The disaster at Fukushima Daiichi plant earlier this year has thrown the nuclear power sector into a phase of insecurity, with much debate arising over the safety of nuclear reactors and their future use. With public opposition has growing around the world, many governments have started to reconsider their nuclear strategies.

However, with pollution from fossil fuel based generation becoming an ever more pressing issue and renewable technologies not yet in a mature enough state to carry the bulk of the growing global energy demand, many argue that nuclear power will be needed as a reliable source to meet the growing electricity demand worldwide.

In this month’s issue we take a look at the nuclear power industry as it recovers from crisis. We look back on the fallout from the Japan disaster and investigate what can be done to make future nuclear reactors safer.

We also check in on the progress of the ITER project, which could bring about the age of thermonuclear fusion, and look at new nuclear plants currently under construction.

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Fukushima and the Aftermath

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We speak to industry experts about the accident at Japan’s Fukushima plant, TEPCO’s failure to handle the crisis, and the future of nuclear energy.

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In Search of Perfect Harmony

As governments and utilities are looking at ways to make the development of nuclear power safer and more cost-effective, we find out from the World Nuclear Association how reactor design harmonisation can contribute to this process and what the organisation is doing to help.

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Fiction or Fusion?

Already costing twice its original €10bn budget, the ITER thermonuclear reactor being built in France to produce energy through fusion is a mammoth scientific and technological gamble. Its value, however, could extent well into the future, as the project’s director general Osamu Motojima explains.

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Keeping up the Workforce

Educators and the power industry are attempting to reverse a growing nuclear skills shortage. We talk to experts at the University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute about training a new generation to fuel the nuclear renaissance.

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Powered Down

Not an easy undertaking, the decommissioning of a nuclear plant must be done in stages and with great care. We chronicle the death of a nuclear plant and examine some of the option, and costs, involved in turning off the power.

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Industry Projects

Bushehr Nuclear Plant – A controversial and troubled project for 35 years, Iran’s first nuclear power plant is due to become fully operational later this year.

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Bruce Power Generating Station – The second largest nuclear power plant in the world, Canada’s Bruce station is undergoing major upgrades and refurbishment.

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Flamanville Nuclear Plant – The world’s largest European Pressurised Reactor at the Flamanville plant in France is expected to become operational next year.

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Next Issue: Wind Power Comes of Age

Investment and technological progress have elevated confidence in wind power as a realistic alternative to fossil fuels. Next month we investigate what challenges remain before the true potential of wind energy can be unlocked.

While the newest generation of offshore turbines leap to 7MW, advances in wind technology are also opening up new areas for generation and driving interest towards onshore locations. We explore promising developments such as dual wind natural gas production and also take a look at gearless technology, which is gaining ground among wind turbine manufacturers.

We also profile market trends in emerging nations such as Brazil, Egypt, and South Africa, where wind power is seeing high investment as a potential solution to surging power needs.

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