Combine that with the 165 reactors that the World Nuclear Association says non-novice China is either building, planning or proposing, and the outlook for nuclear growth is strong. That's despite a slowdown that followed the meltdowns at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power station two years ago when some countries including Germany decided to abandon nuclear. Other countries such as the U.S. are dithering.
GlobalData says that nuclear-experienced China, India and South Korea will lead the revival. It forecasts 198 new reactors by 2020 - nearly half of the 435 reactors that the world was operating as of January, according to the World Nuclear Association. Nuclear will generate 3.1 million gigawatt hours (GWh) by 2020, up from 2.4 million GWh last year, GlobalData says.
You could say that the "nuclear renaissance" that was building prior to Fukushima is returning, for all the reasons that applied in the first place: Nuclear is a low carbon technology and can provide large steady doses of power, unlike the intermittent electricity generated by renewables such as wind and solar.
"The escalating need for power, combined with soaring fossil fuel prices, is driving the demand for nuclear energy around the world - especially amongst rapidly developing countries where large scale alternative energy generation is impractical," GlobalData says.
The research firm predicts that global power consumption will climb from 20 million GWh last year to 27.5 million GWh in 2020.