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This 62.5 MW Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR-II) at the Argonne National Laboratory (USA) was built in 1965 and closed in 1994 due to its abysmal economics and proliferation concerns. The design is the basis of the PRISM and Integral Fast Reactors being

'New' reactor types are all nuclear pie in the sky

Jim Green

2nd September 2014

There's an Alice in Wonderland flavour to the nuclear power debate, writes Jim Green. Lobbyists are promoting all sorts of new reactor types - an implicit admission that existing reactors aren't up to the job. But the designs they are promoting have two severe problems. They don't exist. And they have no customers. more...
A radioactive emissions spike taking place during refueling from fugitive noble gas release at the Gundremmigen nuclear plant, Bavaria, Germany. Measured as kBq/m3 against time, in half-hourly intervals. Graph: Alfred Korblein.

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants - a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Dr Ian Fairlie

29th September 2014

When nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation, writes Ian Fairlie. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants - but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures. more...
Scheduled for completion in 2009, the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant is still under construction, and Areva is no longer projecting a completion date. Costs are running at roughly triple initial estimates. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr.

Three in every four nuclear power builds worldwide are running late

Oliver Tickell

19th September 2014

A review of the 66 nuclear reactors 'under construction' worldwide shows that 49 are running behind schedule, including all five in the US and most in China. The long and unpredictable build times of nuclear plants, and the extra costs that ensue, are a compelling reason not to depend on the technology for either power or to mitigate climate change. more...
After a history of accidents at the site, the three ageing reactors at Mihama, Japan, are among those likely never to restart. Photo: Kansai Electric Power Co via IAEA Imagebank / Flickr.

Rocky road ahead for Japan's nuclear restart

Jim Green and Peer de Rijk / Nuclear Monitor

26th September 2014

Japan's government is trying to get its failing nuclear power industry up and running, write Jim Green and Peer de Rijk. But in the post-Fukushima world, it faces formidable obstacles. Experts believe most reactors will never restart - and Japan's stricken utilities may have to find $30 billion or more to finance their decommissioning. more...
Has the BBC forgotten its commitment to impartial journalism? Photo: BBC handbook 1963, by Gordon Joly via Flickr.

The BBC, Friends of the Earth and nuclear power

Neil Crumpton

16th September 2014

At first it looked like a journalistic coup, writes Neil Crumpton - the BBC's 'scoop' that FOE was no longer opposed to nuclear power. Except that FOE remains firmly anti-nuclear as it has been for decades. The spotlight must now be turned on the BBC itself, and its little-known but shocking links to the nuclear industry more...
San Onofre Beach State Park, California. In the background, a nuclear power station. Two of the three generating units are now closed. Photo: Luke Jones via Flickr.

Nuclear power - insanity at taxpayers' and consumers' expense

Ralph Nader

12th September 2014

Nuclear power exists for one reason only, writes Ralph Nader - government support. Without the taxpayer subsidies, accident liability waivers and exploited consumers, nuclear power wouldn't exist. And even with all the above, it can barely hold on. It's time to end the nuclear boondoggle for once and for all. more...
Kagoshima solar power plant: are 'solar islands' the future? Photo: Kyocera.

Japan: 'solar islands' replace nuclear power

Jon Major

13th September 2014

As Japan seeks to end reliance on nuclear power, one of the answers is floating 'solar islands', writes Jon Major. A 70MW solar island opened last year, and two additional plants have just been announced. more...
After the Fujushima catastrophe, this rice was grown nearby by IAEA to test methods of soil decontamination. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr.

Fukushima radiation damages rice genome

Gregory McGann

18th September 2014

Research on the biological effects of radiation near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site finds a powerful response in rice seedlings, writes Gregory McCann. The discovery will do nothing to boost consumer confidence in resumed rice exports from the Fukushima region. more...
Diablo Canyon in California lies in a seismically active zone totally unsuitable for a nuclear power plant. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr.

Earthquake risk makes California's Diablo Canyon a Fukushima in waiting

Karl Grossman

27th August 2014

A newly-exposed report by Diablo Canyon's lead nuclear inspector shows that the twin reactors are unsafe, writes Karl Grossman. An earthquake on nearby geological faults could trigger a Fukushima-scale accident causing 10,000 early fatalities. The owner's response? Apply to extend the site's operation for another 20 years. more...
The Vale of Mordor - or is the Sellafield 'atom factory' in Cumbria, UK? Photo: tim_d via Flickr.

Bombs Ahoy! Why the UK is desperate for nuclear power

Oliver Tickell

26th August 2014

On the face of it, the UK government's obsession with nuclear power defies reason. It's very expensive, inflexible, creates 'existential' threats and imposes enormous 'long tail' liabilities tens of thousands of years into the future. But there is a simple explanation: it's all to maintain the UK's status as a nuclear WMD state. more...
Scheduled for completion in 2009, the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant is still under construction, and Areva is no longer projecting a completion date. Costs are running at roughly triple initial estimates. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr.

The nuclear industry today: declining, but not (yet) dying

Jonathon Porritt

25th August 2014

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides an account of an industry in decline, writes Jonathon Porritt - with rising operating costs and an ever-shrinking share of world energy production, while the sector loses the race for investment and new generating capacity to fast growing renewable energy technologies. more...
The Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness, Scotland, is one of those that have provoked an increase in childhood leukemia. Photo: Paul Wordingham via Flickr.

Nuclear power stations cause childhood leukemia - and here's the proof

Ian Fairlie

23rd August 2014

Controversy has been raging for decades over the link between nuclear power stations and childhood leukemia. But as with tobacco and lung cancer, it's all about hiding the truth, writes Ian Fairlie. Combining data from four countries shows, with high statistical significance, that radioactive releases from nuclear plants are the cause of the excess leukemia cases. more...

nuclear: 1/25 of 203
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Sign for the Inkay uranium mining operation in southern Kazakhstan. Photo: Mheidegger via Wikimedia Commons.

