power

Growth is focused in Asia, where more than half of the new reactors are being built. China alone is set to build 30 nuclear reactors.

And while growth in nuclear energy output has been slow since ‘80s, it’s expected to increase by about 75% by 2030, the IAEA writes.


Nuclear Power Challenged By Solar

In the US, 19 nuclear plants are undergoing decommissioning, while only one new nuclear plant has been brought online since 1996.

Cover photo by Stefan Kuhn, with modifications by Curiousmatic

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Ole Skaar