Energy for Growth Hub
Memo Feb 16, 2021

Who in ASEAN is Ready for Nuclear Power?

Future of Energy Tech

Demand for electricity across the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will triple by 2050. Nuclear power is a potential source of clean power to drive industrialization and growing incomes, especially with new smaller, safer, and more flexible designs expected to come to the market over the next decade. But where will this demand be, and which countries are ready for nuclear power? The Energy for Growth Hub and Third Way created an interactive map that projects electricity demand and assesses nuclear readiness:

1. The Philippines and Vietnam are ready now (dark green)

  1. The Philippines constructed (and immediately mothballed) a nuclear power plant in Bataan in 1985. There are tentative plans to revive the plant.
  2. Vietnam previously agreed to build plants with Japan and Russia. Officials put these plans on hold in favor of gas and coal, but they could be revived.

2. Indonesia and Thailand could be ready by 2030 (light green)

  1. Indonesia operates three research reactors and has a well-developed policy and regulatory environment. Indonesia has signed a deal with US-company Thorcon International to develop a 500MW floating molten salt reactor. Indonesia also has the third greatest projected growth in electricity demand of any country in the world.
  2. Thailand operates a research reactor and has been developing a policy and regulatory regime since 2007. Thailand’s 2012 Power Development Plan lays out a timeline through 2030, including the development of up to 4GW of power in the mid 2020s.

3. Cambodia, Malaysia, and Myanmar could be ready by 2050 (yellow)

Malaysia operates a research reactor, and all three countries have taken preliminary steps that signal interest in developing nuclear power.

For more detailed information, our full checklist is here.