The next atomic age

a new wave of nuclear power plant projects must overcome gaps in talent, the supply chain and public support

It's been five years since tsunami waves triggered a meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant. After radiation leaks forced 300,000 residents to evacuate their homes, the country chose to shutter all 43 of its nuclear reactors indefinitely -- sparking a global debate over the future of nuclear power. When the government began restarting reactors in August, it became clear the debate was far from over. Demonstrators were quick to swarm each site, protesting the reactors' perceived health and safety risks. Yet despite its tepid public reception, many governments see nuclear energy as an important source of emission-free power. From China and India to France and the U.K., countries are investing in new nuclear construction to help reduce their reliance on carbon-based fuels. With 67 new nuclear reactors under construction in 15 countries, global nuclear capacity is expected to more than double by 2030, according to the International Atomic Energy Association. And by 2040, the number of countries that ha
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