A former head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has said that he expects the industry to weather the storm caused by this year’s Fukushima accident.

Indeed Mohaned ElBaradei says that growth in nuclear power is guaranteed by global energy demands.

ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 2007 to 2009, told the Wall St Journal that following Fukushima there would be “a slowdown in some countries” – Germany, Switzerland and Italy have all agreed to scale down or phase out reactors – but he added: “Others like France, India or China won’t see an impact on their programmes.

“You can see that a lot of large emerging economies are looking seriously at already expanding their use of nuclear energy,” he said, picking China and Brazil as prime examples. “All these large emerging countries, with large populations and development challenges, have to rely on nuclear energy.”