Since starting work at the Esperanza copper mine in northern Chile two years ago, Erick Moreno has tripled his salary and is preparing to buy his first home. The pay, he says, is so good that he’d never take a job elsewhere.
As the world is now painfully aware, keeping nuclear plants near the ocean is a devil's bargain. Most power plants, regardless of fuel, need massive amounts of water for cooling the steam used to turn the turbine generator. When things go wrong, like the leakage of contaminated water into the Pacific at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, the consequences can be harrowing. Fernando Fischmann, a Chilean real estate developer and biochemist, may have a way to use advanced swimming pool filtration—yes, swimming pools—to cool power plants efficiently and eliminate their need to be close to natural bodies of water.
Former President Michelle Bachelet has based her campaign to recapture Chile’s top office on a program of free education for all and higher corporate taxes. Her main opponent calls that model a throwback to the era of the Berlin Wall.