Nuclear power has made its way into the debate over alternative energy as government and commercial interests consider carbon dioxide-free sources of electricity. Advances in laser-based uranium enrichment technology promise to make the fuel powering nuclear power plants less expensive. Still, a UC Irvine economist says, the risks associated with the new method far outweigh its potential rewards. “The process used to produce nuclear fuel for electricity is the same used to produce nuclear fuel for bombs,” says Linda Cohen, economics professor. “Making enrichment possible on a cheaper, smaller scale means the technology will be easier to steal and easier to hide.”

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