The Global Future of Nuclear Power After Fukushima
March 16, 2011
Editor: Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom
Authors: Yun Zhou, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom (MTA), 2013–2014; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program (ISP)/MTA, 2011–2013; Former Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, ISP/MTA, 2010–2011; Former Research Fellow, ISP/MTA, 2009–2010, Simon Saradzhyan, Director, Russia Matters Project; Assistant Director, U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Sungyeol Choi, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2010–2012, Karthika Sasikumar, Former Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2010–2011; Former Associate, International Security Program, 2008–2009, Mahsa Rouhi, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2011–2013; Former Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow, 2010–2011
The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan is sending shockwaves through nuclear planning agencies around the world. Policy makers are asking for reviews of safety regulations, publics are expressing concern, and it appears likely that some of the planned construction will be curtailed. The politics of nuclear power is likely to be more contentious even in places where public support has been strong (or irrelevant). As a result, in the coming decade, nuclear power may make less of a contribution to the mitigation of carbon emissions than it otherwise might have, (though even before the current crisis its role in overcoming the climate change challenge was a minor one). Below are thumbnail sketches of how the discussion of nuclear energy is unfolding in key countries where plans for growth are most significant.
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