Monday 7 August 2017 12:30 CEST

At least 320 GW(e) of new nuclear power capacity will be installed by 2050, according to the IAEA’s Status and Prospects for Nuclear Power 2017 report. (Photo: L. Potterton/IAEA)

Nuclear power’s long-term potential remains high, although its global expansion is projected to slow down in coming years, according to a new IAEA report on International Status and Prospects for Nuclear Power 2017.

The decline compared to previous projections is mainly on account of early retirement or lack of interest in extending life of nuclear power plants in some countries, due to the reduced competitiveness of nuclear power in the short run and national nuclear policies in several countries following the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.

The report analyses the factors which could influence the future of nuclear power, such as funding and financing, electricity markets and public acceptance. If nuclear power’s potential as a low-carbon energy source grows in recognition and advanced reactor designs further improve both safety and radioactive waste management, the use of nuclear power could grow significantly, the report says.

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