A new paper from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Game Changers for Nuclear Energy, considers different scenarios for nuclear power that take into account a wide range of factors such as new technologies, accidents, nuclear terrorism, and climate change policy.  The Academy previously published papers on The Global Nuclear Future in two-volumes of its quarterly journal, Dædalus, in 2009-10.  The newest paper on "game changers" takes into account developments since then and changing perceptions of nuclear power, including the recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.

As the paper's authors point out, "The public perception of nuclear power has changed and continues to change. Once viewed as a miracle of modern technology, nuclear power came to be perceived by many as a potential catastrophe; now it is viewed as a potential, albeit potentially still dangerous, source of green power."  This evolving interaction between public perception and energy policies is just one of the potential game changers discussed in the new paper.

The paper was authored by Kate Marvel and Michael May.  Marvel is the William J. Perry Fellow in Science and International Security at CISAC.  May is Professor Emeritus (Research) in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, where he is also a Senior Fellow with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.  They predict that over the next 50 years, growth of nuclear power "will be very strong in China and India, significant in Japan, South Korea, and Russia, and sluggish in the United States and Western Europe."

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems.  Its 4,600 elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.

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