Science: A Chernobyl-Proof Reactor?

Scientists say new designs could make nuclear power safer

No commercial nuclear reactors have been ordered in the U.S. since 1978, a year before the Three Mile Island accident. In the aftermath of Chernobyl, moreover, the prospects for nuclear energy have become even bleaker. And yet, say many experts, there is no long-range alternative. The oil crisis has receded but is likely to become a problem again within decades. Coal is still plentiful, but its consequences -- air pollution, acid rain and the threat of global warming caused by the greenhouse effect -- will limit its use. "I'm very concerned about our energy future," says Lyle Wilcox, the Department of...

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