Nuclear Energy Insight
January 2009—In 2008, nuclear power was mentioned frequently in the global energy debate, where it is being advanced as a major solution for the world’s growing needs for emissions-free electricity.
Dozens of countries are declaring their interest in building new nuclear plants for the first time, and major building programs are underway in China, India, Russia and South Korea.
The United States in 2008 finalized a major nuclear cooperation agreement with India, opening the way to trade in nuclear technology between the two countries for the first time inmore than three decades. India signed similar bilateral agreements with France and Russia.
At the end of 2008, 44 nuclear power plants were under construction. Of these, 10 broke ground last year, including six in China. By far the most ambitious construction program is in China, where, as reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, 11 reactors are currently under construction. Meanwhile, Russia is building eight, India six and South Korea five.
In Europe, one new reactor each is under construction in France and Finland, and there are two being built in Japan.
In the United States, Watts Bar 2 resumed construction in 2007 after being halted in 1985; completion is expected by 2012. By the end of the year, 17 companies in the United States had filed applications for the construction of up to 26 new reactors, and a total of 32 are under consideration.
—Read more articles in Nuclear Energy Insight and Insight Web Extra.