The Worldwide Perspectives for Nuclear Power

  • Poong Eil Juhn


Nuclear energy is a proven technology that already makes a large contribution to electricity supply worldwide. At the end of 1994, there were 432 nuclear power plants (NPP) operating in 30 countries with a total capacity of some 340 GW(e). About 2,130 TW.h were produced from these NPPs, which shared over 17% of total world electricity production in 1994. The paper outlines the global perspectives for nuclear power worldwide, drawing upon the information collected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and integrated in its data bases.

The paper also analyses the trend in electricity consumption growth of the world. This analysis indicates that economic development and improved quality of life are closely linked with the availability of energy and electricity services. Changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns are likely to induce more efficient use of energy since sustainability has become a major objective. However, population growth, urbanization and industrial development will increase the demand for electricity especially in developing countries and call for development and deployment of all the technologies available. In this connection, the paper analyses the opportunities and challenges for a broader deployment of nuclear power worldwide.

Although the development of nuclear power has slowed down in most countries during the recent years, 48 nuclear power plants under construction in 15 countries, with a total capacity of 39 GW(e), remain significant. Taking into account uncertainties related to construction and licensing lead times, the worldwide increment of nuclear capacity by the turn of the century may range from 8% to 10%, leading to a total installed capacity of some 367 to 375 GW(e).

In the medium term, up to 2015, the national energy plans give a reasonable basis for estimating nuclear power development, even though uncertainties regarding electricity demand forecasts, policy decisions, availability of funding, etc. are involved. The low and high cases developed by the IAEA, in which nuclear share in electricity generation in 2015 is assumed to be 12% and 14%, respectively, show that nuclear capacity in 2015 would be in the range from 369 GW(e) to 516 GW(e), which will produce from about 2400 to 3300 TW.h of electricity.


Nuclear Power Plant International Atomic Energy Agency Total Electricity Nuclear Capacity Nuclear Power Programme 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Poong Eil Juhn
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nuclear Power Department of Nuclear EnergyInternational Atomic Energy AgencyViennaAustria

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