Published October 4, 2012
There’s been much talk in the U.S. and abroad of reviving nuclear energy as a way to relieve the world’s shaky dependence on diminishing fossil fuels and reduce our global carbon footprint. But Fukushima reignited fears, bringing back to mind Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the inherent risks of nuclear technology. Nonetheless, the nuclear renaissance is fully underway in countries like Russia and China, which are funding significant new construction, and—in Russia’s case—pushing an aggressive export model that is already seeing results. Turkey, Vietnam, and Belarus are just a few of the countries where Russian reactors will soon be built. But Russia is eying the entire world, aiming for Western countries like Britain even as it tries to make deals for more reactors in Iran. Arguing that its new technology has safety measures that would preclude another Chernobyl, Russia plans to double the output of nuclear energy at home and triple sales abroad.