Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right, listens to Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri during an army parade just outside Tehran, Iran, April 18, 2019 (Office of the Iranian Presidency photo via AP Images).
Exactly one year after the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, tensions between Washington and Tehran are escalating sharply amid confusion about what, exactly, the U.S. sees as its end goal. For Iran, uncertainty about what President Donald Trump wants to achieve and what he is prepared to do to get there presents a menu of risky choices. On Wednesday, Iran announced it was withdrawing from parts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, the initially seven-nation agreement struck in 2015 curbing Iran’s nuclear program that was central to former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. [...]
Construction work at the Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant, Fangchenggang city, China, May 23, 2018. China is increasingly viewed as a competitive threat to the Western nuclear energy industry. (ImagineChina photo by Hai Ou via AP Images)
China’s voracious appetite for new nuclear power plants has helped to slow the decline in recent years of an ailing nuclear energy industry long dominated by the United States and Europe. From a late and inauspicious start in the 1990s, China’s nuclear fleet has risen to become the world’s third largest. According to Chinese government projections, within the next decade China may surpass the United States as the world’s leading nuclear energy producer. Despite that growth, though, China is increasingly viewed less as the salvation of the Western nuclear power industry, and more as a competitive threat. Chinese companies have [...]
A woman prays at a beach in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, March 11, 2019 (Kyodo photo via AP Images).
Last week, Japan marked the eighth anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in 2011, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or unaccounted for and triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster, one of the worst nuclear accidents in modern history. A moment of silence was observed across the country at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, the time the earthquake struck. Sports teams interrupted their practice to pray for the souls of those who perished. “We must never let the valuable lessons that we have learned from the enormous damage caused by the disaster to fade away,” Prime [...]
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