GROWTH IN WORLD NUCLEAR ENERGY CAPACITY
EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 projects that world nuclear energy capacity will grow at an average annual rate of 1.6% from 2016 through 2040, led predominantly by countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). EIA expects China to continue leading world nuclear growth, followed by India. This growth is expected to offset declines in nuclear capacity in the United States, Japan, and countries in Europe.
China currently has 38 operating nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 33 gigawatts (GW), including 2 GW of new capacity added in 2017 with the completion of the Fuqing-4 and Yangjiang-4 reactors. An additional 19 reactors, with a total capacity of 19.9 gigawatts (GW), are currently under construction, accounting for more than a third of all nuclear projects under construction worldwide.
The United States currently operates the world’s largest nuclear fleet, with a total capacity of 100 GW from 99 reactors. However, U.S. nuclear capacity is expected to decrease to 88.2 GW by 2040, as several plants have announced intentions to retire before their scheduled license expirations.
Total nuclear capacity in Europe and Eurasia is expected to decline, as policy decisions to phase out or reduce the nuclear generation share in countries such as Germany and France offset new capacity in non-OECD countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Romania.
Japan currently has 42 operable reactors with a combined capacity of 39.8 GW. However, only five of these reactors have been restarted following shutdowns in the wake of the Fukushima accident. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has given preliminary approval for 9 additional restart applications, with another 12 currently under review. Four reactors have already received final approval from the NRA and are expected to restart in 2018, and the remaining 12 reactors are expected to be retired by 2040. (Source and image: EIA)