Nuclear energy requires significant technological capabilities and investment. Producing regions see this energy source as a way of meeting their growing needs while reducing carbon emissions. It is currently limited to highly industrialized countries: those in Western Europe and North America, and Russia, Ukraine and China.
In 2012, 80% of nuclear-generated power was produced in OECD countries. Its expansion is conditional on how well it is accepted. In the wake of the Fukushima accident in March 2011, nuclear power saw an unprecedented drop of almost 7% in 2012. Until the accident, Japan had been the world's third-largest producer of nuclear power; afterwards, output plummeted 89% in 2012, to 17 TWh, and then to 13.9 TWh in 2013. Some European countries have decided to phase out nuclear power. Germany, for instance, shut down eight reactors in 2011. Despite these developments, other countries have maintained their nuclear programs, including the United Kingdom, China, India and Russia. The latter three are experiencing growing energy demand and are seeking to diversify their energy supply. All in all, the future of nuclear power is highly uncertain.
Nuclear Power Generation (in TWh)
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