December 12, 2016
This article originally appeared in World Politics Review on December 5, 2016.
In 2007, The Economist reported that “America’s nuclear industry is about to embark on its biggest expansion in more than a generation. This will influence energy policy in the rest of the world.” Safety, management and regulatory improvements, it predicted, would lead to an “atomic renaissance” for a nuclear energy industry hobbled for decades by the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
The nuclear industry itself anticipated that soaring electricity demand in fast-growing developing countries and rising concerns about climate change would drive countries to take a fresh look at an industry whose safety practices appeared to have improved considerably since the 1980s.