Russia set to dominate new nuclear export by 2030, new study finds

Monument dedicated to the Pioneers of Nuclear Energy in Obninsk, Russia, where the Russians built the world's first nuclear power plant.

Monument dedicated to the Pioneers of Nuclear Energy in Obninsk, Russia, where the Russians built the world's first nuclear power plant.

by Mark Nelson

As the United States and other Western nations withdraw from the competition to build new nuclear plants around the world, Russia is poised to increase its share of new nuclear builds from 38 percent to 57 percent by 2030.

Environmental Progress, an independent research organization, based its assessment evaluation and ranking of planned and proposed new nuclear construction projects around the world, not plants already under construction.

IAEA designates plants as “under construction” once the concrete has been poured for the basemat under the reactor.

The analysis is of nuclear plants expected to be in commercial operation by 2030, and only counts reactors being built outside of the vendor nation. So, for example, this analysis excludes Russia’s extensive build-out of nuclear plants within its borders.

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EP did two forecasts. The first is of all nuclear power projects planned for completion by 2030, including ones EP deems unlikely to be completed by 2030, if ever. This includes 56 GW of capacity.

EP’s second forecast is of reactor capacity EP identifies as “highly or moderately likely to be completed by 2030.” This includes 35 GW of capacity.

For example, while Japanese companies are officially expected to build 18 percent of reactors globally, no Japanese projects were ranked as “highly or moderately likely to be completed by 2030.