Issue 382 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

September 2005

Nuclear's second wind

With growing consensus about the dangers posed by climate change and the need to curb our emissions of greenhouse gases, an increasingly vocal assortment of environmental, scientific, government and industry evangelists are preaching the gospel of nuclear salvation. Almost 20 years on from the Chernobyl disaster, the nuclear industry now appears to be recovering from the fallout of negative public opinion and is increasingly being seen as a ‘green’ solution to the world’s intensifying energy demands. This issue of the *NI* seeks to unpack the arguments supporting a renewed interest in nuclear power and some of the enduring impacts of our quest to harness the power of the atom.


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In this issue

  • As we approach the 20-year anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl, Magnum photographer Paul Fusco meets the children born years later but still suffering from its terrible legacy.
  • Proponents of new fusion technology promise it will deliver clean and limitless power to the masses. Peter Montague is having a case of déjà-vu.
  • Recent scientific research suggests that higher cancer rates near nuclear power stations are a direct result of higher radiation exposure.
  • Nuclear is becoming cool again, thanks to concerns over global warming. Adam Ma'anit thinks it's all just a lot of hot air.
  • Sullen, unresponsive and boring he may be, but Than Shwe is Burma’s Number One, leader of one of the world’s most brutal regimes. The banality of evil has rarely been more apparent.
  • When Ukrainians celebrated New Year 2005 in Kiev in a delirious sea of orange and anthems of the revolution, the future looked bright. But divisions remain.