- Nuclear Nonproliferation
- Nuclear and Dirty Bombs
- News Related to Problems With Nuclear Power Plants (NukeFree.org)
"Nearly three decades after they banded together for a series of "No Nukes" concerts that yielded an album and movie, musicians Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash have revived their protest of nuclear power." 10-07
- -02-18-06 Bush to Expand Use of Nuclear Power (Bloomberg.com)
"President George W. Bush, seeking to boost support for plans to break America's 'addiction' to fossil fuels, said the U.S. must prevent terrorist states from developing atomic weapons and expand its own nuclear power capacity." 02-06
- -Mechanics of a Partial Meltdown (New York Times)
"The difference between a partial meltdown and a full meltdown at a nuclear plant is enormous, both in the degree of damage and in the potential release of radiation, experts in nuclear power said."
"If a full meltdown were to occur at one of the Japanese reactors — meaning operators were unable to keep pumping water and the core became completely uncovered — molten fuel would soon pool on the floor of the pressure vessel. 'The worst case is that the molten mass leaves the vessel and creates a steam explosion,' Mr. Gunderson said. 'That would destroy the containment.' " Arnold Gunderson is "a former nuclear engineer who worked on reactors of the same design as those in Japan." 03-11
- Chernobyl: The Arc over a Catastropohe (New York Times)
"Against the decaying skyline here, a one-of-a-kind engineering project is rising near the remains of the world’s worst civilian nuclear disaster." 04-14
- Earthquake in Japan Results in Nuclear Crisis (MSNBC News)
"Coolant systems failed at three quake-stricken Japanese nuclear reactors Saturday, sending radiation seeping outside one and temperatures rising out of control at two others."
"Radiation surged to around 1,000 times the normal level in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daichi plant, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. Radiation — it was not clear how much — had also seeped outside, prompting widening of an evacuation area to a six-mile radius from a two-mile radius around the plant. Earlier, 3,000 people had been urged to leave their homes." 03-11
- Electrical Blackouts Pose Threat for U.S. Nuclear Reactors (CBS News)
"Long before the nuclear emergency in Japan, U.S. regulators knew that a power failure lasting for days at an American nuclear plant, whatever the cause, could lead to a radioactive leak. Even so, they have only required the nation's 104 nuclear reactors to develop plans for dealing with much shorter blackouts on the assumption that power would be restored quickly."
"In one nightmare simulation presented by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2009, it would take less than a day for radiation to escape from a reactor at a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant after an earthquake, flood or fire knocked out all electrical power and there was no way to keep the reactors cool after backup battery power ran out. That plant, the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, has reactors of the same older make and model as those releasing radiation at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which is using other means to try to cool the reactors."
"And like Fukushima Dai-ichi, the Peach Bottom plant has enough battery power on site to power emergency cooling systems for eight hours. In Japan, that was not enough time for power to be restored." 03-11
- Estimated Danger from Different Doses of Radiation (XKCD.com)
Provides estimates. 03-11
- Has the Japanese Nuclear Reactor No. 1 Gone Critical? (Time.com)
"To nuclear workers, there are few events more fearful than a criticality accident. In such a scenario, the fissile material in a reactor core--be it enriched uranium or plutonium--undergoes a spontaneous chain reaction, releasing a flash of aurora-blue light and a surge of neutron radiation; the gamma rays, neutrons and radioactive fission products emitted during criticality are highly dangerous to humans. Criticality occurs so rapidly--within a few fractions of a second--and so unpredictably that it can suddenly kill workers without warning. There have been 60 criticality incidents worldwide since 1945. The most recent occurred in Japan in 1999, at an experimental reactor in Tokai, when a beam of neutrons killed two workers, hospitalized dozens of emergency workers and nearby residents, and forced hundreds of thousands to remain indoors for 24 hours." 03-11
- Japan on "Maximum Alert" (CBS News)
"The contaminated water has been emitting radiation exposures more than four times the amount the government considers safe for workers and must be pumped out before electricity can be restored to the cooling system."
"The discovery of plutonium, released from fuel rods only when temperatures are extremely high, confirms the severity of the damage, Nishiyama said."
"Plutonium is a highly toxic substance which breaks down very slowly, remaining dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years."
"Safety officials say the amounts are not a risk to humans but support suspicions that dangerously radioactive water is leaking from damaged nuclear fuel rods — a worrying development in the race to bring the power plant under control." 03-11
- Japan's Nuclear Crisis Turns Spotlight on U.S. Plants (CNN News)
"The safety of America's nuclear reactors is being questioned as Japanese engineers scramble to avert a total meltdown at two of that country's quake-stricken power plants."
"Like in Japan, some of the 104 nuclear reactors in the United States are situated along the ocean -- some in earthquake-prone areas."
"The government has set aside $18 billion for new nuclear plants, and President Obama wants to spend an additional $36 billion."
"In the United States, perhaps the most vulnerable plants are the two in California built on the Pacific coast near the San Andreas fault."
"Those plants were built to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, said Robert Alvarez, a nuclear expert at the Institute for Policy studies and a former senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy."
"The San Francisco quake of 1906 measured 8.3, said Alvarez, while Friday's Japanese quake was a massive 8.9. An 8.9 quake is 125 times as powerful as 7.5 quake, according to the United States Geological Survey. 03-11
- Nuclear Containment Vessel Fails in Japan (Time.com)
"The breach of the containment vessel at unit No. 2, as well as the fire at unit No. 4, led to a spike in the radioactivity levels around the plant to dangerous levels, as a grim-faced Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan acknowledged in a brief nationally televised speech this morning. 'The reading seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out,' Kan warned."
