The World Nuclear Association increased its world nuclear 2030 growth forecast by 2 per cent from its 2009 report. Today’s generating capacity of 364 gigawatts could rise to as much as 790 gigawatts over the next two decades, and high uranium prices are encouraging exploration and production of the raw material for nuclear fuel.
A European halt on free emissions permits for coal and gas power plants after next year will help to drive the nuclear renaissance, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s nuclear energy agency.
Early plans for the plant had foreseen the Russian marine power reactors being fitted to a Chinese-built barge. The countries are also discussing cooperation for space nuclear power systems, and from mid-2012 Russia will supply radioisotope thermal generators to the Chinese space program.
Among the nations expected to contribute to growth in global nuclear power capacity is the UAE. A proposed US$20 billion (Dh73.45bn) power plant on the Abu Dhabi coast is expected to produce as much as a quarter of the emirate’s electricity, with the first reactor scheduled to come online by 2017.
Jordan is expected in November to award a contract of $4bn to $10bn for the Arab world’s second nuclear power plant. Saudi Arabia, which like Jordan relies on fossil fuels for most electricity generation, is also laying the groundwork for nuclear energy.