There are zero commercial reactors operating in Japan today. On March 10, 2011, there were 54 licensed to operate, well over 10% percent of the global fleet.
But for the first time in 42 years, a country at the core of global reactor electricity is producing none of its own.
Worldwide, there are fewer than 400 operating reactors for the first time since Chernobyl, a quarter-century ago.
And France has replaced a vehemently pro-nuclear premier with the Socialist Francois Hollande, who will almost certainly build no new reactors. For decades France has been the “poster child” of atomic power. But Hollande is likely to follow the major shift in French national opinion away from nuclear power and toward the kind of green-powered transition now redefining German energy supply.
In the United States, a national grassroots movement to stop federal loan guarantees could end new nuclear construction altogether. New official cost estimates of $9.5 to $12 billion per reactor put the technology off-scale for any meaningful competition with renewables and efficiency.
In India, more than 500 women have joined an on-going hunger strike against construction of reactors at Koodankulam. And in China, more than 30 reactors hang in the balance of a full assessment of the true toll of the Fukushima disaster.
But it seems to have no end. Three melted cores still smolder. New reports from US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), confirm that at least one spent fuel pool suspended 100 feet in the air, bearing tons of hugely toxic rods, could crash to the ground with another strong earthquake—a virtual certainty by most calculations.