1954, less than ten years after the development of the atomic bomb the USSR developed the firstnuclear power plant in Obninsk.
As the technology progressed, more countries began producingelectricity through nuclear power plants. Through the need for a regulatory commission, theInternational Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, was developed. Today there are thirty countrieswith nuclear power stations, and a total fifty-six countries with some type of nuclear reactor.
Nuclear technology for power generation has reached far passed its original military intentions.
Today nuclear energy powers some of the world‘s largest tanker ships, submarines, and cities.
However, the energy source has also been powering a heated debate over the future of its usage.Future instability in fossil fuel production and global energy insecurity are driving the
world‘s politicians, scientists, and cit
izens to effectively choose new main energy sources for thefuture. The current issue of peak oil along with driving environmental concerns over energyproduction using fossil fuels has created a situation where global energy policies must adoptalternative major energy sources to help subside political, environmental, and economicproblems for the future. Although alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power seempromising, they are technologies still in development. Nuclear energy on the other hand, is wellestablished and is in large-scale use in countries such as France and South Korea
. Nuclearenergy is poised
by many to be the world‘s future major energy source, but many more question
its practicality. While nations such as the United Kingdom are considering nuclear as a majorenergy source for their future, other nations such as Germany are considering scaling back theirnuclear power interests. The key
driving issue that encompasses every nations‘ consideration of
World Nuclear Association ,
Nuclear Power in Russia
World Nuclear Association
, Nuclear Power in the World Today
United Nations, International Energy Agency, Key World Energy Statistics (New York: United Nations, 2007) 16-17.