Status and Growth of Nuclear Energy in Asia

Danny Goldman
March 24, 2018

Submitted as coursework for PH241, Stanford University, Winter 2018


Fig. 1: Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant in China (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

In recent years, Asia has experienced an especially large growth in nuclear energy development. While nuclear energy investment has diminished in many Western nations, countries like China, Japan, India, and more have increasingly been turning to nuclear as a source of power. [1] This report will briefly summarize the current statuses of nuclear power in some of the more notable Asian countries investing in nuclear energy as well as evaluate future projections for the state of nuclear energy in these regions.

Current Status

China has invested and continues to invest heavily in nuclear energy. Fig. 1 shows the Daya Bay Nuclear Power plant, one of China's current nuclear power plants in the Longgang District, Shenzhen, China. Going forward, the country plans to dedicate over $500 billion to build over 60 nuclear power plants over the next decade. [2] The country is currently constructing 19 reactors, two of which are the largest ever. [1] In 2016, China's nuclear energy consumption grew by 24.5%. [3] If the current rate of nuclear energy development continues, China will have more nuclear capacity than the US within 10 years. [1]

Japan began investing in nuclear energy in the 1960s. [4] When the Fukushima accident occurred in 2011, Japan shut down all 50 of its nuclear reactors. [4] While the incident resulted in a setback of nuclear energy development, Japan has begun to once again turn to nuclear. By early 2016, the country had reopened 3 of its reactors. [4] In 2016, Japan's nuclear energy consumption grew by 289.7%. [3] Japan is aiming to have 20-22% of its electricity generated by nuclear by 2030. [4]

There are several other countries heavily investing in nuclear energy. These countries include South Korea, India, Pakistan, Russia, and more. [3] Combined, these countries account for the large growth in nuclear energy in Asia.

Conclusion and Future Projections

Nuclear power in Asia is projected to grow enormously in the future. [1] Much of this growth is expected to be taking place in a few countries in particular: China, India, and Russia. [1] As the US and other European countries stall nuclear development, Asian countries are stepping up to the plate and heavily taking advantage of the energy source to provide cleaner and cheaper power.

© Danny Goldman. The author warrants that the work is the author's own and that Stanford University provided no input other than typesetting and referencing guidelines. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] M. Fischetti, "Nuclear Power Heats Up in Asia, Cools in the West. Scientific American, 1 Aug 17.

[2] E. Koufakis, "The Future of China's Nuclear Industry," Physics 241, Stanford University, Winter 2017.

[3] "BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017," British Petroleum, June 2017.

[4] J. Sao, "The Evolution of Nuclear Energy in Japan and Germany," Physics 241, Stanford University, Winter 2017.