Global use of nuclear energy could increase by as much as 100% in the next two decades on the back of growth in Asia, despite a slump in the construction of new reactors after the Fukushima disaster.

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has not yet been made public but has been seen by Reuters, said a slower capacity expansion than previously forecast is likely after the world's worst nuclear accident in a quarter-of-a-century.

But it said: "Significant growth in the use of nuclear energy worldwide is still anticipated – between 35 and 100% by 2030."

Japan's reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant triggered by a deadly earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year shook the nuclear world and raised a question mark over whether atomic energy is safe.

Germany, Switzerland and Belgium have since decided to move away from nuclear power.

The number of new reactor construction starts fell to three last year – two in Pakistan and one in India – from 16 in 2010.