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The recent nuclear disaster in Japans tsunami-damaged Fukushima reactor has shaken--but not buried--plans for an atomic energy surge in South America, which right now has just four of the world's 442 nuclear power plants. Prior to the accident, analysts had anticipated something of a nuclear renaissance in South America. Non-nuclear countries like Chile, Venezuela, and Uruguay were seriously flirting with the atomic-energy option, investing public funds in exploratory studies and/or signing nuclear-technology accords with countries like Russia and France. At the same time, Brazil and Argentina--the two South American countries with atomic power facilities already in place--had begun expanding their respective nuclear industries. The regional power push was part of a global resurgence for nuclear energy. Vilified after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, atomic energy had been very much on the comeback trail worldwide in recent years, aided in large party by a shift of global environmental priorities. As the world's leading scientific and environmental voices began to sound the alarm about climate change, nuclear power--once an ecological no-no--has gradually been recast as a clean alternative to CO2-belching coal-fired or oil- and gas-burning thermoelectric plants.'