Despite Cut in Projection, IEA Still Forecasts Considerable Nuclear Build

The International Energy Agency has scaled back its projection for growth in the nuclear power industry, although new development is expected to remain robust.

Despite factors like the Fukushima Daiichi accidents in Japan and low natural gas prices, the IEA's World Energy Outlook for 2012 predicts that installed nuclear generation will increase to about 580 gigawatts by 2035, which is about 10 percent lower than last year's forecast. Accounting for the 70 percent demand growth during that time, nuclear is expected to provide 12 percent of global power generation – slightly less than it does today.

The report anticipates about 200 gigawatts of net new nuclear capacity. Nearly all of that development is expected to take place in developing countries such as China, Russia and India. South Korea is also expected to see expansion of its civilian nuclear capacity.

Coal is expected to remain the leading fuel for power generation in 2035, and China's coal-fired generation is predicted to increase as much as its generation from nuclear, wind and hydro combined.