Kazakhstan's nuclear power plans - the mysteries only deepen

Komila Nabiyeva

19th August 2014

Russia has announced that it will build the first thermal nuclear power station in Kazakhstan, the world's largest uranium producer, writes Komila Nabiyeva. But where in that vast country will it be located? Who will own and operate it? How many reactors are planned? Who will get the power? And will it ever actually happen? more...
Rosetta approaching its destination after a 6 billion km journey. Image: ESA.

Rosetta shows - we can keep space plutonium-free!

Karl Grossman

5th August 2014

Deep space missions have previously run on nuclear power, writes Karl Grossman - and have twice showered Earth with radioactive debris. But the ESA's Rosetta probe, about to reach its destination, is 100% solar-powered - showing that space can be nuclear-free. more...
IAEA Experts at Unit 4 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 17th April 2013, as part of a mission to review Japan's plans to decommission the facility. Photo: IAEA Imagebank.

Fukushima - we need health studies now!

Joseph Mangano & Janette Sherman

2nd August 2014

A massive health crisis is following the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima, write Joseph Mangano & Janette Sherman - not just in Japan but around the world. But the health impacts remains woefully under-studied. Scientists must wake up and undertake serious research without delay. more...
Mirror, mirror, on the wall ... Solar panels near Dukovany nuclear power station, Czech Republic. Photo: Jiří Sedláček (Frettie) via Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear industry prepares for global boom - or is that doom?

Paul Brown

2nd August 2014

The nuclear industry remains remarkably optimistic about its future, wrties Paul Brown - despite evidence that it is a shrinking source of power as renewables, in particular solar and wind power, compete with increasing success to fill the energy gap. more...
Tatyana Novikova (centre) at Aarhus, Denmark in a delegation from environmental NGO Ecohome to demand access to information about the Ostrovets nuclear power station under the Aarhus Convention. Photo: Ecohome.

Belarus - fighting nuclear power in the shadow of Chernobyl

Chris Garrard

28th July 2014

Tatyana Novikova has been fighting an unsafe nuclear power plant right on the country's border with Lithuania. She spoke to Chris Garrard about her campaign, the official persecution of anti-nuclear activists, and her invocation of the Aarhus Convention to the anti-nuclear cause. more...
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, March 2013. Photo: D Ramey Logan / Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won't go away

Paul Brown

20th July 2014

The recent closure of five US power stations is forcing the industry to confront big questions about radioactive waste, writes Paul Brown. Who is to pay the mounting costs of managing the wastes and keeping them secure? And precisely where will be their final resting place? more...
The Abengoa solar tower, Spain. Photo: Alex Lang via Flickr.

Decarbonising the world energy system without nuclear

David Elliott

17th July 2014

Nuclear power advocates believe the technology is essential to building a fossil fuel free world energy system. In fact it is optional, writes David Elliott - and not even very helpful. Efficiency and the 'new renewables' can do the job faster, and at much lower cost. more...
Muckaty traditional owners Doris Kelly, Gladys Brown and Elaine Peckham celebrate victory in their battle to stop the imposition of a nuclear waste dump. Photo via Friends of the Earth Australia.

The nuclear war against Australia's Aboriginal people

Jim Green

14th July 2014

Australia's nuclear industry has a shameful history of 'radioactive racism' that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes have been evident in recent debates over uranium mines and nuclear waste, but Aboriginal peoples are fighting back! more...
Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr.

Nuclear power is no answer to global warming

Ian Fairlie

10th July 2014

If we're serious about cutting CO2 emissions, there's no place for nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie - because it's the least cost-effective way to do it. By far the best way is to improve energy efficiency. But tell the Government the truth, and it'll close you down. more...
Criminals? Protest against Kundakulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Joseph Lazer / Wikimedia Commons.

India - now nuclear and environmental dissent is a crime

Kumar Sundaram

4th July 2014

In modern India any form of dissent from the neoliberal corporate model of development is being criminalised, writes Kumar Sundaram. Opponents of nuclear power, coal mines, GMOs, giant dams, are all under attack as enemies of the state and a threat to economic growth. more...
The Bill would undermine regulation of waste from Mountain Top Removal coal mines. Photo: An MTR protest in West Virginia, 2012, by Mark Haller via Flickr.

House Spending Bill's huge dirty energy giveaway

Farron Cousins

24th June 2014

A Spending Bill now under debate in Congress would cut over $100 million from renewable energy, grant extra funds for dumping nuclear waste and fossil fuel research, exempt 'mountain top removal' coal from regulation, and limit the EPA's power to enforce clean water laws. more...
Nuclear submarines already have 'small modular reactors'. So if they're so cheap, safe and efficient, why aren't they already in civilian use? Photo: HMS Ambush by UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr.

Nuclear power - small isn't beautiful, safe, or cheap

Justin McKeating / Greenpeace

22nd June 2014

Nuclear power is neither beautiful, nor safe, nor cheap, writes Justin Keating - a message to the United States, where the Obama administration has pledged to waste over $200 million financing the 'Small Modular Reactor' (SMR). more...
Greeting visitors to The Sellafield Story, a Radiation Free Lakeland activist offers leaflets setting out a dramatically different narrative. Photo: RFL.

Beacon of Nuclear Truth?

Marianne Birkby

12th June 2014

The cash-strapped Cumbrian Museum is rebranded to tell 'The Sellafield Story'. The UK's favourite scientist Brian Cox and Government Minister Baroness Verma provide razzmatazz along with the Happy Robot. Lollypops anyone? more...

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