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The Fukushima disaster was a dark chapter for nuclear power - but high-profile accidents are far from the only downside. EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA/AAP

Accidents, waste and weapons: nuclear power isn’t worth the risks

Is nuclear power worth it? No, says Mark Diesendorf – it's never been a major world energy force, it has caused huge accidents, and its greenhouse emissions are higher than many people realise.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (red helmet) is briefed about tanks containing radioactive water by Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant chief Akira Ono. EPA/Sankei Shimbun Pool

The case for Mark Willacy’s Fukushima

Many readers will know the name Mark Willacy, an Australian journalist who was the ABC’s North Asian correspondent for five years. On March 11, 2011, he would witness events that would redefine Japan as…
Fishing boats stranded by the 2011 tsunami, with the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the background. EPA/Kimimasa Mayama

Book review: Fukushima

Three years ago today, Japan was hit by the strongest earthquake ever measured in that country – and Fukushima became an international by-word for disaster. Now, as Japan tries to put its past behind it…
Concerns over nuclear energy mean Japan is moving back to fossil fuels. EPA/TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA

Climate targets are the fallout from Japan’s nuclear disaster

Japan has announced it is significantly reducing its greenhouse gas reduction target. It now aims to achieve a 3.8% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 versus 2005 levels. The new target amounts to…
You can try and control it, but radiation is everywhere. John Von Radowitz /PA

Explainer: How much radiation is harmful to health?

Radiation is everywhere. We catch it from the sun’s rays in the sky, and from the rocks beneath our feet. It comes from television sets, radios and mobile phones. We absorb it from certain fruits, vegetables…
Does the complexity of nuclear reactors mean they will never be safe? EPA/TEPCO

Is Fukushima the new normal for nuclear reactors?

Last week’s crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan saw radioactive water leak again from the crippled facility, raising fears that groundwater flowing into the Pacific Ocean could be contaminated…
Few countries have pushed forward with nuclear power programmes after Fukushima. Tim Ireland/PA

Fukushima’s positive legacy

Just over two years after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in eastern Japan in March 2011, public attitudes worldwide remain hardened against nuclear power. It may have fallen from the…
Japanese anti-nuclear sentiment is strong, but it’s losing out to the desire for cheap electricity. Magnus von Koeller

Japan can’t afford to leave nuclear power switched off

Recent data shows Japan posted a record high trade deficit of ¥6.93tn (A$73.16bn) in 2012. Japan is struggling with rising imports as it tries to replace the energy lost when it shut down of most of its…
Exporting elephants from Laos to Japan could be the end of this Asian elephant population. ElefantAsia

Really Laos, you shouldn’t have: giving elephants to Japan is a bad idea

The 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan was undeniably a tragedy on many scales. Thousands killed, tainted agriculture, disappearing tourism and overall economic gloom. It’s little wonder the Japanese government…
Ross Garnaut: “One can’t avoid the reality that some political leaders have said that they would like to remove carbon pricing.” AAP/Alan Porritt

Australia under a carbon price plan: Q+A with Ross Garnaut

Tomorrow Australia will place a price on carbon. The former climate change adviser to the Federal Government, Ross Garnaut…
Protesters in Seoul are right to be sceptical about the prospect of nuclear security. EPA/Jeon Heon-Kyun

The apocalyptic promises of the Seoul nuclear security summit

It could all be a fanciful face lift, a matter of pure appearance. Behind the pretty face of a regulated nuclear world, the somewhat more lethal effects of meltdown and its associated dangers are concealed…

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