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Russia’s Nuclear Renaissance
As a global debate rages over nuclear power's future as a safe and clean energy source, Russia is aggressively pursuing nuclear expansion at home and abroad.
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Launched September 3, 2012
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster many Western countries have gotten cold feet when it comes to nuclear energy. Germany will shutter all its plants by 2022 and America’s much-awaited nuclear resurgence is floundering. But as the debate rages over nuclear power's future as a clean energy source one country—Russia—is aggressively pursuing a nuclear expansion plan at home and abroad.
“Nuclear energy is on the rise. There's a rebirth, a renaissance of the nuclear sphere taking place right now,” claimed Vladimir Putin at the ribbon-cutting launch of a new Russian reactor in December 2011. The newly re-elected president’s energy agenda is in full swing. The Russians say that by 2030 they will build 38 reactors at home and 28 overseas, part of a plan to triple sales worldwide.
Those aims could easily become a reality. In Europe, coal-fired power stations are becoming less politically viable; in Asia, a population boom and rise in living standards have vastly increased energy demands. Claiming the Chernobyl tragedy has provided special insights into safety, the Russians have been pursuing construction deals in countries from Venezuela to Britain, and have sealed deals with countries like Ukraine, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Turkey. This project explores why so many countries are choosing Russian technology and what this could mean as we balance energy needs with global geopolitical and safety concerns.
Grantee
Eve Conant is a writer based in Washington, D.C. A former staff correspondent for Newsweek, she has also written features for magazines including The New York Times Magazine, ...
Region
Eurasia
Country
Russia
Topics
Economy, Politics
Subjects
The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Modern Day Conflicts
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October 4, 2012 / Untold Stories
Russia’s Booming Nuclear Industry
EVE CONANT
Boasting of new technology that would prevent another Chernobyl, Russia wants to double its domestic nuclear energy output and triple the sales of its reactors worldwide.
September 26, 2012 / Untold Stories
Russia’s New Nuclear Family
EVE CONANT
Obninsk, once one of Stalin's secret cities devoted to atomic bomb development, has become a go-to hub for nuclear research and training. Demand for Russian nuclear technology is on the rise.
September 18, 2012 / Scientific American
To Catch a Falling Core: Lessons of Chernobyl for Russian Nuclear Industry
EVE CONANT
Chernobyl is a PR headache for Russia's nuclear industry, but a new generation is looking at the bright side of the nuclear disaster.
September 14, 2012
Nuclear “Newcomers” Come to Russia
EVE CONANT
Reporter Eve Conant visits the once-secret city of Obninsk, outside Moscow, where Russia is educating “nuclear newcomers” from Belarus, Turkey, Vietnam, Bangladesh and other countries.
September 8, 2012 / Scientific American
Breaking the Arctic Ice: Russia's Nuclear Tool
EVE CONANT
Russia’s rapidly expanding nuclear industry has set it sights on the freezing waters of the Arctic basin, with an ambitious goal to build the world’s largest “universal” nuclear icebreaker.
September 3, 2012 / Untold Stories
Russia's Nuclear Salesmanship
EVE CONANT
Russia’s nuclear industry is expanding quickly. Energy-hungry countries put aside concerns over Chernobyl and Fukushima as they seek to join the nuclear club.
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JOSEPH PULITZER III (1913-1993)
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