“Serious pollution problems mean that those developing countries cannot produce all that electricity by burning coal,” says Amir Adnani, CEO of Uranium Energy Corporation, a uranium mining company. “The plans to develop nuclear power in China and other countries are very much driven by a set of realities that is very different and very acute. People are dying every year in China, literally choking to death, because of all the toxins that are being put into the environment by burning coal.”
China now has 17 nuclear plants in operation and another 29 underway. India has 20 plants running and seven more being built. And the Russian Federation operates 33 and has another 11 in the works. So while it might be premature to call it a “nuclear renaissance,” much of the world doesn’t seem too worried about what happened at Fukushima. Indeed, nuclear power looks like it could be around for a long time.
According to MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, the real impact of Fukushima has been to remind us all to take safety much more seriously: “While the international nuclear industry appears so far to have dodged being hit square in the head by a bullet from Fukushima, it should not expect that it will get another chance if there is another serious nuclear accident anywhere in the world.”
CONTACTS: Casey Research, www.caseyresearch.com; MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, http://web.mit.edu/ceepr/www.
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