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A team of researchers with the Chinese Academy of Sciences has carried out an assessment of possible safety issues tied to the rise of the second nuclear era. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the factors that led to the rise of a second nuclear era and possible safety concerns that need to be addressed.
With the advent of the nuclear science that led to the atom bomb, there also came the development and construction of nuclear power plants. This period is described by the researchers as the first nuclear era—and the major players were mostly highly developed countries such as the U.S., Japan, France, Germany and the U.K. They note that initially, hopes were high in such countries that nuclear power would solve the looming energy crisis. But then accidents happened: TMI, Chernobyl, Fukushima. This led to the deceleration of new installations and plans to get rid of some or all of the plants that were already built—and to focus instead on safer power sources such as solar and hydro. But now, the researchers claim, a new nuclear era has begun—this time, driven by less-developed countries such as India...
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