Environment & Climate Change

9 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

With Growth of Coal Power Plants, Vietnam's Future Is Grim

| January 12, 2017

On January 12, 2017, the academic journal Environmental Science & Technology published a study by researchers from Harvard University, Greenpeace, and the University of Colorado Boulder titled “Burden of Disease from Rising Coal-Fired Power Plant Emissions in Southeast Asia.” Based on official data on the future installation of coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia and atmospheric transport modelling, the research group presented a grim picture of regional air pollution due to emissions from these plants.

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Experts on Nuclear Power and Climate Change

| December 17, 2015

"Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed at the global climate change conference in Paris that China pledged to achieve peak carbon dioxide emissions by around 2030, and to get around 20 percent of its primary energy from non-fossil sources by 2030. In 2014, China’s non-fossil energy consumption accounted for 11.2 percent of total energy use—hydro power was 8 percent, nuclear power was about 1 percent, and non-hydro renewable energy was around 2 percent—which is very close to the target of 11.4 percent set for 2015. Still, coal supplied the majority (66 percent) of China's total energy consumption in 2014, and oil accounted for about 18 percent of the energy mix. Natural gas, at 5 percent, still accounted for a relatively small share. To double the share of non-fossil sources by 2030, what role can nuclear power play?"

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

The Plutonium Mountain Mission: Lessons

| Sep. 27, 2013

In Summer of 2013, The Project on Managing the Atom released “Plutonium Mountain: Inside the 17-Year Mission to Secure a Dangerous Legacy of Soviet Nuclear Testing.” In the report, Eben Harrell and David Hoffman tell how dedicated scientists and engineers in three countries overcame suspicions, secrecy, bureaucracy, and logistical obstacles to secure more than a dozen bombs worth of plutonium that had been left behind at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although the outline of the Semipalatinsk operation had been made public before, the report filled in new details.

Policy Brief - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

Research, Development, and Demonstration for the Future of Nuclear Energy

| June 2011

Dramatic growth in nuclear energy would be required for nuclear power to provide a significant part of the carbon-free energy the world is likely to need in the 21st century, or a major part in meeting other energy challenges. This would require increased support from governments, utilities, and publics around the world. Achieving that support is likely to require improved economics and major progress toward resolving issues of nuclear safety, proliferation-resistance, and nuclear waste management. This is likely to require both research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of improved technologies and new policy approaches.

Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is pictured before helicopters dump water on the stricken reactor to cool overheated fuel rods inside the core Thursday morning, March 17, 2011.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Preventing the Next Fukushima

| May 26, 2011

This week, when the leaders of the G8 industrial democracies gather in France, their meeting will include discussions of what steps must be taken to strengthen global nuclear safety and global nuclear security  in the aftermath of the tragedy at Fukushima. The Belfer Center's Matthew Bunn and Olli Heinonen suggest new actions the world community should take in five key areas in order to prevent another Fukushima.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant's Unit 1 is seen after an explosion in Okumamachi, Japan, Saturday, March 12, 2011.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Christian Science Monitor

Japan's Nuclear Crisis: 6 Reasons Why We Should—and Shouldn't—Worry

| March 15, 2011

"Security, by contrast, is something most people in the nuclear industry might get a half-hour briefing on once a year. If you have intelligent adversaries, it wouldn't be a surprise to have the main power for the cooling and the backup power both fail — the adversaries would plan to make sure that happened. This transforms all the probabilities we rely on for safety. The global nuclear safety regime needs strengthening — but it is far stronger than the global nuclear security regime. And that applies to theft of nuclear material as well as sabotage of facilities."

The construction site at Finland's Olkiluoto 3 reactor

AFP/Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

A Nuclear Revival Needs New Cooperation

| September/October 2008

In an Op-Ed in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Matthew Bunn and Martin B. Malin argue that a reinvigorated IAEA and new approaches to cooperation on nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation are required for nuclear energy to make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change without creating undue risks.