M. V. Ramana

Articles by M. V. Ramana

1 July 2011
The nuclear energy issue
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.
27 June 2011

Managing nuclear spent fuel: Policy lessons from a 10-country study

Harold FeivesonZia MianM. V. RamanaFrank von Hippel

The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) is in the process of finalizing an analysis of the policy and technical challenges faced internationally over the past five decades by efforts at long-term storage and disposal of spent fuel from nuclear power reactors. These challenges have so far prevented the licensing of a geological spent fuel repository anywhere in the world.

20 April 2011

Beyond our imagination: Fukushima and the problem of assessing risk

M. V. Ramana

The risk-assessment method that engineers currently use to predict the probability of a severe nuclear accident is unreliable and creates a false sense of security.

19 April 2011

Beyond our imagination: Fukushima and the problem of assessing risk

M. V. Ramana

The multiple and ongoing accidents at the Fukushima reactors come as a reminder of the hazards associated with nuclear power. As with the earlier severe accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, it will take a long time before the full extent of what happened at Fukushima becomes clear. Even now, though, Fukushima sheds light on the troublesome and important question of whether nuclear reactors can ever be operated safely.

1 May 2010
Since the dawn of the nuclear age, nuclear energy advocates have dreamed of a reactor that could produce more fuel than it used. More than 60 years and $100 billion later, that vision remains as far from reality as ever.
1 November 2009
Seminal texts that cover the merits, costs, and risks of nuclear power and also explore sustainable non-nuclear energy options.
21 July 2009

The safety inadequacies of India's fast breeder reactor

Ashwin KumarM. V. Ramana

India's Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is planning a large expansion of nuclear power, in which fast breeder reactors play an important role. Fast breeder reactors are attractive to the DAE because they produce (or "breed") more fissile material than they use. The breeder reactor is especially attractive in India, which hopes to develop a large domestic nuclear energy program even though it has primarily poor quality uranium ore that is expensive to mine.

3 July 2008

The Indian approach to climate and energy policy

Divya Badami RaoM. V. Ramana

At the end of the thirteenth meeting of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change that took place in Bali last December, the Indian delegation was relieved, happy even.

4 December 2007

Nuclear safety lessons from Japan's summer earthquake

Ashwin KumarM. V. Ramana

On July 16, 2007, an earthquake with a magnitude of somewhere between 6.6 and 6.8 struck Japan. Its epicenter was about 16 kilometers north of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), the biggest such plant in the world. The known results of the earthquake include a fire and leaks of radioactivity. However, news of damage to the reactors continues to emerge, the most recent being the discovery of a jammed control rod in Unit-7.

1 July 2007
If the world is to avoid living under the nuclear shadow, nuclear weapons designing skills must wither and die.