"It is unclear as of yet whether the apparent breach at reactor No. 2 will lead to a catastrophic release of radiation." 03-11
- Nuclear Energy Concerns (CNN News)
"As the United States prepares to build its first new nuclear power reactors in three decades, concerns about an early generation of plants have resurfaced since last year's disaster in Japan."
"The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant -- the subject of a battle between state authorities and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over its continued operation -- uses one of 23 U.S. reactors built with a General Electric-designed containment housing known as the Mark I."
"It's the same design that was used at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where three reactors melted down after the station was struck by the tsunami that followed Japan's historic earthquake in March 2011. The disaster resulted in the widespread release of radioactive contamination that forced more than 100,000 people from their homes." 02-12
- Nuclear Power and Pollution (MotherJones.com - Cohen)
Argues that nuclear power actually does generate significant amounts of carbon dioxide (to prepare the uranium) and produces other pollution and undesirable effects. 9-01
- Nuclear Release at Fukusima Double Earlier Estimates (The Telegraph)
"The nuclear fuel in three of the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant has melted through the base of the pressure vessels and is pooling in the outer containment vessels, according to a report by the Japanese government."
"In early April, the agency said some 370,000 terabecquerels escaped from the facility. It now believes that figure was 770,000 terabecquerels. One terabecquerel is a trillion becquerels, the standard measure of radiation, while the permissible level of iodine-131 for vegetables and fish is 2,000 becquerels per kilogram." 06-11
- Nuclear Waste Stolen in Mexico (CBS News)
"Mexico's nuclear safety agency has appealed to the public for help locating a truck stolen near the capital while transporting potentially dangerous radioactive medical waste." 12-13
- President Obama Moves Forward With New Nuclear Plants (CBS News)
"The Obama administration on Tuesday insisted that nuclear power plants in the United States are safe even as they kept an eye on the unfolding nuclear crisis in Japan."
"The two plants that have perhaps attracted the most attention for potential earthquake risks are in California: The Diablo Canyon and San Onofre plants, both of which are near Los Angeles - and both of which were built on what were later found to be earthquake fault lines. Pacific Gas and Electric, which owns Diablo Canyon, says the plant is built to withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake."
"Daniel Hirsch, a lecturer in Nuclear Policy at the University of California Santa Cruz, noted that both plants had to be retrofitted after the faults were discovered after they had been built. He said a significant quake in the area could have devastating results." 03-11
- Radiation and the Japanese Nuclear Reactors Crisis (CNN News)
"Radiation levels at the plant Tuesday were between 100 and 400 millisieverts, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. To put that in perspective, in the United States, a person typically gets a radiation dose of 6.2 millisieverts per year."
"At the higher end of that spectrum at the Japan plant, exposure to millisieverts for three hours would lead to radiation sickness, and eight hours would be fatal, said Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility. But in general, in an emergency situation, keeping it below 500 millisieverts is pretty safe, said Nolan E. Hertel, nuclear engineering expert at Georgia Institute of Technology. And the further away you are from a radiation source, the lower exposure you will have." 03-11
- Radiation in Seawater Over a Million Times More Than Safety Limit (New York Times)
"The company that runs Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant announced Wednesday that it had stopped the leak of tons of highly radioactive water into the ocean discovered over the weekend. The news came a day after the company said the levels of radioactive material in the seawater near the plant were measured at several million times the legal limit."
"The announced standards for fish came hours after Tokyo Electric said it had found iodine 131 in seawater samples at 200,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter, or five million times the legal limit. The samples were collected Monday near the water intake of the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station."
"The samples also showed levels of cesium 137 to be 1.1 million times the legal limit, according to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK. Cesium remains in the environment for centuries, losing half its strength every 30 years." 04-11
- Riskiest U.S. Nuclear Power Plants (TheDailyBeast.com)
"Based on the input of more than a half-dozen experts in nuclear energy, nuclear engineering and risk assessment, The Daily Beast ranked the country's power plant sites based on three, equally weighted metrics: risk of natural disaster, safety performance assessments, and surrounding population." 03-11
- Symptoms of Radiation Sickness (MSNBC News)
"Radiation sickness (acute radiation syndrome, or ARS) occurs when the body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation within a short period of time. The first symptoms of ARS typically are fatigue, hair loss, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as skin changes such as swelling, redness, itching and radiation burns. Symptoms may present within a few minutes to days after the exposure, and may come and go. This seriously ill stage may last from a few hours up to several months."
- Tokyo: Radiation in Water Puts Infants at Risk (New York Times)
"Radioactive iodine detected in the capital’s water supply spurred a warning for infants on Wednesday and the government issued a stark new estimate about the costs of rebuilding from the earthquake and tsunami that slammed into the northeast of Japan this month." 03-11
- Top U.S. Expert: Japanese Radiation "Extremely High" and Crisis Worsening (New York Times)
"Mr. Jaczko’s most startling assertion was that there was now little or no water in the pool storing spent nuclear fuel at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, leaving fuel rods stored there exposed and bleeding radiation into the atmosphere."
"As a result, he said, 'We believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures.' "
Gregory Jaczko is the the Chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission." 03-11