Asian nations eye nuclear alternatives

Nations across Asia are ordering and building nuclear power plants at a rate not seen in decades, according to information gathered by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is predicting dozens of new reactors will be built across that continent at a cost of more than (US)$100 billion. China opened its first commercial complex last year but has plans for 30 more nuclear units. Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are all in various stages of nuclear development; and South Korea, Japan and Taiwan “already have some of the world`s most sophisticated nuclear-power programs,” stated the US Department of Energy`s Electric Power Monthly. Japan has proposed construction of at least 15 new nuclear plants by 2010 and is pursuing commercial use of fast-breeder reactors, using plutonium for fuel.