Summary

Nuclear energy is today limited mainly to OECD countries because of the very high capital spending it requires, as well as its ties to nuclear military applications. Currently, countries which have used nuclear energy are more inclined towards renewable energy, considering nuclear energy as an energy type of the past. For instance, Germany has decided to exit nuclear energy. Conversely, several new economies are developing or consider developing nuclear power. Nuclear electricity offers to these countries the possibility to rapidly scale up production capacity without raising at the same time the level of their dependence on fossil resources. China, India and many countries in Eastern Europe are the next frontiers of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is therefore far from being in decline. Market growth is expected to be between 1.3 and 3.8%, more than for natural gas, and definitely much more than for coal or oil, which growth levels are not expected to exceed 1% on average per year. Electricity production should thus partially be of nuclear origin. As there are no greenhouse gases associated with nuclear electricity production, the future development of production capacity will actually contribute to the mitigation of “anthropogenic forcing”.

 
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