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Nuclear renaissance


Nuclear power, formerly the environmentalists’ sworn enemy, is now being reassessed to confront climate change. But what about nuclear waste?

Journalists in protective clothing on a visit to the nuclear power station of Fukushima Daiichi. Although the radiation from the Fukushima disaster doesn’t appear to have caused any deaths, the reclamation costs have been crippling and the environmental impact is expected to be severe.

Nuclear power, formerly the environmentalists’ sworn enemy, is now being reassessed to confront climate change. But what about nuclear waste?

I n the 1970s and ’80s, “nuclear” was one of the dirtiest words you could say in the European and American left. A series of accidents and near-accidents had left much of the public feeling that the risks posed by nuclear power to both people and the environment far outweighed the benefits. This shift in public opinion resulted in many countries holding back on construction of any new plants. But the warming climate has been changing the game.

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