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Articles on Nuclear power plants

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Fire a set of high-power lasers at a tiny speck of hydrogen isotopes and you can initiate nuclear fusion, the process that powers the Sun. National Ignition Facility

How much energy can people create at one time without losing control?

Scientists are working on ways to make lots of energy by converting matter into energy. The trick is keeping the process under control. One possibility is nuclear fusion – the Sun’s power source.
An International Atomic Energy Agency investigator examines Reactor Unit 3 at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant, May 27, 2011. Greg Webb, IAEA/Flickr

10 years after Fukushima, safety is still nuclear power’s greatest challenge

On the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, two experts explain why human choices are more important to nuclear safety than technology, and why the job is far from finished.
New research shows Ontario doesn’t really need nuclear energy, and its absence would not have an impact on emissions in the province’s energy sector. (Ferdinand Stohr/Unsplash)

Ontario can phase out nuclear and avoid increased carbon emissions

Nuclear power isn’t needed to meet Ontario’s electricity needs. And the absence of nuclear power won’t have any impact on emissions in Ontario’s energy sector.
In Saint-Laurent-Nouan, in the Loir-et-Cher region, one of 19 French power plants. Ludovic Marin/AFP

Nuclear power in France: imagining the industry’s future

Nuclear energy generates 75% of France’s electricity, and ongoing troubles at the new Flamanville EPR reactor have raised crucial questions about its future in the country’s electricity mix.
The Opal nuclear research reactor at Lucas Heights in Sydney. It does not produce nuclear energy but is used to produce medical radioisotopes and for other purposes. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Nuclear power should be allowed in Australia – but only with a carbon price

The state of Australia’s energy and climate change policy is reason to despair. But there may be a nuclear solution that keeps both sides happy.
The parliamentary committee will examine a broad range of issues related to nuclear power. Shutterstock

Nuclear becomes latest round in energy wars

The government has asked a parliamentary committee to examine the issue and report on it by the end of 2019.
On the hook: California utility PG&E declared bankruptcy due to liabilities linked to power lines and wildfires. AP Photo/Ben Margot

Many electric utilities are struggling – will more go bankrupt?

The electric utility is seeing rapid changes and threats that affect consumers, from more wind and solar to wildfires. How they react depends in large part on regulators.
Florida’s Turkey Point Nuclear Plant shut down 12 hours before Hurricane Andrew made landfall in 1992. AP Photo/Phil Sandlin

Nuclear reactors in hurricanes: 5 questions answered

Lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the Fukushima disaster in 2011 have changed how utilities brace for big storms.
Inside a power-plant cooling tower. Jakob Madsen/Unsplash

How are nuclear risks managed in France?

Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima demonstrated the difficulty of managing a disaster at a nuclear power plant. What is the situation in France?
California’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was shut down in 2013. julius fekete/shutterstock.com

The demise of US nuclear power in 4 charts

Commercial nuclear reactors provide roughly one-fifth of the electricity produced in the US. But they face grave threats to their continued operation.

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