Selected articles on the nuclear topic.
On Saturday, an estimated 200,000 people participated in protests across Taiwan to demand a total ban on nuclear power. With 100,000 in Taipei alone, this marks the largest anti-nuclear protest in the countrys history.
Long absent from the front pages, Fukushima is a nuclear disaster that's far from over. With yesterday's reports of increased radioactivity in fish, and space running low for storing contaminated cooling waters, it seems the disaster is only on pause. All it will take is another earthquake for the play button to be hit again.
The dream of extracting uranium from seawater and boosting nuclear energy reserves for many years to come is getting closer, US scientists have heard.
New study investigates the effects of nuclear particles such as iodine on the genotype of butterflies post Fukushima. A short life cycle like the annual butterfly can give us results now that will affect future generations.
Fossil fuels could begin to be replaced by hydrogen power plants by the end of the decade. Hydrogen could be produced by nuclear power plants by 2020.
A team of American nuclear waste experts are calling for more research into what happens during extreme conditions like the Fukushima disaster.
The slow process of decontaminating the area around the damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima and the uncertainty of many of the local population ever being able to return to their homes.
Continuing global threats from climate change, nuclear weapons and wars have caused atomic scientists to move the hands of the Doomesday Clock to five minutes before midnight.
The present and future of nuclear energy. With the tragic Fukushima nuclear episode, Japan is the biggest sufferer for 25 years in this third major nuclear accident and the nuclear industry is now hesitant about future expansion or even continuing at all.
Cold War-era nuclear waste last forever. Now the U.S. Dept. of Energy is struggling to deal with the fallout. The bulk of the deadly waste was generated during the Cold War era arms race, as the superpowers developed and stockpiled ever-deadlier nuclear weapons and technologies.
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami cast new doubt on the safety of nuclear power facilities and, six months, on politicians and scientists are starting to assess the impacts of the biggest nuclear incident since Chernobyl.
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Texas at Austin have published a research paper describing the detection of radio-xenon in air sampled in the USA (Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 102, Issue 7, July 2011, Pages 681-68).
A worker was reported to have been killed in an accident at the site of the Marcoule nuclear facility. The incident, which left four other people injured, one seriously, involved a fire and an explosion near a furnace in a radioactive waste storage area, but authorities are stressing that there has been no release of radiation to the environment at this stage.
Post Fukushima, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) quickly established a Task Force which was charged with analysing the Fukushima incident and identifying changes and improvements which could be applied to the American nuclear industry. The NRC now seek to implement the lessons learned - and as quickly as possible.
This article looks at the newest UK nuclear development - 'Hinkley Point C' and compares energy supply with that of renewable energy, set in the UK. Nuclear energy has been under rapid fire from industry experts this year and public perception has been shaken in the fission technology since the Fukushima disaster early this year. EDF has been given permission to build 'Hinkley Point C' on the Somerset Coast.
A Californian monitoring station, thousands of miles from the scene of the Japanese tsunami disaster, has produced one of the first concrete estimates of the neutron flux of the doomed Fukushima plant. The pulse of radioactive sulfur, a byproduct of spraying seawater onto the radioactive core, also helps to firm up our understanding of sulfates in the atmosphere, says the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Japan's PM has urged the country to consider a future without nuclear power, becoming the latest country to look to joining the ex-nuclear club. But where will this widening worldwide shunting of nuclear power lead us?
The Fukushima nuclear power plant was directly in the path of the tsunami and was also at the epicentre of some aftershocks. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission established a Japan Task Force which was charged with identifying lessons that the USA should learn from the Fukushima incident.
Fear can be an irrational thing and it is usually stoked by ignorance. My friends may think that I was the mad person if they knew that I had happily stood on top of a working nuclear reactor, but then I know something about ionising radiation and shielding.
The devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami which wrought much destruction to north east Japan on March 11th 2011 triggered a nuclear emergency at Fukushima which has had consequences on nuclear policy much further afield: Germany has announced that it will abandon plans to use nuclear power in the future.
A survey into how coal and nuclear power risks are perceived by the public has thrown up some interesting insights on the Clean Energy debate. Its not just nuclear accidents and global warming that dominate peoples worries about these controversial energy sources, with the public having a strong grasp of other potential drawbacks.
