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

Analyzing the Department of Energy’s FY 2012 Budget

For a new energy future, the Department of Energy needs to be free of the shackles of nuclear weapons.

Food, Egypt, and Wall Street

As Egypt and the Middle East rise, Wall Street and congressional Republicans continue to ignore the financial reforms the world is demanding.

Recklessness with Nuclear Waste

Hanford remains one of the most contaminated zones in the western Hemisphere.

Time for Nuclear Savings Bonds?

The National Nuclear Security Agency within the Energy Department estimates it will need about $168 billion over 20 years to maintain the nuclear arsenal and refurbish the U.S. weapons complex.

Kyl’s Nuclear Non-Starter

Republicans see shelving New START as a serious foreign policy blow that will further weaken Obama’s presidency.

Nuclear Testing and the Rise of Thyroid Cancers

Drinking nuclear waste-contaminated milk most likely contributed to hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens developing thyroid cancer.

The Tritium Deficit

An expected tritium shortage may soon hamper the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Is Homer Simpson Working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory?

So much for the expertise of Los Alamos where billions of dollars are spent each year to better understand nuclear explosives.

Chernobyl: The Gift That Never Stops Giving

The threats to human health and the environment from Chernobyl fallout, scientists are now finding, will persist for a very long time.

Plutonium Wastes from the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex

This report estimates that from 1944 to 2009, about 12.7 metric tons of plutonium were discarded at U.S. nuclear weapon production facilities. This is more than three times than the U.S. Department of Energy’s last official estimate of waste losses made in 1996.

The Legacy of U.S. Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands

The people of the Marshall Islands had their homeland and health sacrificed for U.S. national security interests. The Obama administration and Congress should promptly correct this injustice.

Testimony: The Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Testing

Statement of senior scholar Robert Alvarez before the Subcommitee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, U.S. House of Representatives regarding the legacy of nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands.

A Primer on Nuclear Material

Robert Siegel gets a primer on nuclear material and storage from Robert Alvarez, who served as a senior policy adviser to the Secretary of Energy during the Clinton administration.

Advice for the Blue Ribbon Commission

Hopefully Obama’s new commission will motivate the country to finally deal with the toxic legacy of the nuclear age.

Flying and Excess Radiation

The doses of radiation experienced in everyday life, especially flying long distances in jet aircraft, pose risks we should carefully heed.

Nukes Aren’t the Answer

The Obama administration is making no moves to answer the call for a new energy future.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s FY 2011 Budget Request

A closer look at what Obama’s energy priorities really are for the next fiscal year.

Mandate for Change: Policies and Leadership for 2009 and Beyond

Mandate for Change offers a set of specific policy proposals for the incoming Obama administration on every major domestic and international topic, written specifically for the book by leading thinkers and activists in the field.

A New Energy Future Means a New Energy Department

Among Steven Chu’s most daunting challenges will be reforming the Energy Department itself.

Reprocessing Spent Nuclear Fuel Too Risky

Nuclear energy is not the right alternative for the United States.