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

Improving Spent-Fuel Storage at Nuclear Reactors

Storing spent radioactive fuel in dry form rather than in increasingly jammed cooling pools is much safer, and can be done with already available funds.

No Nuclear Nirvana on the Horizon

Nearly a year after the Fukushima disaster and more than three decades after the Three Mile Island accident, nuclear power remains expensive, dangerous, and too radioactive for Wall Street.

The Sick Man of North America

My modestly priced new ebook covers the worsening health of U.S. foreign policy and the efforts to revive the patient.

The Human Face of the Nuclear Arms Race

The pernicious quest for nuclear arms all in the name of a “greater good” – has tens of thousands of human faces, who paid a bitter price, which we should not forget.

[VIDEO] A Former Insider’s View of Nuclear Safety

In this interview with LinkTV’s Miles Benson, we discuss where the nuclear industry falls short, and why more people should be concerned.

Quake Should be a Wake-up Call

Last month’s earthquake constituted twice the ground motion that the reactors were designed to withstand. But the nuclear industry continues to delay and stonewall recommendations for safer storage.

Obama’s Commission on America’s Nuclear Future Endorses IPS Study

President Obama’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future cites an IPS paper as a reason for endorsing measures to increase spent reactor fuel storage in hardened, dry containers.

Dangerous Nuclear Spent Fuel Pool Near Epicenter of East Coast Earthquake

An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale just occurred less than a hour ago. Its epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, approximately 10 miles from two nuclear power reactors at the North Anna site. According to statement by a representative of Dominion Power the two reactors were designed to withstand a 5.9 to 6.1 quake.

Fixing America’s Nuclear Waste Storage Problem

The corporations that own the nation’s nuclear reactors are stuffing about four times more spent fuel into storage pools than the pools were designed to accommodate. Here’s what we can do to fix this dangerous problem.

Democracy Now!: Nuclear Dangers in Fukushima and the U.S.

Japan admits 3 nuclear meltdowns as more radiation leaked into sea. Meanwhile, U.S. nuclear waste poses deadly risks.

Politics Has Always Outranked Science at Yucca Mountain

Politics drove this mistaken plan from its inception.

America’s Nuclear Spent-Fuel Time Bombs

Japan’s nuclear disaster should serve as a wake-up call for the United States.

Spent Nuclear Fuel Pools in the U.S.: Reducing the Deadly Risks of Storage

The price of fixing America’s nuclear vulnerabilities may be high, but the price of doing too little is incalculable.

Japan’s Nuclear Catastrophe Leaves Little to Celebrate on Children’s Day

A recent government decision callously put thousands of kids in harm’s way.

The FDA and the Fukushima Fallout

The FDA is disingenuous in its attempt to compare the radiation from a major nuclear accident to radiation exposures in everyday life.

Nuclear Generations

Obama’s preparing for many generations of nukes.

US Spent Nuclear Fuel Largest Concentration Of Radioactivity On Planet

In this interview by Daphne Wysham on the Real News Network, Bob Alvarez talks about the 71,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel that are not properly protected in the U.S.

Conversations with Great Minds and the Weekly Rumble

In The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, the host discusses the latest developments at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant with Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Unsafe at Any Reactor

U.S. nuclear plants are storing increasing amounts of highly radioactive spent fuel in pools that are vulnerable to accident or attack. New safety policies are needed.

Safeguarding Spent Fuel Pools in the United States

A drained spent fuel pool in the U.S. could lead to a catastrophic fire that would result in long-term land contamination substantially worse than what the Chernobyl accident unleashed.