After Germany announced radical plans to shut its nuclear power plants down, yesterday, in order to appease growing concerns over their safety, Greenpeace has come up with its own plan. They believe the game can be raised significantly closing down all nuclear plants within 5 years so making Germany the torch-bearer in the clean energy revolution.
Italy goes to polls on June 12-13 in a nationwide referendum on the privatisation of water distribution and the return to nuclear power. The referendum to introduce nuclear power in Italy comes at a time when the world is still facing a nuclear crisis in Japan. Just recently, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that all 17 nuclear power plants in Germany will be shut down by 2022.
Greenpeace says that the admission by TEPCO - the Japanese firm in charge of Fukushima - that a full nuclear meltdown was happening, within hours of the earthquake striking, raises many questions. About how the accident's aftermath was handled; about the cover-up culture at the firm, and in the nuclear industry at large; and about whether those in charge of nuclear power can be trusted, now that their perpetual 'safe and clean' claims are blown apart.
MPs accuse the government of using reforms to hide subsidy for nuclear industry. The Coalition pledged to allow new nuclear power stations to be built, but assured they would not receive public subsidy.
Whilst yesterday's Renewable Energy Review pushed the UK's nuclear button firmly - as a solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions - it's in fact a time to hit the pause button. Nuclear power will be a costly dangerous diversion from the real solution - making truly renewable energy sources into a reliable foundation for our future energy needs.
The UK's Climate Change Committee threw its weight behind a greater role for nuclear power, in order to achieve renewables targets of 15% by 2020, and 30% by 2030. As part of a broad review of the renewables sector, asked for by the governing Coalition, the road-map set out sees a mix of 'low-carbon' energy sources - but a slow-down in the push for offshore wind farms.
25 years on, the world remembers history's worst nuclear disaster. Just after midnight on 26 April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, just 60 miles north of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, exploded. Over 350,000 people were evacuated. It was, and remains, the world's worst nuclear disaster.
At the start of this piece, let me nail my colours to the mast: I am a proponent of nuclear energy and I have worked on the periphery of the nuclear industry. What has slowly emerged since a devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit north east Japan on the 11th of March has served to show how ignorant the world is about radioactivity and risk.
Tepco puts a roadmap in place to end the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant by the end of the year.The operators of Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant are implementing a nine month roadmap, ensuring the crisis will be resolved by the end of 2011. Fresh concerns were raised last week when, on Friday, levels of radiation in the sea near reactor 2 were measured to be 6,500 times the legal limit.
For the price of a nuclear power station, $10bn, the lives of nearly three million babies and their mothers could be saved, just by investing in tried-and-tested medical interventions in the developing world. That's just one of the conclusions of a focus on the often hidden toll of stillbirths, published in this week's Lancet.
Engineers may have plugged the leak in Fukushima's No 2 reactor, but the crisis continues. The leak had been discovered on Saturday and early unsuccessful attempts to stem this had been made with cement, absorbent polymer, rags, sawdust and even newspaper.
More than 10% of the 422 nuclear power stations in the world are located in aeas vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. The Japanese disaster illustrates what could happen. A good example is the ageing Russian-built plant about 18 miles from the Armenian capital of Yerevan.
The Fukushima 50 are now resigned to the fact that their life expectancy is limited. However, they continue under appauling conditions to try to avert a global disaster. One 32-year-old member of the group, who have come to be known as the Fukushima 50, telephoned his mother and told her that he and his colleagues had discussed the situation at great length and had committed themselves to die if necessary in order to save the nation
Throughout its history Japan has been subject to seismic disasters. This latest one shows no sign of abating and could even result in a global catastrophe. As if this catastrophe was not enough, the crippling of the Fukushima No 1 power plant has exposed a mortifying catalogue of complacency and shortfalls in safety procedures. Conflicting stories and evasive explanations became the norm once it was clear that things were going badly wrong
50 percent of people disapprove with building more nuclear power plants, compared with 21 percent in 1977, a CBS news poll has found. The pros and cons of nuclear power are hotly debated by many diverse groups. On one hand, there is the pro-nuclear camp, which believes that nuclear power is the future of our energy
Radioactive material continues to flow from the stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima Daiichi to contaminate food and water supplies. The radioactice cloud continues to spread. Parents have been told that Tokyo tap water is no longer safe for babies to drink after it was discovered that iodine levels are more than twice the recommended limit.
