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Nuclear energy capacity growth slowing after Fukushima

The UN atomic agency cut its forecast for nuclear energy growth for a second year as the industry continued to feel the effect of the Fukushima disaster in Japan and said most of the expansion would be in Asia.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said its projection for global nuclear generating capacity by 2030 was down between one and nine percent compared with last year.

Against expectations before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the projections are between eight and 16 percent lower.

The IAEA said on its website that overall capacity would grow between 25 and 100 percent by 2030, depending on a wide range of factors such as global economic growth.

“Continuing growth in nuclear power following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident is expected, however at a rate lower than estimated a year ago,” the IAEA said.

Most of the expansion is expected to take place in Asia, including China and South Korea, it said.

Since the meltdowns at Fukushima which sent radiation spewing over large areas, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium have decided to move away from nuclear power.

The IAEA said global nuclear power capacity was expected to grow to between 456 gigawatts and 740 GW by 2030 compared with 370 GW now.

The forecast in 2011 was for growth to 501/746 GW. In 2010 the forecast was 546/803 GW.

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