Researchers from Fukushima University in Japan are enlisting the help of some locals to monitor radiation near the damaged nuclear power facility in their prefecture. To get a better read on what kind of radiation levels exist in the forests around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, scientists plan to fit the area’s native wild monkeys with collars containing radiation meters and GPS transponders.
[Updated 2:25 p.m.]Honda sent us an e-mail saying the Asahi Shimbun report is "speculative." "Although Honda hopes that ASIMO will someday be a helper to people, at this point the robot is solely a research and design project," a Honda spokeswoman said.
Nudging open a door with its extendable arm, a bomb-disposal robot became the first robot to enter a reactor building at Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, confirming high radiation levels that are unsafe for humans.
Japanese officials conceded today they might have to entomb the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a sarcophagus of sand or concrete in order to contain the radiation. It’s a last resort, but acknowledging it’s possible is a sign that matters are still not improving at the stricken plant.
An abundant metal with vast energy potential could quickly wean the world off oil, if only Western political leaders would muster the will to do it, a UK newspaper says today. The Telegraph makes the case for thorium reactors as the key to a fossil-fuel-free world within five years, and puts the ball firmly in President Barack Obama's court.
What would you use to keep next-generation nuclear reactors cool? If you said highly reactive molten sodium, take a bow
By Michael MoyerPosted 02.16.2008 at 3:14 pm 15 Comments
It's going to be at least another two decades before any commercial models are built, but researchers are at work designing the Generation IV nuclear reactors. Unlike the generation II and III models now in use that use water to cool and control the fission (preventing runaway reactions, subsequent meltdowns and the environmental apocalypse that would result), the leading contender for cooling material for the Gen IV reactors is molten sodium. Not sodium chloride (plain, unreactive table salt), but sodium metal.
More than 20 years after the disastrous meltdown, formal plans to encase and dismantle Chernobyl's nuclear reactor have begun. Announced yesterday by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, the project calls for a $1.4 billion steel covering to be constructed over the next five years. Currently, the reactor is surrounded by the dilapidated and ineffective concrete encasement erected shortly after the accident—the replacement will be built just a short distance away and then slid over the entire structure. Some 95 percent of the reactor's original nuclear material remains.—Abby Seiff
One high-school studentâ€™s successful quest to create atomic energy, just for kicks
By Gregory MonePosted 03.20.2007 at 2:00 am 3 Comments
Build a Homemade Nuclear ReactorCost: $3,500
Time: 2 Years
Itching for a challenging science project, two years ago Thiago Olson decided to build a small nuclear reactor. He had limited funds, limited space in his garage, and little engineering know-how. After all, he was only 15.