There is mounting concern about levels of radioactive materials that have been released into the Earth's atmosphere folloing the Fukushima nuclear emergency. The situation is confused, with Japanese people not knowing who they can trust.
Apart from the 300 brave workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Japanese people are being told that there is little risk to them from radiation, but many Japanese do not fully trust what they are being told. Intense radiation exposure can be very nasty. High doses can penetrate the body like an X-ray and can attack very quickly.
Is thorium the safer nuclear fuel option? India's Kakrapar-1 nuclear power plant has been using thorium instead of uranium for some years now. Thorium is a substance that possesses many of the same properties as uranium, but is less fissile. As a result, it's also much safer.
The international community watches on as Japanese nuclear officials fight to control the crisis at the stricken Fukushima plant. The Japanese government has upgraded the alert level at the Fukushima nuclear plant damaged by the recent earthquake to five; the highest possible level is seven, the rating giving to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union.
Fears in the US over a potential increase in radiation levels after Japan nuclear crisis. Sales of Geiger counters and potassium iodide have increased in the West Coast after reports low level radiation could drift across the Pacific. Officials estimate it would take five or six days for the particles to cross from Japan.
Nuclear power not only poses risks from catastrophic failure, its waste products pose health risks for millions of years. But a special type of green rust may help in keeping that hazard locked up longer, if a scientist from the University of Copenhagen is right. That could help future generations avoid the dangers of long-lived neptunium dumps.
The nuclear situation in Japan is not comparable with the disaster at Chernobyl say experts who warn against panic buying of anti-radiation pills in the United States. The experts say that comparisons between the Fukushima nuclear power plant, where Japanese authorities are working to cool fuel ponds following last Friday's earthquake and tsunami, and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster are inaccurate.
Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Complex, Japan: Japan has suffered monumental destruction in the recent natural disaster; from the cumulative impacts of the high-ranking magnitude Earthquake of 9.0 and the initial tsunami to consecutive days of continued natural disaster aftermaths with aftershocks, earthquakes and secondary tsunamis.
Helicopters and water cannon are being used as the Japanese government continues to fight to control the situation at the earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant while foreign nationals are leaving the country.
German government shuts down seven older reactors and across Europe governments stress test reactors as they asses the scale and meaning of the post-earthquake Japanese nuclear disaster. The shut down affects reactors that date back to before 1980 and safety tests are being carried out at the rest of Germany's nuclear facilities which supply more than 25% of the country's energy needs.
Just how much worse can things get for Japan? Quite a lot worse, according to the latest news reports focusing on the potential radiation leak currently threatening the population. Two nuclear reactor plants based in Fukushima, on the Japanese north-east coast, are on the brink of nuclear meltdown.
There are calls in the US to re-evaluate building nuclear plants in the wake of Japan's crisis. A second explosion at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plants is causing global concern and raising questions about the ability of similar plants around the globe to withstand strong earthquakes. In the US, a senator is calling for a complete review of the safety and emergency measures of nuclear plants across the country in case a similar sized quake were to hit America. Filed in environmental issues: nuclear/business.
Japan's horrific few days have not only wrought natural death and destruction - man-made disaster is being flirted with, as earthquake-hit nuclear power plants blow their tops. It is time to stop playing with the nuclear fire, and move more swiftly to safely harvesting the sun's energy - through wind, wave and solar. Filed in environment: energy.
Plants near the devastated Chernobyl nuclear reactor thrive in radioactive soil. On 26 April 1986, at 1.23 am local time, reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant 62 miles from Kiev in the Ukraine, suffered a massive explosion to its core. The results were catastrophic. Within a few months 28 of the 134 severely exposed emergency workers were to die from acute radiation syndrome and 19 more later died from different causes.
It will probably never match Bondi Beach or St Tropez as a holiday destination with popular appeal, but the Ukrainian government is hoping that it can lure adventurous travellers to Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone. They hope visitors will pay to take officially sanctioned tours of the area, the site of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986.
An Indo-French agreement to set up two of six nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra (India) has recently been signed. But local people whose lands will be taken away say they have refused to accept government compensation, and protests are growing about the environmental and health effects of the plants.