Nuclear energy

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Radioactively contaminated territory around the Mayak nuclear facility in Russia. Nikulina/Slapovskaya/Heinrich Boell Foundation Moscow

The risks attached to South Africa’s nuclear energy strategy

The nuclear deal South Africa signed with Russia is set to be massively expensive and comes with a fair amount of risks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) is looking to provide his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, with nuclear energy. EPA

Why nuclear power would be a bad option for South Africa

Instead of spending time trying to make nuclear energy a possibility, South Africa should look to forms of renewable energy instead.
Countries should make pledges to fund low-carbon research - such as developing solar technology - and development as part of global climate talks. University of Salford Press Office/Flickr

What’s missing from our climate pledges? Low-carbon R&D

Countries will take emissions reduction pledges to international climate talks in Paris at the end of this year. Those pledges should also include funds for low-carbon R&D.
Reactor pressure vessel during construction of Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, 1956. U.S. Department of Energy, Naval Reactors Program

How nuclear power-generating reactors have evolved since their birth in the 1950s

The basics of fission physics have stayed the same over the decades. But power-generating reactor designs have evolved, turning to new coolants, recycled fuel and other innovations.
Thorium has its advantages over uranium nuclear power, but is it right for Australia? dymidziuk.janusz/Flickr

Should Australia consider thorium nuclear power?

Thorium has several advantages over uranium nuclear power, but it also has its drawbacks. However, the question remains whether it would be the right technology should Australia choose to go nuclear.
South Australia already mines uranium. Could it become a nuclear state? AAP Image/Quasar Resources

Royal commission into nuclear will open a world of possibilities

South Australian premier Jay Weatherill on Sunday announced a formal inquiry into the future role of the state in the nuclear fuel cycle, which will be tasked with considering options across the full gamut…
Nuclear power plants, like this one in Tennessee, supply almost 20 percent of the electricity in the US. Nuclear Regulatory Comission

What’s inside the first new US nuclear plant in two decades

It’s been almost two decades since a new nuclear plant opened for business in the United States. But that’s about to change as construction wraps up on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2…
Energy supply including nuclear is the best way to fight climate change and conserve wildlife and ecosystems. James Marvin Phelps/Flickr

It’s time for environmentalists to give nuclear a fair go

Should nuclear energy be part of Australia’s (and many other countries') future energy mix? We think so, particularly as part of a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent dangerous climate…
Now we need a hole big enough. Nuclear waste by Shutterstock. F.Schmidt

Britain’s nuclear waste, a problem proving hard to bury

A proposal for radioactive waste to appear at a burial site nearby, would be likely to fill the great majority of the UK population with thoughts of danger, cancer – and falling house prices. This illustrates…
Big may be beautiful but it’s also inflexible and expensive. Andrew Parsons/PA

Small nuclear reactors may be the key to a low-carbon future

Take a hard look at the painful process of de-carbonising the UK’s electricity supply, and it’s clear that the options on the table are not great. From the outset, changes to the system generate further…

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