Chapter 7

Nuclear Energy

Abstract

Nuclear energy grew rapidly during the 1960–1975 period in countries such as France, the United States, and Norway. But nuclear energy ran into problems in the 1970s because of public concern over the radioactive waste it generates, and this concern suppressed the further expansion of nuclear power. The public perception had begun to change in recent years, as concern about atmospheric carbon dioxide levels led to a renewed interest in energy sources not reliant on hydrocarbons. But, in 2010, a tsunami in Japan led to an accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and the ensuing release of radioactive materials once again raised concerns about safety. At the same time, limited supplies of uranium have caused ...

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