Nuclear power is hot in China. The country is building 19 commercial reactors, including two of the largest ever assembled. Russia's state-owned engineering firm, Rosatom, is erecting 13 reactors in five countries. India is developing its own domestic supply chain. Meanwhile the U.S. is canceling reactors, leaving only four under construction. American maker Westinghouse, long the global front-runner, filed for bankruptcy in March. France, which for decades happily relied on atomic power, will turn to renewables to meet new electricity demand. Germany will shutter all its reactors by 2022.
If China's progress holds, it will have more nuclear capacity than the U.S., today's leader, within a decade. The government helps companies get permits and obtain financing, two big hurdles in the West. Changing markets could shift alliances as well, as countries such as the United Arab Emirates sign deals with surging Russian and South Korean suppliers rather than fading American and European firms. Japan may be Asia's anomaly: because of the infamous Fukushima accident, it has scaled back plans.