Nuclear power is back in vogue in Russia, with 26 new reactors scheduled for construction by 2030. German industrial giant Siemens has grabbed a piece of the pie. But safety and financial concerns threaten to overshadow the country’s atomic ambitions.
Olga Kurochkina can hardly hide her delight at making her German guests squirm. She has just served them caviar and pirogies and is now triumphantly waving a document in their faces. “Our students recently debated whether Germany needs nuclear energy,” says Kurochkina, a teacher at an elite Moscow high school. “The arguments, of course, favor electricity from nuclear energy.”
Kurochkina insists that there are “significant disadvantages” to all other energy sources. Wind turbines? “They produce infrasound, which causes depression.” Solar cells? “They cause local cooling of the air.”
It is hard to believe, but … More