For reference, I'm going with the accepted answer given here: How would technology adoption of Lithium Air battery work?. In my world, it makes sense that governments would be very interested in getting their hands on alternative energy sources, now that they're starting to... feel the heat.
Info on the world and its situation:
- Starting in 2020, the political and social situation of major countries across the world deteriorate severely (as an example, both the U.S. and China end up with a civil war on their hands). Some countries are divided or even absorbed by others.
- By 2025, most of the world is suffering from overpopulation. With it (and due to the worsening effects of global warming), food, fuel and water shortages become common. Riots follow.
- By 2028, fuel, food and water levels become critical. It's no longer possible to produce them at a fast enough rate to meet the needs of the population. Wars over these resources flare up across the world, both between countries and within them. Groups of desperate individuals begin migrating with no clear destination, in search of these resources. The desperate look for alternatives. The truly desperate resort to cannibalism.
- Luckily, later that year, a savior does come: ZenCorp, which manages to perfect thorium-based nuclear energy. They're willing to build and run their nuclear plants... so long as they get paid. Their first clients are governments who quickly agree to whatever price ZenCorp sets.
- Throughout 2029 and beyond, ZenCorp grows at astonishing rates both geographically and financially, becoming the first Mega-Corporation. Their security forces turn into a private army, trained and paid to follow any command.
Considering that the potential clients are desperate to make the switch, how long would it take for a large city (like Rome) to adopt nuclear energy, first in the public and then the private sector? The dangers that civil unrest would pose to these projects could be reduced through ZenCorp's security forces working in tandem with local police/military.