IAEA: Countries Have Doubled the Transition to Nuclear Energy
For the second consecutive year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is revising its annual forecasts for potential growth in nuclear energy over the coming decades. This shift reflects the increasing concerns over energy security and climate change.
According to a report by NucNet, the agency predicts that, under the best-case scenario, the installed nuclear capacity will more than double by 2050, reaching 890 gigawatts compared to today's 369 gigawatts. Even under an unfavorable scenario, nuclear power capacity is expected to reach 458 gigawatts.
Depending on the level of global electrification, the share of nuclear energy in the overall energy production structure could increase to around 14% by 2050, compared to the current 9.8%.
"Anticipated significant capacity growth through the construction of new reactors underscores that an increasing number of countries view nuclear energy as a stable, reliable, low-carbon energy source and an essential component of energy security," noted the IAEA.
Achieving this forecast will require a large-scale transition to long-term operation within the existing nuclear power plant fleet and the construction of almost 600 gigawatts of new capacity over the next three decades.
The report acknowledges that, due to the energy crisis in 2022, several decisions to shut down reactors were postponed. Consequently, operators and regulatory bodies have taken measures to ensure the safe and reliable long-term operation of nuclear facilities.
The demand for safe, clean, reliable, and economically efficient electricity generation remains and continues to grow. This demand serves as a powerful incentive for operators to extend the service life of nuclear power plants for several decades through modernization and improvement of essential equipment and systems to ensure long-term operation.
Out of 50 member states expressing interest in nuclear energy, 24 are in the decision-making and planning phase. The other 26 countries are actively working on implementing nuclear energy. By 2035, the number of countries operating nuclear power plants may increase by approximately 30%, with an additional 10-12 countries joining the current 32.