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, Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, 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, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
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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