Chernobyl and Its Aftermath: A Chronology of Events

CSIS
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About the author

Robert E. Ebel is director of the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS.
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Additional Information

Publisher
CSIS
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Published on
Dec 31, 1994
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Pages
43
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ISBN
9780892063024
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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 Will Americans once again play nuclear roulette?

Just one year after the Fukushima meltdown, all 54 reactors in Japan have been closed, and may never be restarted. Germany recently closed several reactors, and will shutter them all within a decade. Italy revoked its pledge to build new reactors, keeping that nation nuclear-free. All these decisions are based on the understanding that reactors are extremely dangerous and expensive.

In the U.S., the remnants of the once-overwhelmingly powerful nuclear lobby are making their last stand for “clean” nuclear energy. The sixty-year-old vision of power “too cheap to meter” (words originally uttered by a banker promoting the industry) is back. While other countries end their reliance on nuclear energy, Americans contemplate its revival, even as existing reactors, which produce a fifth of U.S. electricity, pass retirement age and are corroding.

In Mad Science, Joseph Mangano strips away the near-smothering layers of distortions and outright lies that permeate the massive propaganda campaigns on behalf of nuclear energy. He explores the history of the industry, with its origins in the Manhattan Project, through its heightening promotion during the Cold War and its entwinement with nuclear weapons.

Mad Science includes an account of nuclear accidents and meltdowns and their consequences, from Chernobyl to Santa Susana and beyond; as well as a point-by-point refutation of pro-nuke arguments. Atomic energy is unsafe – it deals with staggeringly poisonous substances at every stage of its creation – un-economical in the extreme and impractical.

Relations between the United States and Iran in recent months have been defined by Iranian intransigence and U.S. stubbornness, all because Iran has continued to insist its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes whereas the United States and allied countries remain convinced the real purpose is to produce a nuclear weapon. This report tracks the almost daily development of this issue, thus allowing the reader to arrive at his own conclusion, which in turn may change over time.The author poses the question: Do sanctions work? Iran has been variously sanctioned since 1987, and efforts are now underway to secure more punishing sanctions through the good offices of the UN Security Council. These new sanctions, if agreed to, would strike at Irans dependence on gasoline imports and at the expanding economic and nuclear influence of the Islamic Republican Guard Corps. The author in effect answers his own question by offering a quote from the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Agency who thanked Americans for sanctions because they have united his country.Although the report centers on the Iranian nuclear program, crude oil and natural gas still matter. Iran holds tremendous reserves of both fuels, but development sharply lags because of lack of investment. Iran exports relatively large volumes of crude oil but little natural gas. Export pipelines are lacking. Grandiose plans have been laid out for new pipelines, but the availability of natural gas to fill these proposed lines is questionable. The author concludes with an epilogue, serving to bring the reader up to date and offering a view of Irans future.
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