Nuclear Policy

IPS Associate Fellow Bob Alvarez leads this project focused on nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies

Reducing the Risks

The nuclear crisis in Japan has raised alarming questions about the safety of nuclear power plants in our own backyard. There’s good reason for all of us to be worried.

According to a new analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Project On Government Oversight, our nation’s stockpile of radioactive spent fuel is stored in such unsafe conditions that the lives of millions of people who live near nuclear reactors in this country are at risk.

Find out more in our report and fact sheet.

Check your own risk of radiation from a nuclear fuel pool accident with Physicians for Social Responsibility’s interactive online map.

View Robert Alvarez’s public education efforts post-Fukushima.

Take Action! Contact your member of Congress and urge them to secure spent nuclear fuel.

Latest Work

Alice and George

How a brilliant epidemiologist kept herself honest with the help of a gifted mathematician.

The Medic

The trials of an Army medic — and lessons for the years to come.

Coal and Water

A clash between ranchers, farmers, and pipeline executives in an arid corner of South Dakota.

Beyond the Headlights

The tangled politics of protecting the water rights of Indigenous communities.

Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang

A movement-building effort to get justice for victims of the nuclear arms race.


A decades-long effort to clean up one of the most profoundly contaminated nuclear “sacrifice zones” on the planet.

New Research Vindicates Scientist Attacked by Pork Industry Over Environmental Racism Charges

Corporate industrial livestock operations pose serious health threats to nearby residents, who are often low-income people of color.

Government Secrecy Is More Damaging to Public Health Than Nuclear Fallout

When it comes to nuclear weapons and energy programs, governments have been willing to send their people into harm’s way with impunity.

North Korea, One More Time

The second Trump-Kim summit was a failure, quickly leading to North Korea resuming missile testing. But they aren’t the only ones with nuclear ambitions.

Rebranding the Nuclear Weapons Complex Won’t Reform It

The latest effort examine and reform the U.S. nuclear weapons complex is being dominated by the interests of weapons contractors.

The Storage and Disposal Challenges of High Burnup Spent Power Reactor Fuel

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has bowed to the wishes of nuclear reactor operators, motivated more by economics than safe spent nuclear fuel storage and disposal.

The West Lake Landfill: A Radioactive Legacy of the Nuclear Arms Race

The wastes in this disposal site come from the dawn of the nuclear age. It is a danger to workers and the surrounding community and should be removed and isolated.

Minding the Nuclear Fault Line

The federal government should transfer the spent nuclear fuel held at a shuttered nuclear power plant in Southern California before the next earthquake strikes.

Report: Reducing the Hazards of High-Level Radioactive Waste in Southern California

A new IPS report addresses the potential risks of spent nuclear fuel storage at the San Onofre Nuclear Station (SONGS).

America’s Own Loose Nukes

The government can’t simply bury its uranium-233 problem.

Managing the Uranium-233 Stockpile of the United States

A shocking IPS report about the U.S. government’s mismanagement of a dangerous bomb-grade nuclear material that they now want to bury straight into the ground.

Nuclear Tuna and NPR’s Trivialization

NPR shouldn’t trivialize the risk of radioactive tuna from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Line-by-line Analysis of National Defense Authorization Act, Nuclear Provisions

A detailed analysis of the actions and impact of sections relating to nuclear weapons in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013.

Why Fukushima Is a Greater Disaster than Chernobyl and a Warning Sign for the U.S.

The radioactive inventory of all the irradiated nuclear fuel stored in spent fuel pools at Fukushima is far greater and even more problematic than the molten cores.

Two Years After IPS Study, Department of Energy Moves to Dispose Plutonium

More than 12.7 metric tons of plutonium that were previously declared “already disposed” will be discarded in a deep geological site away from humans.