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Page added on February 27, 2007

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Nuclear Energy for the Developing World

This new context of markedly cheaper, more easily constructed reactors clearly has the potential to invalidate some long-cherished assumptions–and not just those of antinuclear Western environmentalists, whose claims were that nuclear power would always remain dependent on government subsidies. It’s in this context, for instance, that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deputy-director general Tomihiro Taniguchi recently reported that six Middle Eastern countries–Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Tunisia–have expressed interest in building nuclear plants. Egypt, in particular, has specific plans for four reactors and has been checking out the options.

Much of the materials and knowledge employed in a civilian nuclear program can be used to develop nuclear weapons. What should an international policy to resist nuclear-weapons proliferation look like in a 21st century in which climate change, depletion of fossil fuels, and radically simpler, cheaper nuclear-reactor designs will be prominent features of the landscape?
Technology Review

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