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Nuclear power expansion to continue, report says

A joint report published by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), an agency within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said nuclear power plant expansion globally will continue despite the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan in March 2011.

The report, the 24th edition of the “Red Book”, said at the end of 2010, 440 nuclear reactors accounted for 375 GWe. By 2035, nuclear capacity has been projected to grow between 540 GWe in the low demand case and 746 GWe in the high demand case, increases of 44 percent and 99 percent, the report stated.  The report did take into account the policies announced by countries such as Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland to either close nuclear plants or not move forward with new nuclear expansion.

The OECD/IAEA report said the region that is expected to see the most growth is the East Asia area of the world. By 2035, this region could have installed between 100 GWe and 150 GWe of new nuclear. Non-European Union countries may see increases between 55 percent 125 percent.

The report also said programs in the Middle East, southern Asia, Central and South America, and Africa are expected to see growth. Nuclear capacity in North America is expected to grow between 7 percent and 28 percent.

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