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David Wright

About the author: David Wright is a physicist and the co-director of the Global Security Program. He is a nationally known expert on the technical aspects of missile defense systems, missile proliferation, and space weapons. See David's full bio.

New Book “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster” Released

This week we officially released our book Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster, published by New Press and co-authored by UCS nuclear experts Dave Lochbaum and Ed Lyman, and journalist Susan Q. Stranahan. Susan for many years was a journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer, and was the lead reporter of the Inquirer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. Read More

Categories: Nuclear Power  

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Climate Change and Nuclear Power

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently received by email an open letter by four nuclear scientists and engineers—Andrew C. Kadak, Richard A. Meserve, Neil E. Todreas, and Richard Wilson—titled “Nuclear Power’s Role in Responding to Climate Change.” Below we look at some of their arguments. Read More

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Ambassador Jonathan Dean: 1924-2014

The arms control community lost one of its true heroes recently with the passing of Ambassador Jonathan Dean. My colleagues and I at UCS remember him especially fondly. Read More

Categories: Nuclear Weapons  

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Senate Nuclear Waste Bill: No Near-Term Benefit for Public Safety

Third of 3 posts on spent fuel safety

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee is set to consider a waste management bill for nuclear power reactors—the Nuclear Waste Administration Act—in mid-December. The authors argue that their bill is urgently needed to protect the public since nuclear waste currently stored at reactor sites poses a safety risk that must be reduced now.

However, in its current form the legislation does not address the near-term risks of nuclear waste storage at reactor sites. It would therefore do nothing to increase public safety for the foreseeable future. Read More

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Nuclear Fuel and the Titanic Principle

This is the second of 3 posts on spent fuel safety

In my previous post I talked about how spent fuel is piling up in cooling pools at reactors across the country. Since 100 million Americans—a third of the U.S. population—live within 50 miles of a spent fuel pool, reducing the risks to those people should be a high priority. Read More

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Reducing Public Risks from Nuclear Reactor Waste

This is the first of 3 posts on spent fuel safety.

In case you don’t have enough to worry about, consider this: nuclear reactor waste is piling up at U.S. reactor sites.

Because the U.S. has not opened a repository to store reactor waste, the government has not fulfilled its promise to take spent fuel from nuclear plants and dispose of it. As a result, spent nuclear fuel has accumulated at the reactor sites, reaching a level of 70,000 metric tons today. And over 70% of that waste is stored in increasingly crowded cooling pools that were originally intended to hold much less fuel. Read More

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