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Nuclear power and energy security

April 2012

How does Japan’s nuclear disaster interconnect with wider global issues of energy security and environmental sustainability?

Nuclear power and energy security

With fossil fuels becoming more economically and environmentally costly, a worldwide ‘nuclear renaissance’ had, until recently, seemed certain. Since the tsunami struck Japan in March 2011, however, the risks nuclear power brings have been under greater scrutiny.

This article examines the nuclear disaster that struck Japan and the response of the Japanese government and citizens.

The wider, global response to the accident is also analysed, focusing on the mixed reaction of major nuclear power users that include Germany, China, France and the UK. With countries now re-assessing and in some cases even rejecting nuclear power as part of their long-term energy mix, we investigate whether low-carbon energy security can be achieved without it.

Can the world afford to retreat on the use of nuclear power and still have a chance of tackling major 21st century challenges such as climate change and poverty alleviation?


This resource will have particular appeal for GCSE and A-level candidates who are studying energy issues. The case study looks at how Japan’s nuclear disaster interconnects with wider global issues of energy security and environmental sustainability.

In the Members' Area:

  • Japan’s nuclear disaster
  • A global re-examination of the costs and benefits of nuclear power
  • References

Sign in to read the full article. If you are not already a member you can join us as a School Member or Young Geographer and access our vast library of educational articles.


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