Last updated: 27 February 2012
Need general background about nuclear issues? Start here! This is a wide-ranging and reasonably balanced collection of links, some from independent sources, some from the nuclear industry, and some from anti-nuclear campaign groups. We've tried to label all the websites so you know which ones are pro and which are anti. But do try to read widely... and make up your own mind! Many thanks to people who have suggested additions.
- Introductions - from independent sources
- Introductions - from the nuclear industry
- Introductions - from anti-nuclear campaign groups
- Climate change
- Economics of nuclear power and alternatives
- Nuclear reactors
- Fuel and uranium mining
- World safety and terrorism
- Nuclear Industry (and other pro-nuclear groups)
- Campaign groups and organizations - anti-nuclear
- Energy topics
- Lots more links!
Introductions - from independent sources
Introductions to how nuclear power works, nuclear fission, chain reactions, and so on.
- How nuclear power plants work: A simple introduction!
- Nuclear explained: A clear introduction from the BBC with good diagrams. Covers both science and issues.
- Nuclear debate in depth: Another nuclear briefing site from the BBC, with videos, photos, and arguments from both sides.
- Howstuffworks - How Nuclear Power Works: The nuts and bolts of how reactors work.
- Wikipedia: Nuclear power: A reasonably balanced, group-edited article about nuclear energy.
- Nuclear power: An archived overview from the UK Government's Department of Trade and Industry website.
Introductions - from the nuclear industry
More introductions to nuclear power, this time from nuclear-industry websites. These may have more of a pro-nuclear bias (though some are very balanced).
- International Atomic Energy Agency: Lots of information here, if you explore all the links.
- Nuclear Energy: Overview: Some good information on this site from the Canadian Nuclear Association.
- Find out more about nuclear energy: A guide by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- Nuclear background: An introduction from Duke Power, operator of three US nuclear power plants.
- How do nuclear power plants work?: The nuts and bolts of a reactor, explained by Duke Power.
- Nuclear energy made simple: from the World Nuclear Association.
- The Future of Nuclear Power: The Role of Nuclear Power in a Low Carbon UK Economy: Consultation document from the UK Department of Trade and Industry, May 2007. [PDF document]
Introductions - from anti-nuclear campaign groups
More introductions to nuclear power, this time from environmental and scientific campaign groups. These tend to be openly biased against nuclear power (though not always).
- Facts about nuclear power: A simple summary of anti-nuclear arguments from Friends of the Earth (FoE) UK.
- Greenpeace UK: nuclear power: Entries on the Greenpeace blog tagged with "nuclear power".
- Greenpeace nuclear fact file: More anti-nuclear info from Greenpeace UK.
- Friends of the Earth: Media Briefing: Nuclear Power and the Energy Review: What are the renewable alternatives to nuclear power?
- Broken promises: why the nuclear industry won't deliver: A detailed report from Corporate Watch suggests the industry is still dependent on massive subsidies.
Industry sources claim nuclear power is the way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions; campaign groups say not.
- General information and links about climate change: Well-compiled collection of links from the UK Rivers Network.
- The Role of Nuclear Power in a Low Carbon Economy, report by the Sustainable Development Commission.
- Nuclear power and climate change - special briefing: A scientific briefing arguing against nuclear solutions from FoE.
- Tackling climate change without nuclear power: Alternatives to nuclear power, from FoE.
- Nuclear Energy and Climate Change: The World Nuclear Association argues that "nuclear energy is a vital component of a clean energy strategy".
- Nuclear power - no solution to climate change: A good briefing from FoE Australia.
- Why nuclear power is not an achievable and safe answer to climate change: A briefing from FoE UK's Roger Higman.
- Why nuclear power is not the solution to climate change: A handy little briefing from Pete Roche.
- Nuclear power - no solution to climate change: Greenpeace's arguments against nuclear solutions to climate change.
- BBC Weather Centre: Nuclear power and climate change A fairly balanced discussion of pro and anti arguments from the BBC.
- French Nuclear Energy Agency: Arguments in favour of using nuclear for climate change alleviation.
- NIRS: Nuclear no solution to climate change A detailed guide from the Nuclear Information & Resource Service.
- Nuclear power: climate solution or pollution?: Various nuclear articles from New Internationalist magazine, with a focus on climate change.
Economics of nuclear power and alternatives
What's the economic case for and against nuclear power?
- The Energy Review: A detailed review of energy policy options from the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit (Cabinet Office), summarized here by the BBC.
- Small or atomic? Comparing the finances of nuclear and micro-generated energy: A comparison of nuclear and alternatives from the Green Alliance.
- The Alternative Energy Report: An eight-page comparison of nuclear and non-nuclear ways forward by energy academics for the Green Party. Concludes that nuclear is the inferior choice.
- The Economics of Nuclear Power: A pro-nuclear report from the World Nuclear Association.
- Inside Track 11: Having our cake: why nuclear isn't the answer: A comparison of nuclear and alternatives from the Green Alliance.
- Mirage and Oasis: Energy choices in an age of global warming: A comparison of energy options from the New Economics Foundation.
- Nuclear power: Useful background from the Greens/European Free Alliance Group of the European Parliament.
- Nuclear power: economics and climate-protection potential: A briefing from Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
- Costs of nuclear power: Evidence from Greenpeace to the Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry "Keeping the Lights On"
Information about specific nuclear reactors (power plants and experimental, scientific reactors).
- Operating Nuclear Power Reactors (by Location or Name): Details of all reactors in the United States plotted on a map.
- Nuclear power stations and reactors: The Guardian, March 18, 2011, lists the world's power reactors (non-scientific ones only) and plots them on a map.
