Nations such as the U.S., France, Japan, and, particularly, Germany have reduced their interest in nuclear power over the past 20 years.
Meanwhile, China is taking the opposite approach.
Check out this chart from Bloomberg based on data from the IAEA.
What is happening?
Once upon a time, nuclear power appeared to be the world’s best hope for a carbon-neutral future. Rather than being used as a weapon of mass destruction, this energy source could be used for the betterment of society.
However, after decades of cost-overruns, public protests, and a few unforgettable disasters, most rich countries have abandoned the cause.
China, however, remains a firm believer in the potential of nuclear power to fuel its nation.
In the next 15 years, China plans to build a minimum of 15 new reactors, which is more than the rest of the world has constructed in the past 35 years.
Why is this generation defining?
The cost of nuclear power in China seems competitive with coal power and about half the cost of building new power plants in the U.S., UK, and France.
With China spearheading the world in nuclear power, the rest of the planet might soon switch gears.
If so, nuclear power could be revitalized as a viable energy source, especially given the conflict with Russia, which is Europe’s biggest gas and coal supplier.
Nuclear power could enable energy independence, which is vital to consider amid changing geopolitics.