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Monday, July 8, 2013

Nuclear Power: Fading Away Or Powering Up?

Steam billows from two active cooling towers of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown, Pa., Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005. (AP)

Steam billows from two active cooling towers of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Middletown, Pa., in 2005. (AP)

After the disaster in the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, many nations shelved their plans for increasing nuclear power generation.

But with growing concerns about global warming, some nations are now giving nuclear a second look.

One of the largest construction projects in the U.S. is just outside Augusta, Georgia. Two giant nuclear power plants are being built at a cost of about $14 billion.

Those two reactors are going up at the same time that two nuclear power stations in Southern California are being shut down permanently.

So what’s going on with nuclear energy? Richard Lester, head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, says the answer isn’t clear.

However, “without an expanded commitment to nuclear energy, our chances of avoiding some of the most serious consequences of climate change are going to be much reduced,” he said.

Guest:

  • Richard Lester, head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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