Insight and investigations from our expert reporters
Nuclear power in scary places
Andrew Neff of IHS Global Insight sums up the issue in this section:
If in a modern, stable democracy, there could be apparently lax regulatory oversight, failure of infrastructure, and a slow response to a crisis from authorities, then it begs the question of how others would handle a similar situation.
“If Japan can’t cope with the implications of a disaster like this,” said Andrew Neff, a senior energy analyst at economic analysis and market intelligence group IHS Global Insight, “then in some ways I think it’s a legitimate exercise to question whether other less-developed countries could cope.”
The nuclear power industry is booming, with countries like China, Russia and India leading the way in building new plants, as this graphic shows:
Of course, Three Mile Island and Fukishima show that having a developed economy and democracy is no guarantee of safety in the nuclear field, but the prospect of nuclear technology in the hands of corrupt or authoritarian governments has some experts worried.