Beyond Yucca Mountain

Innovative Solutions to Nuclear Waste Management

Most nuclear advocates, often including us here at Breakthrough, tend to dismiss the issue of nuclear waste, noting that “you could fit all of the nuclear waste in the US on a football field at a depth of less than ten yards.” But that answer is insufficient: just visualizing the amount of waste won't make the political and technical challenges of managing nuclear waste (or “spent fuel”) go away.

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Atoms for Africa

Is There a Future for Civil Nuclear Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa?

In a new paper commissioned by the Center for Global Development, Breakthrough Institute analysts tackled the question of whether nuclear energy has a future in sub-Saharan Africa. They outline the current status of nuclear deployment in Africa, explore the challenges that remain, and summarize new ways to move forward. Download the full report here.

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How Not to Save Nuclear

Emergency Bailouts Aren’t Climate Policy

Nuclear closures are dramatic affairs. The past week has been a tragedy for FirstEnergy. It announced the planned retirement of three of its nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its subsidiaries, and requested an unlikely emergency subsidy — putting the fate of its nuclear plants in the hands of the federal government. The maelstrom of uncertainty surrounding FirstEnergy illustrates the challenges facing American nuclear as a whole. Nuclear is politically unpopular and economically undercut by natural gas; at least a dozen nuclear plants across the country are scheduled for retirement in the next ten years.

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Where Does Decarbonization Come From?

Nuclear, Hydro, and Economic Growth

We know the world is not decarbonizing fast enough to reach global climate targets. But it turns out that no single country, anywhere, ever, has even achieved emissions progress of the scale needed.

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Last Plant Standing

Is Southern Company's Innovation Strategy Enough to Save Nuclear Energy?

Last week, Southern Company announced that it would continue its project to build two AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. The decision, which still awaits approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission, could leave Vogtle as the only commercial nuclear power plant under construction in North America. So it’s important to understand why Vogtle is moving forward while many other nuclear projects around the country have been canceled.

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Nuclear

Nuclear energy is an essential source of zero-carbon, efficient, and reliable power that also does not heavily intrude upon the land. But for nuclear to rapidly displace dirty fossil fuels, it must become safer and cheaper. Given their growing populations, industrializing countries like China and India are leading the development and deployment of advanced nuclear technologies. Click here for Breakthrough's FAQ on nuclear.

PUBLICATIONS
 

 


ANALYSIS AND OPINION
 

FAQ on Nuclear

Cost of German Solar Is Four Times Finnish Nuclear

Nuclear and Gas Account for Most Carbon Displacement Since 1950

Subsidies for Solar Two Times Higher Than for Nuclear in California


BREAKTHROUGH IN THE NEWS
 


Robert Bryce, "A Nuclear Option for Energy," May 9, 2014


Ben Geman, "Greens Still See Red On Nuclear," February 2, 2014


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Can Climate Skeptics Save the Planet?" September 27, 2013


Editorial Board, "Don't Give Up on Nuclear Energy Yet," September 5, 2013


Ashutosh Jogalekar, "Nuclear vs. Renewables: A Tale of Disparaties," August 22, 2013


Bob Dreyfuss, "The IPCC Report and Nuclear Energy," August 21, 2013


Eduardo Porter, "Coming Full Circle in Energy, to Nuclear," August 20, 2013


Bryan Walsh, "New Nuclear Reactor Designs Could Address Safety and Cost Concerns," August 5, 2013


Mark Halper, "Newfangled reactors will slash costs of nuclear power," July 16, 2013


Eliza Strickland, "Can Nuclear Reactors Be Cheap?" July 12, 2013


Fred Pearce, "New Green Vision: Technology As Our Planet's Last Best Hope," July 15, 2013


Bryan Walsh, "Nuclear Energy is Largely Safe. But Can It Be Cheap?" July 8, 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Going Green? Then Go Nuclear," May 22, 2013


Joe Garofoli, "Some Environmentalists Back Nuclear Power," June 13, 2013


Robert Bryce, "Rise of the Nuclear Greens," March 7, 2013


Colbert Report, "Tonight's guest: Michael Shellenberger explores global energy consumption, nuclear power and lessons from Frankenstein," January 28, 2013


Tim Wu, "If You Care About the Environment You Should Support Nuclear Power," January 24, 2013