- Where is nuclear waste produced and stored in the UK?: This handy map from the BBC shows reactors and waste stores.
Fuel and uranium mining
Is uranium mining inherently a bad thing?
- Extracting a disaster by David Thorpe, The Guardian, December 2008. Argues that "the effects of uranium mining are disastrous".
- Uranium impact assessment program by Southwest Research and Information Center. Interesting information about the impact of uranium mining on Navajo communities.
- Environmental Aspects of Uranium Mining: The World Nuclear Association argues that uranium mining is no different from other kinds of mining.
- Uranium mining: Lots of useful background in this Wikipedia article, including information on health risks and cleanup.
Is it possible to remove nuclear installations safely at the end of their life?
- Decommissioning and cleanup of sites: Sceptical information from Greenpeace UK.
- Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Official public body charged with cleaning up Britain's "nuclear legacy", includes a recently published draft strategy on cleanup.
Is it possible to dispose of nuclear waste safely?
- BBC Nuclear overview - waste section: Explains the different types (grades) of waste and how and where they are processed or stored. From the BBC and reasonably balanced.
- Environment Agency - discharges and data: Official Data on discharges from UK nuclear power plants.
- Radioactive waste stocks: Official data on UK stocks of nuclear waste.
- Nuclear waste - the problem that won't go away: Campaigning information from Greenpeace International. Anti-nuclear bias.
- Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Documents: Click on waste for full, official information.
How big a problem is radioactive contamination (pollution) from nuclear plants?
- Ocean disposal of radioactive waste: Status report from the IAEA, 1989.
- UK accused over Sellafield pollution: A 2003 Guardian news story in which Norway accused Britain of ruining its lucrative Arctic lobster business by failing to stop radioactive discharges from Sellafield.
- Sellafield plans massive increases in discharges of nuclear waste to sea A press release from the Greenpeace archive, 2001.
- Should Sellafield be shut down?: A discussion on the BBC news website from 2001.
- Irish PM steps up Sellafield campaign: Environmental campaigners have welcomed calls by Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern for Sellafield's controversial Mox plant to be scrapped. BBC News story from 2001.
How many nuclear accidents have there been and where did they occur?
- Chernobyl.info: The official website dedicated to charting the long-term consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
- Nuclear and radiation accidents: A fairly comprehensive summary of (known) accidents from Wikipedia.
- Backgrounder on Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident: From the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- Nuclear reactor accidents: Describes 11 major accidents from 1952-1993.
What's the connection between nuclear power production and nuclear weapons?
- Nuclear Threat Initiative: Lots of good information here, including tutorials and backgrounders. Anti-nuclear bias.
- The Manhattan Project: An Interactive History: A US Department of Energy project charting the creation of the atomic bomb, from Fermi's work on the original nuclear reactor in Chicago in 1942 onwards. Served from the Wayback Machine Internet Archive, since the original has mysteriously disappeared.
- Nuclear disarmament: A reasonably detailed article from Wikipedia charts the history of the anti-nuclear movement.
- Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND): Many detailed briefings and information sheets about nuclear weapons. Strong anti-nuclear bias.
World safety and terrorism
Most people accept that nuclear power has made the world a much more dangerous place.
- Nuclear: Lots of factsheets and reports about nuclear safety from the Oxford Research Group, printed November 2005.
- Nuclear power and terrorism: A dossier from Greenpeace UK, published January 2006.
- Nuclear analyst highlights risks of terror attack at nuclear installations: Press release from the Nuclear Free Local Authorities, March 2005.
- Terrorist attacks on nuclear facilities in the UK: Briefing from the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, July 2004.
Nuclear Industry (and other pro-nuclear groups)
Websites representing various aspects of the British nuclear industry.
- British Energy: The company operating nuclear-electric power stations.
- Nuclear Power: Useful links from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (British government department).
- Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Responsible for cleaning up old nuclear stations in the UK.
- US Energy Information Administration: Facts and data from the United States nuclear industry. Good for comparisons with the UK.
- US Nuclear Regulatory Commission: The US nuclear watchdog - another good site for comparison.
- World Nuclear Association: represents the technology, people and organisations of the global nuclear energy industry.
- Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy: In favor of all energies which respect the environment, including nuclear energy and renewables.
Campaign groups and organizations - anti-nuclear
A selection of groups opposing nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
- Friends of the Earth (FoE) England and Wales: London-based head office and large network of local groups.
- Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland: For those of you north of the border.
- Greenpeace UK: Long history of opposing nuclear power.
- Green Alliance: Climate and Energy Futures: Alternatives to nuclear power explored by UK green political group.
- Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND): Britain's oldest anti-nuclear group. Mainly opposes nuclear weapons, but also some work opposing nuclear power.
- Green Party UK: A long history of opposing nuclear power and promoting renewables.
- No 2 Nuclear Power: A detailed site for people who oppose nuclear power.
- Nuclear Free Local Authorities: Local authorities have been opposing nuclear power and supporting clean, sustainable energy for over a quarter of a century.
- WISE: The World Information Service on Energy has been fighting nukes since the 1970s. Order your "Nuclear power no thanks!" badges and stickers from here... in any language you like!
- Keith Taylor, MEP: Green Party MEP Keith Taylor has a long history of working against nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
Some more general websites about energy and power.
- Lower Carbon Futures: Research from Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, including a project to create a house than uses only 40% as much energy as normal.
- Decentralized Energy: A 2005 report from Greenpeace advocating generating energy near the places where it's used.
- Energy Quest Canada: A very comprehensive children's introduction to energy and electricity. Covers all forms of electricity production, including coal, nuclear, and renewables.
Lots more links!
These are more collections of general links, for and against nuclear power: