Nuclear power

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You need to take a wider view to work out the true greenhouse emissions from nuclear power. Teollisuuden Voima Oy/Wikimedia Commons

Is nuclear power zero-emission? No, but it isn’t high-emission either

Nuclear power isn't 'zero-emission', as many proponents claim. Factor in uranium mining, power plant construction, and other factors and it has similar emissions to wind power. But that's still lower than fossil fuels.
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.
Still chugging: the operation of existing nuclear plants in the US is being extended far beyond their expected life. James Marvin Phelps/flickr

The case for nuclear power – despite the risks

We cannot eliminate the inherent risks of nuclear power but it is rigorously monitored and has a proven performance of delivering zero-carbon electricity.
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.
A nuclear-capable Pakistani missile during testing in 2011. The international community hopes other aspiring nuclear nations can develop nuclear power without the military muscle. EPA/INTER SERVICES/AAP

Power and peace: how nations can go nuclear without weapons

Through history, nuclear power has gone hand in hand with the nuclear arms race. But does it have to be this way? Closer international cooperation can help nations embrace nuclear power peacefully.
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 Australian Premier Jay Weatherill surprised his federal Labor colleagues by announcing a Royal Commission on possibilities for the nuclear industry. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

South Australia’s broad-brush nuclear review is meant to sideline opponents

The terms of reference for South Australia's Royal Commission on the nuclear industry are intentionally broad, meaning that anti-nuclear advocates will have to choose carefully where they direct their efforts.
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…
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been feted during his visit, but there are no guarantees that his new uranium deal with Australia won’t worsen nuclear security. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

A cricketing ally, but will India play a straight bat on Aussie uranium?

Behind the flag-waving and cheers surrounding Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Australia are serious questions about the safety and security implications of Australia’s agreement to…
It’s all smiles until the sanctions begin. Roland Schlager

Iran nuclear deal will come down to economic pressure

Talks in Vienna about the future of Iran’s nuclear programme have failed for the time being. The countries involved have agreed to resume discussions in December with a view to reaching a political agreement…
A protester at recent Australia climate change rallies in the lead up to the UN climate summit in New York. AAP Image/NEWZULU/ZOE REYNOLDS

Australia can get to zero carbon emissions, and grow the economy

Today more than 120 world leaders are gathered in New York for the Climate Leaders’ Summit. With global emissions continuing to rise, it is easy to be pessimistic. But new research released today shows…

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