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Nuclear Energy
Nuclear energy

Misfortunes come on horseback, and go away on foot.

French proverb

The catastrophic tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeast coast on March 11, 2011, left in its wake a disastrous succession of unprecedented emergency equipment failures, several reactor meltdowns, and significant radioactive emissions. It also devastated far more than the Fukushima Daiichi commercial nuclear facility. It may have shattered the American nuclear industry’s cherished vision of a “nuclear renaissance.” The Japanese disaster became the latest episode in the contentious development of the American commercial nuclear power industry, another chapter in the crisis-driven history of the domestic nuclear power policy.

A Rising and Fading “Renaissance”

After decades of economic stagnation, the domestic nuclear power industry seemed in 2010 about to revive. In 2000, statistics about commercial ...

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