• Iran’s nukesIran Says 60 Percent Enrichment “Under Way” at Natanz Site

    Iranian officials say the country has begun enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity, higher than it has ever done before, despite ongoing talks between Tehran and world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran had committed to keep enrichment to 3.67 percent. Recently it has been enriching up to 20 percent, saying the deal was no longer enforceable. Enriching uranium to 60 percent would be the highest level achieved by Iran’s nuclear program, it is still short of the 90 percent purity needed for military use.

  • Nuclear storageStrengthening Nuclear Storage Research

    Today, nuclear power utilities store over 80,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel across the nation. Since the fuel will remain in dry storage longer than was expected, scientists are working to better understand exactly how the fuel behaves under extended storage conditions, how the canisters age, and the forces the two would undergo when shipped and stored for long periods.

  • Nuclear wasteRetaining Knowledge of Nuclear Waste Management

    Sandia National Laboratories have begun their second year of a project to capture important, hard-to-explain nuclear waste management knowledge from retirement-age employees to help new employees get up to speed faster. The project has experts share their experience with and knowledge of storage, transportation, and disposal with next generation scientists.

  • Radiological threatsHomeland Security for Radiological and Nuclear Threats

    Radiation exposure events are complicated: there is a variety of radiation sources, and since radiation is invisible, and its effect may not always be immediately apparent, first responders and emergency services must prepare for a “worried well” of people requiring attention: individuals who do not have other physical injuries but are concerned about whether they have received a radiation exposure.

  • Fukushima: Ten years onThe Lessons and Legacy of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

    A decade after a powerful earthquake and tsunami set off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan, Stanford experts discuss revelations about radiation from the disaster, advances in earthquake science related to the event and how its devastating impact has influenced strategies for tsunami defense and local warning systems.

  • Nuclear powerHow Fukushima Triggered Germany's Nuclear Phaseout

    By Christoph Hasselbach

    The Fukushima disaster shook the belief in safe nuclear power to its core. For Germany, it marked a historic turning point for environmentalism.

  • Fukushima: Ten years onFukushima: Ten Years On from the Disaster, Was Japan’s Response Right?

    By William Nuttall and Philip Thomas

    How should a government react when confronted by clear evidence of radioactive material being released into the environment? We set out to determine how best to respond to a severe nuclear accident using a science-led approach. Could we, by examining the evidence, come up with better policy prescriptions than the emerging playbook deployed in Ukraine and Japan? Together with colleagues, we used research methods from statistics, meteorology, reactor physics, radiation science and economics and arrived at a surprising conclusion.

  • AIExplainable AI: A Must for Nuclear Nonproliferation, National Security

    As it is with raw human intelligence, so it is with artificial intelligence (AI). We may not know exactly what’s going on inside that elaborate black box built by humans, but its decisions can be so accurate that it earns our trust, if not our comprehension. But the need for understanding escalates when the stakes are higher. For national security concerns, it’s not good enough to know that a system works; scientists demand to know how and why. That’s the foundation for a field of study known as “explainable AI.”

  • Fukushima: Ten years onThe Fukushima Disaster Didn’t Scare the World Off Nuclear Power

    By Lindsay Maizland

    Ten years ago, three nuclear reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, producing the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.The disaster, caused by an earthquake-triggered tsunami, pushed Japan and a few other countries to rethink their use of nuclear energy. But elsewhere, it didn’t spur major changes. Instead, experts say, climate change could force a major reckoning with how the world uses nuclear power.

  • Fukushima: Ten years onRadiation Knows No Bounds—but Builds Strong Bonds Between Two Communities

    PNNL’s detection prowess harkens back to early studies at Hanford, a former plutonium production site near the laboratory. This work gave rise to PNNL’s expertise in radiochemistry, nuclear physics, and the ability to sense, measure, and identify radioactivity at increasingly lower levels. PNNL’s scientific studies during Hanford operations also built expertise in predicting how contaminants would move in the environment and in estimating radiation releases and exposures.

  • Fukushima: Ten years onTen Years after Fukushima, Safety Is Still Nuclear Power’s Greatest Challenge

    By Kiyoshi Kurokawa and Najmedin Meshkati

    Ten years ago, on March 11, 2011, a tsunami destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and released radioactive materials over a large area. The accident triggered widespread evacuations, large economic losses and the eventual shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Japan. A decade later, the nuclear industry has yet to fully address safety concerns that Fukushima exposed. This is worrying, because Fukushima was a man-made accident, triggered by natural hazards, that could and should have been avoided.

  • Iran’s nukesIran Confirms End to Snap Inspections as U.S. Seeks to “Lengthen, Strengthen” Nuclear Deal

    Iranian state television has confirmed that the country has ended its implementation of the Additional Protocol, which allows for so-called snap inspections of nuclear-related sites, signaling the further disintegration of atomic safeguards in place since a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

  • Iran’s nukesIAEA Chief: Iran to Give “Less Access” to UN Nuclear Inspectors

    The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency said after talks in Iran on February 21 over Tehran’s threat to curb international inspections that the two sides reached an agreement but that Iran will suspend a key document on cooperation and offer “less access” to inspectors.

  • Iran’s nukesIran Vows 20 Percent Uranium Enrichment “As Soon As Possible”

    Iran said on January 2 that it plans to enrich uranium up to 20 percent purity at its underground Fordow nuclear facility “as soon as possible,” a level far above limits set by an international nuclear accord. Iran’s public announcement come a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Tehran had revealed its intention in a letter to the UN nuclear watchdog.

  • Nuclear safetyAnalyzing Forensic Signatures of Nuclear Materials to Prevent Smuggling

    A scientific exercise scenario involved seized nuclear materials for which law enforcement requested nuclear forensic analysis to help discern whether the process histories of the two seized materials were consistent with one another and related to similar materials seized previously by authorities. The exercise was part of an international nuclear forensic drill in support of a simulated nuclear smuggling investigation.