Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

12 Sep 2011 10:31


U.S.: More details on the explosion at a French nuclear plant

  • what On Monday, an explosion of a furnace at at French nuclear plant killed one and injured four others, one seriously. Officials are investigating.
  • where The Marcoule plant, located near the French city of Avignon, is one of the oldest nuclear plants in the country. It doesn’t have any reactors.
  • why The furnace, which handles radioactive waste, exploded. It was an industrial accident in nature, not a nuclear one, officials say. source

19 May 2011 18:32


World: The scene of the tsunami at Fukushima Daiichi

  • TEPCO has released several photos of the catastrophic tsunami of March 11th, as it struck the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. They are perhaps somewhat instructive, as they highlight the intense level of natural abuse the plant took that led to this ongoing crisis. source

11 May 2011 17:01


World: Underwater robot captures Fukushima plant destruction

  • The scene at a spent fuel-rod pool: Here’s a video captured by an intrepid underwater robot — scenes of the tsunami-wreaked destruction in one of the spent fuel-rod pools at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Honestly, everything just looks chopped up and blown to hell. It’s a chilling reminder of the threat posed when natural events don’t unfold as planned. source

28 Apr 2011 13:55


Tech: Alabama nuclear plant shut down after violent storms, tornados

  • Alabama Nuclear Plant safely shut down: In the midst of the destruction caused by tornadoes (which as we mentioned earlier, have a minimum confirmed death-toll of 214 people), here’s something, albeit remote, to make you maybe feel a smidge better about crisis preparedness; namely, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Facility in Huntsville, Alabama, was safely handled after a power failure. When the storms knocked out primary power, the plant’s batteries and diesel generators still worked, and the plant safely shut down. It may just be everything going according to plan, but in times like these, even that can be a comfort. source

26 Apr 2011 14:03


World: Health effects of Chernobyl disaster still hard to quantify

  • Chernobyl at 25: Today marks 25 years since Chernobyl blew up, plagued as it was by a mixture of poor decision-making by its chief operator, Anatoly Diatlov, as well as a critically flawed reactor design. All these years later, officials and experts still debate the health effects resulting from the crisis; the UN concluded about 6,000 youths would/have suffered thyroid cancer as a result, while other scientists and organizations insist the magnitude of the problem is much greater, in the tens of thousands. Now, the containment sarcophagus around Chernobyl is decaying, to boot, so the building of “the shelter,” an enormous arch that would cover the entire plant, becomes more important than ever for the surrounding areas. source

21 Apr 2011 14:41


World: TEPCO releases Fukushima Daiichi footage shot by robots

  • What’s it look like inside Fukushima Daiichi? Well, at least some of it looks like this, This footage from TEPCO shows a couple of robots that are working in one reactor — even though it’s not especially illuminating from an information standpoint, it’s yet very haunting footage. source

02 Apr 2011 19:51


World: Radioactive water continues to leak into ocean from Fukushima

  • NO concrete fails to plug irradiated water leak at Fukushima source
  • » The flow has continued at a seemingly unchanged rate. This is bad news for pretty obvious reasons- the leak, coming through an eight-inch crack in a pit containing power cables, is sending water irradiated at 1000 millisieverts per hour into the ocean. Having tried pumping in concrete and failed to make any progress, TEPCO’s next plan is to employ a similar strategy using a type of polymer. Polymer spraying has already been happening throughout the plant, in an effort to prevent radioactive isotopes from escaping into the environment.

28 Mar 2011 15:58


World: IAEA chief calls for safety review in Vienna

  • YES the IAEA chief has called a nuclear safety summit source
  • » Clarifying the lessons learned? Yukiyo Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has called a nuclear safety summit in Vienna. He wants all hands on deck for this, with ministers from all 151 member states in attendance. It’s an obvious move, and frankly it would be hard for the IAEA to have claimed much credibility if they had failed to do something like this. That said, this is a worthwhile reminder that safety reviews are always better early than late.

24 Mar 2011 13:59


U.S.: NRC findings on nuclear regulation is stomach churning

  • 28% of nuclear plants don’t report equipment defect source
  • » Loopholes in all the wrong places: So, here’s the deal. A report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission landed on that rather startling percentage you see above. The reason, it seems, is that the law relating to nuclear regulation states both that they need to report defects that can cause a loss of safety function, and that they need only to report actual losses of safety function. The NRC didn’t downplay the implications of this, saying “a substantial safety hazard” could arise as a result of these failures in disclosure. As it seems to bear mentioning, we’ll reiterate a humble plea: quit skimping on nuclear safety, and yes, regulation. The industry’s great job in recent years polishing up their image is being betrayed by what we’re now learning about some of the rot that lies beneath.

23 Mar 2011 15:11


World: Tokyo tap water unsafe for babies, young children

  • As smoke again rises, a warning on water: The workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant were again forced to evacuate as black smoke began to rise from Reactor 3, which as the video details is the lone reactor to utilize plutonium, making such a sight somewhat more serious than normal (though certainly, smoke pouring from any nuclear reactor is bad news). At the same time, parents in Tokyo are being told that babies and young children should not drink the tap water, as it contains high levels (nearly double the legal limit) of radioactive iodine. source