Nuclear Issues

454 Items

Hassan Rouhani

Iranian Presidency Office via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy in Focus

Return to the Iran Nuclear Deal Before Talks on Other Issues

  • Manon Dark
| Mar. 24, 2021

Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow Abolghasem Bayyenat addresses the following questions in a Foreign Policy in Focus interview: How Iran and the United States should go about reviving the nuclear agreement and what realistic strategy the Biden administration should adopt toward nuclear talks with Iran.

teaser image

Analysis & Opinions - International Panel on Fissile Materials

China starts construction of a second 200 MT/year reprocessing plant

| Mar. 21, 2021

Commercial bidding and purchase documents and other accounts suggest China is likely to start construction of a second spent fuel reprocessing plant of the same capacity and at the same site as its first such plant, the CNNC Gansu Nuclear Technology Industrial Park in Jinta, Gansu province.

A monument in front of reactor 4 at Chernobyl.

Adam Jones/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Chernobyl: A Nuclear Accident That Changed the Course of History. Then Came Fukushima.

| Mar. 11, 2021

Chernobyl still stands for the world’s worst nuclear accident. The full impact of a nuclear disaster on this scale is difficult to compute, not least because the effects that count most are often those that are most difficult to count. Beyond the number of lives lost and people displaced, beyond the money spent on accident mitigation and remediation, there are long-term health, environmental, social, economic, and political consequences that defy quantification. Thirty-five years on, we are still grappling with the full extent of Chernobyl’s impact on the world. Yet in a very real sense, we live in a world shaped by Chernobyl.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex prior to the March 11, 2011 tsunami.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Asking the Unasked Questions

| Mar. 11, 2021

Ten years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the suffering of many tens of thousands of people lingers—as does the slowdown in global nuclear energy growth that followed the meltdowns. The broad impact of the disaster prompts us to ask not only how it happened, but how the world community can best prevent such disasters in the future.

Cranes near Reactor Unit 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in October 2011.

IAEA Imagebank/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Highly Enriched Shareholders Mean Disasters Down the Line: Why Utilities Like TEPCO Need New Corporate Governance

| Mar. 11, 2021

Ten years on, the lessons learned from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident continue to focus on improving safety culture and regulatory oversight. However, the executive decisions that failed to prevent the disaster also demonstrate the necessity to re-examine the legal entities most often relied on for producing nuclear power: corporations.

Recovery work is performed on Unit 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in April 2013.

IAEA Imagebank/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Nuclear Safety and Security Lessons from Chernobyl and Fukushima

| Mar. 11, 2021
  1. We must learn from and remember the lessons of the past—while recognizing that Fukushima is not going to “happen again” as future accidents will have their own characteristics; while remembering the past, we must also avail ourselves of advances in seismology, climatology, engineering, etc.

Damage at Fukushima Daiichi in the days after the March 2011 tsunami.


Analysis & Opinions - Inkstick

Accidents, Paradoxes and the Epistemic Future of Nuclear Policy

| Mar. 11, 2021

When accidents, particularly nuclear accidents, occur, there is a desire, even an imperative almost, to identify the ‘root causes’ of that particular accident. This is not entirely surprising because such accidents cause existential crises sector-wide or industry-wide that reflect the desire to never repeat the mistakes that led to such a severe outcome. However, identifying the root causes of an accident is seldom possible. The causes of an accident are typically large in number and complex in relationship to each other.

Barakah nuclear power plant under construction in the United Arab Emirates in 2017.


Analysis & Opinions - Nature

Nuclear Energy, Ten Years After Fukushima

| Mar. 05, 2021

Ten years have passed since a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, triggering the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

The accident struck at a time of renewed hope and untested optimism surrounding a new wave of nuclear-energy technologies and the part they might play in achieving a low-carbon future. It led to retrenchment, amid fresh concerns over the technological, institutional and cultural vulnerabilities of nuclear infrastructures, and the fallibility of humans in designing, managing and operating such complex systems.

A decade after the disaster, these serious questions linger, even as the climate crisis grows nearer.

Demonstration reprocessing and mixed-oxide facilities under construction in Gansu Province, China. Satellite image from August 29, 2019.

Maxar Technologies/Google Earth

Report Chapter - Nonproliferation Policy Education Center

China’s Uranium Enrichment and Plutonium Recycling 2020-2040: Current Practices and Projected Capacities

| March 2021

Since 2010, China has significantly expanded its indigenous enrichment capacity to meet the expected rapid increase of enrichment requirements. Meanwhile, China has expanded its plutonium reprocessing and recycling capabilities for “saving uranium.” The purpose of this report is to provide a better understanding of the development of China’s uranium enrichment and plutonium recycling programs.

Missile Launch

Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Sepahnews via AP, File

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How to Make the Iranian Nuclear Deal Durable

| Feb. 28, 2021

Abolghasem Bayyenat and Sayed Hossein Mousavian advise the United States and Iran to aim for reaching a modus vivendi that keeps their political conflict within manageable limits. Otherwise, another round of dangerous mutual escalation in the illusory hope of building leverage and extracting more concessions from each other is inevitable.