Despite the disasters at Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986 and latterly Fukushima, we seem to be witnessing a global nuclear revival. The Chinese recently increased estimated new-build reactor capacity targets by a third, implying a concerted worldwide renaissance in uranium demand. As Gabrielle Hecht reveals in her exhaustive Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade, the existence of the new generation of nuclear power plants that are now proliferating, and older ones that are having their operational lives extended, can be traced to the much longer history of the exploitation of African uranium.
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'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.
'We have all twenty-nine of her Barsetshire novels, and whenever a certain longing reaches critical mass we read all twenty-nine again, straight through.'
Patricia T O'Conner on her love for Angela Thirkell. (£)