This spring’s nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant released almost double the amount of radiation the Japanese government has claimed, according to a new analysis. The authors say the boiling pools holding spent fuel rods played a role in the release of some of the contaminants, primarily cesium-137 — and that this could have been mitigated by an earlier response.
Let the young rebuild Japan, says Yasuteru Yamada, but let the old clean up the most difficult mess leftover from March's devastating earthquake and tsunamis. The 72-year-old former engineer is recruiting other retirees to replace the younger workers currently braving radiation exposure at Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power complex. It's not a question of bravery or experience, he says, but one of biological logic.
Don't think that just because Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant isn't spawning the same number of headlines it was two weeks ago that things are getting any better. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and those seems to be exactly the kinds of measures Tokyo Electric is taking at its stricken facility. Kyodo News reports that starting tomorrow, a remotely controlled robot will begin hosing debris at the site with a water-soluble resin in an untested effort to keep radioactive particles in place.
As nations around the world rush to reconsider their nuclear plans, nuclear experts look toward a future of smaller, safer reactors designed to greatly reduce the likelihood of a Fukushima-sized catastrophe
At this time last week, the Nuclear Renaissance was in full swing. Plans were moving forward to use the $36 billion in loan guarantees for new reactors in President Obama's 2012 budget. China was approving reactor stations at a steady pace, and nations across Europe were considering new nuclear sites of their own. Seven days later, the push toward more and better nuclear power has come to a full stop, as the crisis at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi power station threatens to unravel into the worst nuclear disaster in history.
But amid a strong, worldwide nuclear backlash, it's important to remember that the next generation of nuclear reactors are designed to prevent exactly what went wrong at the 40-year-old Fukushima Daiichi plant. Which is good, because according to the experts, a future weaned from fossil fuels will include nuclear power whether we like it or not. Here's what that future may look like.
The aerial water bombardment of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facilities began in earnest late yesterday after being deemed too risky earlier in the week. The strategy--previously untested as far as we know--is aimed at cooling the reactor cores and spent fuel rod storage pools, but it's highly unclear whether it's doing any good.
In testimony today before a Congressional subcommittee, Energy Secretary Steven Chu stood behind the U.S.’s nuclear energy industry, reiterating the administration’s commitment to diversifying the nations energy portfolio. That means a lot of things like wind, solar, and natural gas, Chu said. It also means more nuclear.