For the first time, human beings harnessed the power of atomic fission.
By figuring out fission, physicists were able to split uranium atoms and release massive amounts of energy. This Manhattan Project work paved the way both for atomic bombs and nuclear power reactors.
Assumptions, authoritarianism and errors are just a few of the ways in which the world could be confronted by a nuclear disaster, physicist and disarmament expert MV Ramana suggests in his book reviews.
A nuclear physicist and disarmament expert recommends reading on nuclear disasters, weapons, authoritarianism and climate change.
After spending $9 billion on a nuclear power plant construction in South Carolina, project developers have pulled the plug.
Nuclear power plants don't just pump out steady, carbon-free electricity; they also help produce the people the US needs for nuclear weapons inspections.
Large nuclear reactors could fade into history, proponents of small modular nuclear reactors argue. The reality may be more complex.
Nuclear industry players tout small modular reactors as an "inherently safe," cost-effective source of electricity. The reality may be less attractive.
A miner takes a break from sorting through coal at a mine in Vietnam. The country relies heavily on coal imports.
Julian Abram Wainwright/EPA
Vietnam recently cancelled it's plans for the procurement of nuclear energy. There are lessons South Africa can take from this.
The Fukushima Daini plant, 11km from the ill-fated Daiichi station, suffered a technical problem in one of its spent fuel cooling ponds.
The latest earthquake off Japan's east coast was an ominous reminder of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. But despite a technical hitch at one of Fukushima's other reactors, there was no repeat this time.
The country needs more nuclear power – but not more Hinkleys.
Ganibal / shutterstock
This is a big opportunity for smaller reactors that can be built quickly and cheaply.
Radiation exposure as a child can increase cancer risk later in life. But by how much?
Chernobyl is already responsible for up to 5,000 cases of cancer in Europe.
After one reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant caught fire and exploded in 1986, the whole site was encased in a concrete sarcophagus.
The meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 exposed 572 million people to radiation. No other nuclear accident holds a candle to that level of public health impact.
Engineers have devised an innovative way to dismantle Chernobyl's reactor while preventing further radiation escaping.
The UK government looks set to allow EDF to build a new kind of nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point. But are there better nuclear technologies we could use?
Protesters at the restart of Japan’s Sendai 1 reactor.
AAP Image/NEWZULU/MUNESUKE YAMAMOTO
The restart of Japan's nuclear reactors is good news for climate change. But there are still large psychological barriers to overcome.
No one’s a fan of nuclear waste. What if we could just recycle it all?
General Physics Laboratory (GPL)
Even the biggest proponents of nuclear power can't ignore 10,000 metric tons of spent fuel globally every year. What if we could recycle every last atom of nuclear waste?
Reactor pressure vessel during construction of Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, 1956.
U.S. Department of Energy, Naval Reactors Program
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.
Nuclear power plants, like this one in Tennessee, supply almost 20 percent of the electricity in the US.
Nuclear Regulatory Comission
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…
South Korea relies heavily on nuclear power.
Claude Shannon, who many consider the father of modern information theory, wrote a paper in 1949 in which he pointed out that security should never be based upon your enemy’s ignorance of how your system…
Not cool enough yet.
Engineers at Fukushima nuclear power plant have been trying to create a £185m ice wall to isolate contaminated water from mixing with groundwater. However, there has been a steady stream of news articles…