This Week at the Pulitzer Center
This week Pulitzer Center grantee Eve Conant reports that Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear company, is fast turning itself into the Wal-Mart of the nuclear industry, aggressively pursuing customers around the world and offering one-stop shopping to anyone who wants to join the nuclear club.
“Many of the world’s nuclear experts are concerned that Russia is galloping ahead too fast,” Eve writes in a feature story for Scientific American. “They worry that Rosatom is willing to do business with any nation, which could lead to the proliferation of nuclear material or know-how.” She notes that Rosatom has had discussions with countries that the West does not fully trust, such as Myanmar (Burma) and Belarus. And just this past July Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmhadinejad visited the Kremlin to ask Vladimir Putin for more reactors beyond the one Russia already built.
Eve documents how Rosatom lures customers not only by building nuclear plants, but also by offering comprehensive package deals to operate the plants, supply them with fuel and permanently dispose of the radioactive waste. “All part of a Kremlin-backed $55 billion plan to make Russia a leading global supplier of nuclear power,” says Eve. Eve’s reporting is part of a Pulitzer Center project to examine emerging nuclear threats in the post-Cold War world.
The story nearly had a tragic ending for Jim and his cameraman when the boat they were on was swamped by rough seas, but the pair survived and so too did the disturbing footage that they captured on this clandestine voyage. Jim’s story aired in the UK on the ITV Network and in the US on the PBS NewsHour. It also appeared online in The Ecologist and the Daily Mail Online.
A FAMILY’S STORY
The United Nations estimates that the civil war in Syria has already produced some 2 million refugees. Such numbers are hard to fathom. Often the best way to understand the depth of this kind of human catastrophe is to focus on a single individual or family.
In a remarkable piece of reporting for Guernica, Pulitzer Center grantee Alia Malek traces the plight of a Syrian Armenian family forced to flee from Aleppo and take refuge in Armenia, a “homeland” that they have never known. Digging deep into the tragic history of the region, Alia traces the family’s original flight to Syria to escape the 1915 Armenian genocide in Turkey, a tragedy that causes her protagonist to wonder “if permanence is always illusory.”
Until next week,