Developing countries with an insatiable thirst for electricity are going full speed ahead with new reactors a year after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster disrupted the growth of nuclear power around the world.
Sixty nuclear reactors are currently under construction globally, with 163 more on order or planned, according to the World Nuclear Association. That is little changed from the trade group's February 2011 survey—a month before Fukushima—showing 62 reactors under construction and 156 on order or planned.
The numbers belie the perception that the nuclear power industry was stopped in its tracks after the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant following an earthquake and tsunami, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. While Japan and some European nations prepare to shut down or idle their nuclear plants, the march to build reactors continues in developing countries.
Many governments have concluded that nuclear must remain part of the equation. Nukes are less subject to the price spikes of fossil fuels and the weather issues that can complicate alternative energy production like wind power. They allow Beijing to grow overall power-generating capacity while cutting reliance on fossil fuels that have polluted its air and waterways and have increasingly become a point of social tension for local governments. "People are doing these calculations and realizing you can't do this without nuclear," said Li Ning, an expert on China's nuclear industry at Xiamen University.
1. Thus proving the enemic power of spamming DU with anti-nuke posts
If number of posts set public policy then we'd have zero new nuclear power plants. But wait! Here we have dozens of them under construction? How is that possible when the Anti-Nuclear Cult has been spamming everywhere they could (especially with a zillion DU posts)...