One year after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Japan is facing a dilemma of how to clean up the disaster and how to meet current and future energy needs, says expert Charles D. Ferguson, even as the global nuclear industry continues to face the accident's aftershocks.
Despite turbulence in financial markets, Japan's multiple disasters will likely not have a major global economic impact, and reconstruction will provide a boost to the Japanese economy in the long term, says CFR's Sebastian Mallaby.
An extraordinary series of events has caused Japan’s nuclear crisis but it appears backup safety systems were flawed, says nuclear expert Charles Ferguson. He expects the disaster to slow some nuclear projects elsewhere but not cause a wholesale stoppage.
Pakistan's floods spell setbacks for the U.S. fight against extremism and its war effort in Afghanistan, says CFR's Daniel Markey. He says beyond humanitarian aid relief, Washington must focus on boosting Pakistan's economy through greater trade opportunities.
Richard C. Holbrooke interviewed by Jayshree Bajoria
The international response to Pakistan's flood disaster has been inadequate so far, says Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special representative to the country. He says Washington is contacting international governments and is sending more aid, including helicopters to assist in relief efforts.
In the wake of the Gulf spill, the United States should craft regional pacts with its neighbors to address pollution and liability issues arising from ever deeper oil and gas exploration, says expert Caitlyn Antrim.
The Obama administration has overreacted to the Gulf oil spill by suspending most new offshore drilling and moving to expand liabilities for future accidents, with implications for U.S. energy security, says Jack Coleman, an energy industry official and legal expert.
"What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I've witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it."
"New research suggests that space rocks as large as the one that fell over Chelyabinsk -- about 19 meters (62 feet) across -- are three to five times more numerous than scientists had realized. The study, led by Peter Brown at the University of Western Ontario, also found that larger and more dangerous ones are unexpectedly abundant. In other words, alien projectiles pose a serious threat. Is it a manageable one?"
Almost a year after the Fukushima disaster, fifty-two of Japan's fifty-four nuclear power plants have been shut down. The reactor explosion destroyed the population's trust in nuclear energy. But the atomic lobby--and the country's industrial needs--could block a possible phase-out, writes Wieland Wagner at Der Spiegel.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 caused the world's largest offshore oil spill. It has also led to a mammoth legal action, as tens of thousands of plaintiffs--and the US government--fight for compensation, writes Ed Crooks.
Before a historic earthquake-tsunami combination killed thousands and triggered a partial meltdown at one of its nuclear power plants, Japan won a reputation around the world for being extraordinarily prepared for disaster. In the aftermath of Fukushima Daiichi, Washington must now evaluate if the United States could do any better than – or even as well as – Japan in similar circumstance.
Tom Zeller Jr. explains the system of a Mark 1 nuclear reactor, like the one currently failing at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. He reveals that experts had long cautioned about the weak design of these reactors and predicted a possible nuclear disaster.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »