Japan nuclear


TEPCO’s Fukushima Folly

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Fission Stories #180

In early August 2014, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced that its latest analysis revealed the meltdown of the Unit 3 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi was worse than previously estimated. Read more >

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The NRC and Natural Hazards to Nuclear Plants

, senior scientist

Today the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists posted my op-ed about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approach to re-evaluating the hazards to nuclear plants from natural catastrophes like earthquakes and floods in light of what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

I make the point that many U.S. nuclear plants could experience disasters more severe than those they were designed to withstand, and argue that the NRC should require plants to be hardened against these more severe events.

 

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Nuclear Disaster American Style

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Imagine that a large earthquake occurred March 11, 2011, on the Hosgri or Shoreline fault off the coast of California instead of offshore from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. Studies have shown that such an earthquake could shake the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant more than it is designed to withstand. Read more >

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Japan and America’s Nuclear Posture: Lost Promise

, China project manager and senior analyst

At the very beginning of his presidency Barack Obama promised the world he would reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy and encourage other nations to follow suit. It was the most significant single act in a new U.S. approach to international diplomacy, for which he was awarded the Nobel peace prize. Not long afterwards, Mr. Obama was presented with an historic opportunity to diminish the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in the defense of Japan. Unfortunately, he did not live up to his promise. Read more >

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Fission Stories #146: Who’s Next?

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

The nuclear nightmare at Fukushima Daiichi is the most recent in a string of nuclear accidents. In April 1986, the Unit 4 reactor at Chernobyl in the Ukraine experienced an uncontrolled increase in power that caused two “rapid disassemblies” – nukespeak for explosions. In March 1979, the Unit 2 reactor at Three Mile Island in the United States experienced a partial meltdown of its reactor core due to inadequate cooling water flow. In October 1966, the Unit 1 reactor at the Fermi plant in the United States experienced a partial meldown when cooling water flow was partially blocked through some of its reactor core. And in October 1957, the No. 1 reactor at Windscale (now Sellafield) in the United Kingdom experienced fuel damage when its graphite moderator overheated and caught on fire. Read more >

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