India, Argentina and Middle Eastern Countries Have major nuclear energy plans

1. Currently, India has 20 nuclear reactors operating in six plants, providing about three per cent of the country’s energy. But 44 more reactors are either slated for construction or are already being built. By 2050, India wants a quarter of its energy to be nuclear.

Dr Singh said India could produce 470 GW of nuclear power by then “if the country thinks big and executes its plans correctly”.

2. Iran intends to produce “about 20,000 megawatts of nuclear-generated electricity” over the next few years, according to the Director of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani.

3. Argentina is still committed to developing its fourth and fifth nuclear power plants and expects to invest the US$35.7bn remaining of its US$42bn national nuclear power plan, announced in 2006, by 2023, according to federal planning minister Julio de Vido.

During his speech at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st century in St Petersburg this week, de Vido said that nuclear power could make up 15% to 18% of the matrix in Argentina. Nuclear power generation accounted for less than 5% of the mix in 2012.

4. Middle Eastern countries are increasingly interested in nuclear power as an additional part of a fuel mix historically dominated by oil and gas, delegates at Atomexpo 2013 in St Petersburg, Russia, said Wednesday.

“There are regions that are hydrocarbon-based, but Arab counties are interested in developing nuclear power to achieve an energy balance,” Komarov said. They are also attracted to nuclear power for it uses in water desalination and medicine, he said.

“Yes, nuclear power technology is a politically sensitive issue, but the key thing for any country is whether nuclear power is competitive and whether it crosses into other industries,” he said.

Agneta Rising, director general of the World Nuclear Association, said the Middle East “shows potential” as a market for nuclear reactors, but that it “must overcome recent unrest,” meaning the Arab Spring uprisings.

The UAE has two units under construction and wants 5.6 GW of installed nuclear power capacity by 2020, she said, while Saudi Arabia plans to have 16 reactor units in 2025.

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