Title: Nuclear power: A dream that failed
Source: The Economist
Date: March 12, 2012 – 5:48 PM
Link to original Economist article: http://www.economist.com/node/21549936
Nuclear power: A dream that failed
One year after Fukushima’s nightmare, the industry’s future is not bright — for reasons of cost as much as safety.
The enormous power tucked away in the atomic nucleus, the chemist Frederick Soddy rhapsodised in 1908, could “transform a desert continent, thaw the frozen poles, and make the whole world one smiling Garden of Eden.”
Looking at nuclear power 26 years ago, The Economist [concluded] that the industry was “safe as a chocolate factory” proved something of a hostage to fortune. Less than a month later one of the reactors at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine ran out of control [...]
Then, 25 years later, when enough time had passed for some to be talking of a “nuclear renaissance,” it happened again. The bureaucrats, politicians and industrialists of what has been called Japan’s “nuclear village” were not unaccountable apparatchiks in a decaying authoritarian state like those that bore the guilt of Chernobyl; they had responsibilities to voters, to shareholders, to society. And still they allowed their enthusiasm for nuclear power to shelter weak regulation, safety systems that failed to work and a culpable ignorance of the tectonic risks the reactors faced, all the while blithely promulgating a myth of nuclear safety.
[...] nuclear’s promise of a global transformation is gone.
Read the report here
Published: March 13th, 2012 at 3:31 am ET