Nuclear Energy in Asia

Which Asian countries generate most electricity from nuclear power?

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Map of the Nuclear energy generation in Asia.

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As countries are striving to reduce their CO2 emissions and look for cleaner sources of electricity generation, the debate about nuclear energy is heating up again. Although nuclear energy emits low amounts of CO2, it does create nuclear waste, which needs to be stored somewhere safe for a long time. Then there is also the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, which had a massive impact on the surrounding environment and the people living nearby. These two things in particular, are the main reasons some people are concerned about nuclear energy.

As we can see on this map, only 10 Asian countries generate electricity from nuclear energy. Two countries are building their first nuclear power plant (Bangladesh and Turkey). South Korea (28.0%) and Armenia (25.3%) generate by far the largest amount of their electricity by nuclear power.

Although Japan has a very large number of nuclear power plants, only less than half of them are operational at the moment. This is due to the Fukushima disaster (although not all of these nuclear power plants were directly affected by the tsunami and earthquake). Some of them are expected to be operational again soon. Now Japan only gets 7.2% of its electricity from nuclear energy. Before the Fukushima disaster, this was around 30%.

On this map we can see 2 things: The share of each country’s electricity generation that’s generated through nuclear energy and the location of all nuclear energy plants including those that are under construction or shut down. Keep in mind that this data says nothing about the electricity consumption. The IAEA has no data on how much electricity each country consumes that is generated by nuclear power. Some countries generate more electricity than they need and export it, others don’t generate enough electricity to meet their needs and need to import electricity.

Curious about nuclear energy in Europe? Check out this map.

Nuclear plants that are purely for scientific research are not shown on this map, as most of them don’t generate any electricity for the power grid. Some do generate small amounts for the power grid as a by-product. Only those listed at the IAEA website that have provided electricity to the power grid for multiple years, are marked on this map. Nuclear power plants that started operating in 2021 however, are included. Planned nuclear power plants are not included on this map, only those that are under construction.

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