Global Conference 2011
Nuclear Energy After Fukushima
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 / 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm
Not long ago, there was talk of a "nuclear renaissance." Even committed environmentalists were willing to consider nuclear as an alternative to coal. But in the wake of Japan's disaster, governments around the world are suddenly freezing or reviewing their plans. Public fears are running high, and Europe stands divided on the issue. After the Fukushima Daiichi incident, panicked Chinese citizens raced to buy iodized salt and went online to oppose the government's plans to build dozens of plants. But Turkey and Indonesia - both located in seismically active regions - are forging ahead. Do emerging nations have the experienced engineers and regulatory regimes in place to safely expand their nuclear capacities? Here in the United States, New York's governor favors closing the Indian Point plant, while the Energy Department has reaffirmed that its loan guarantee program will continue to finance nuclear projects. Many questions remain, including how to dispose of spent fuel, whether new standards are needed and whether some existing plants should be shut down. What's the future of nuclear energy after the tragedy in Japan?
Senior Fellow; Executive Director, Center for a Sustainable Energy Future, Milken Institute