Nuclear power

  • Molecule may aid nuclear waste clean-up

    Scientists have produced a previously unseen uranium molecule in a move that could improve clean-up of nuclear waste

  • Tighter regulation of industry’s disaster preparedness required

    Before 11 March 2011, Japan was held up as a paragon for preparedness; they had a national readiness plan, regular disaster drills, and strong civic engagement; the Fukushima disaster exposed a disturbing reality: search and rescue efforts were delayed, shelters ill-equipped, and supply chains broken; worst of all, there was confusion about who was managing the nuclear accident — the power company TEPCO or the Japanese government; information, when forthcoming, was sometimes contradictory

  • Fukushima lesson: be ready for unanticipated nuclear accidents

    A year after the Fukushima disaster all but two of Japan’s fifty-four nuclear reactors remain shut down, in a country where nuclear power once supplied nearly 30 percent of the electricity; the Japanese government is awarding an initial $13 billion in contracts to begin decontamination and rehabilitation of the more than 8,000-square-mile region most exposed to radioactive fallout

  • The future of nuclear energy

    While the lessons of the 11 March 2011 Fukushima disaster are being absorbed, the United States is moving forward with nuclear power; for the first time since 1978, the U.S. National Regulatory Commission has approved two new plants; the $14 billion facilities will be built just outside Augusta, Georgia

  • National Academies calls for expanded nuclear-fusion research

    A report out on Wednesday from the National Academies says university researchers studying nuclear fusion still have a long way to go before overcoming the many scientific hurdles to the commercial generation of what is hoped to be a virtually limitless supply of energy

  • Better policies needed to reduce radiation exposure in nuclear accidents

    A new study says that offsite policies and plans should be put in place to reduce the exposure of the public to radiation in the event of a nuclear power plant accident

  • If Japan-like disaster happened in U.S., results would be far worse

    An estimated 20,000 people died or are still missing after a massive earthquake-induced tsunami struck Japan on 11 March 2011, yet some 200,000 people were in the inundation zone at the time; experts say that if the same magnitude earthquake and tsunami hits the Pacific Northwest, the death toll will be much higher because of the lack of comparable preparation; that 90 percent rate could be the number of victims, not survivors

  • New report paints dire picture of Japanese Fukushima response

    A new report reveals that last year’s nuclear crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi atomic energy plant was dangerously close to spiraling out of control as senior officials bickered internally, lacked critical information on the extent of the damage, and covertly considered the possibility of evacuating Tokyo

  • Nuclear accident reawakens California’s anti-nuke movement

    Following the discovery of a small leak at a nuclear power plant near San Diego, California in January, the state’s anti-nuclear movement has hit a fever pitch

  • NRC approves first new nuke reactors since 1978

    For the first time since 1978, U.S. nuclear regulators have approved the construction of a new nuclear power plant; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently voted four-to-one in favor of granting Southern Co. a license to build two additional reactors at its Plant Vogtle nuclear facility near Augusta, Georgia

  • Japan considers referendum to end nuclear power

    Lawmakers in Osaka, Japan are currently mulling over whether to abandon nuclear power all together following the catastrophic nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic energy plant

  • Nuclear waste recycling for better nuclear power generation

    Researchers aim to produce safe nuclear fuel that can be 80 percent recycled, compared to the current 1 percent; these fourth generation nuclear power systems can lead to a reduction of the amount of high-level, long-lived nuclear waste to a tenth of what it is today, while energy output can increase hundredfold

  • Nuclear accidents pose “essentially zero risk" to public health

    A new study by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) concluded that there is only a “very small” risk to public health if a severe nuclear accident were to occur in the United States

  • A solution for troubled ITER nuclear fusion reactor

    Nuclear fusion offers the promise of endless energy supply – but the technology requires extremely high temperatures of up to 150 million degrees in order to form plasma (ionized gas); since no material can withstand these temperatures, the fuel (a mixture of two isotopes of hydrogen: deuterium and tritium) must be kept trapped in extremely energetic magnetic fields; the magnets that produce these fields are composed of giant coils of superconducting cables; so far, the superconducting cables designed for the European ITER fusion reactor have been unable to withstand the planned 40,000 to 60,000 charge cycles

  • Nuclear plant safety questions amid U.S. House primary

    The Davis-Besse nuclear reactor is quickly becoming a key issue in the upcoming 6 March primaries in one Ohio Congressional district that has two senior Democratic representatives facing off against one another as a result of the 2010 census and new district maps