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See Inside June 2011

Will Future Nuclear Power Reactors Be Safer?

The surprising accident at Fukushima puts the spotlight on a new generation of U.S. nuclear reactors. Are they safe enough?



Jim R. Bounds Bloomberg via Getty Images

Editor's note: This article appears in print with the title "In Search of the Black Swan."

Half a world away from Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, deep in the pine forests of Georgia, hundreds of workers are prepping the ground for an American nuclear renaissance they still believe is on the way. Bulldozers rumble across sunken plateaus of fresh, hard-packed backfill that covers miles of recently buried piping and storm drains. If plans stay on track, sometime next year two new nuclear reactors will begin to rise from the ground—the first reactors to be approved in the U.S. in more than 25 years.

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