The Doomsday Clock is an internationally recognized design that conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making. First and foremost among these are nuclear weapons, but the dangers include climate-changing technologies, emerging... Read More
Once described as “the consummate environmental insider,” Gus Speth, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, says that green organizations, politicians, and the media are failing to address the root causes of climate change and other environmental problems.
The events at Fukushima Daiichi have greatly renewed the public focus on the safety of the existing fleet of nuclear reactors, especially as many US reactors share the same fundamental design—and safety systems—as the affected Japanese reactors.
In light of Japan’s nuclear disaster, a major lesson can be learned related to the back end of the fuel cycle: Planning is necessary for the safe and secure management of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.
The World Nuclear Association estimates that by 2030, 600 nuclear reactors will be in operation around the world; 60 countries are considering nuclear power, out of which 10 to 25 are expected to bring nuclear power plants on line by 2030.
Opinion polls show that public support for nuclear power has declined since the Fukushima crisis began, not only in Japan but also in other nations around the world. People oppose nuclear power for a variety of reasons, but the predominant concern is the perception that it is a risky technology.
In 2010, there were more nuclear power units under construction worldwide than in any year since 1988. Even before Fukushima, however, status indicators for the international nuclear industry were showing a negative trend.
The US raid that killed Osama bin Laden has raised concerns about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. In the process of building two new plutonium production reactors and a new reprocessing facility to fabricate more nuclear weapons fuel, Pakistan is also developing new delivery systems.