India and China are set to drive the world's nuclear power production growth as the two developing nations — among the top consumers of energy in the world — pursue their respective national nuclear energy programs.
According to the International Energy Agency, nuclear power production will grow by about 46 percent by 2040 — and more than 90 percent of the net increase will come from China and India.
Global nuclear electricity output grew 1 percent in 2017, as the world's nuclear fleet generated 2,503 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2018.
Take China out of the picture, however, and the reality looks starkly different: Global nuclear power generation would have declined for a third consecutive year, the report showed.
Asia, for its part, saw 8 to 9 percent growth in nuclear capacity last year, Agneta Rising, the director general of the World Nuclear Association, told CNBC at the Singapore International Energy Week conference last week.
"(The) largest growth in nuclear energy is in the Asia region, especially in China and India," she said, adding that nuclear power is "absolutely compatible" and "necessary" for a low carbon future.