When, in 1857, Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor discovered by chance that uranium salts emitted “a radiation invisible to our eyes” capable of exposing photographic emulsions, little could he have foreseen that this curiosity about certain chemical elements would eventually give rise to the greatest method of destruction ever created, but also to a powerful source of energy. Nuclear energy came of age during the 20th century, surrounded by heated controversy and opposition fuelled by a history of incidents and accidents, some with devastating consequences. Today, however, the debate has taken on a new focus in the face of the need to break our dependence on fossil fuels, which cause climate change. Here we look back at the turbulent history of nuclear energy.
[+] Watch Fullscreen