Three factors - meeting climate change objectives, dwindling conventional fossil fuel reserves and rapidly growing energy demand from emerging economies - require the rapid transformation of the global energy industry. Within this context, nuclear power is being promoted in new countries and regions of the world. However, even prior to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis at Fukushima, the global expansion of nuclear power was occurring in a handful of countries only and globally reactor numbers were falling. While it is too early to make accurate forecasts of the long-term impact of Fukushima, it is clear that most countries are reviewing from a safety and/or policy perspective their existing and future programmes. The impact that these will have on future reactor orders will be dependent not only on the engineering and operational recommendations, but also on the economic and financial viability of the non-fossil fuel alternatives.