Anti-Nuclear Hysterics, not Melted Reactors to Blame for Fukushima Health Impacts
Mar11

Anti-Nuclear Hysterics, not Melted Reactors to Blame for Fukushima Health Impacts

As is often the case, the passage of time yields clarity about events, and the nuclear power plant accident at Fukushima is no different.  It has become clear that the misinformation and hysterics by anti-nuclear groups and individuals were mostly wrong.  Their doomsday prophesizing actually worsened human suffering and environmental impacts by contributing to unwise decisions by political leaders in Japan and elsewhere to shut down...

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Explore a Great Career in Nuclear Energy
Jan24

Explore a Great Career in Nuclear Energy

Note: this post also appears at the ANS Nuclear Cafe   What better way to celebrate National Nuclear Science Week than to acknowledge amazing career opportunities that exist for people interested in joiningthe nuclear renaissance. If you are a middle or high school student (or are the parent of one) considering college alternatives, you would be hard pressed to find a better investment than earning an associates or bachelors...

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Nuclear Plants and Grid Blackouts

On September 8, 2011 the electrical grid in and around San Diego, California experienced a blackout that lasted for more than 12 hours.  By some accounts more than 5 million people were effected.  The initiating event was a human error that caused a large transmission line from Arizona to turn off unexpectedly.  I recently discussed why a single failure as occurred that day should  not have caused such a widespread grid failure, and...

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Only the Energy Impoverished Run Towards a Gasoline Spill

There was a horrible accident in Kenya this week.  More than 100 people were burned to death, and hundreds more were injured when a gasoline pipeline began leaking and then exploded.  My heart goes out to the victims, and their families, and to all the people of Kenya who are dealing with the worst industrial disaster in their history.  Eyewitnesses reported seeing burning people leaping into a nearby river trying to extinguish the...

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The San Diego Blackout – Is New York City Next?

California politicians and utilities were quick to assign blame for Thursday’s blackout of 6 million customers on a single unfortunate utility worker in Arizona.  In reality, they need to look a lot deeper at the root cause of the major electrical system failure that lasted about 12 hours.  Why? Properly designed, maintained, and operated electrical grids just don’t collapse when a single error takes place or a single piece of...

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TEPCO Did Not Adopt a Key Lesson Learned from the Accident at Three Mile Island

Unlike their American counterparts, not all control room operators in Japan have access to plant specific training simulators.  Instead, according to a report by NPR, they use “generic” simulators that are similar to, but not identical to their plant.  This difference may have contributed to the difficulties operators had at Fukushima Dai-ichi when responding to complex events that followed the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami on...

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