Challenges to a nuclear renaissance

The fact that employment of nuclear energy has not been fully embraced points to unanswered questions and interrelated challenges in its implementation. For some, it is a question of feasibility. Can nuclear expansion occur quickly enough and on a scale commensurate with the need? For others it is a question of economics. Comparative to other energy supply options, is it worth the investment? Will future development have to rely on massive government subsidies? Others cite the continuing quest for an acceptable approach to management of long-lived wastes and uncertainty about risks to human health and the environment. Whether nuclear power is dangerous remains a question for many. The fears and insecurities generated by Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have only intensified post-9/11. The threat of terrorism and the nuclear weapons ambitions of certain states have led to speculation that the international regime may not be robust enough to counter the inherent proliferation risks.

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