ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "Nuclear Power"

@ScientificAmerican

Earth Day E-Book Examines The Future of Energy: Earth, Wind and Fire

Scientific American E-Book: The Future of Energy: Earth, Wind and Fire

Since the Industrial Revolution our civilization has depended on fossil fuels to generate energy—first it was coal; then petroleum. But there are two problems: the first is that petroleum isn’t an infinite resource; and the second is that burning coal and oil puts billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, trapping heat. Temperatures [...]

Keep reading »
Cross-Check

Atomic Reporters Curbs “Egregious” Coverage of Nuclear Perils

Recent U.S. "modernization" of nuclear arsenal "will probably mean that nuclear weapons will be with us for another 100 years," says Peter Rickwood of Atomic Reporters, "and trigger a response by Russia and China to build-up their weapons programs."

Yes, the Cold War ended long ago, but we still live in a nuclear-armed world, in which the possibility of nuclear war, terrorism and accidents is all too real. That is why my school, Stevens Institute of Technology, hosted a “Workshop on Nuclear Education” last year, organized by Edward Friedman and Julie Pullen of Stevens [...]

Keep reading »
Cross-Check

Averting a “Japan syndrome”: Reactor expert says Japan’s woes shouldn’t stop a nuclear renaissance

apan

Less than a year ago I was opposed to nuclear energy for reasons that I explained in this post. Nuclear power, I believed, was just too risky. Then I got an e-mail from Rod Adams, a former U.S. Navy officer who has served on nuclear submarines and now blogs about nuclear power at Atomic Insights. [...]

Keep reading »
Cross-Check

Why I’m becoming a pro-nuke nut, continued

Radiation and Reason book cover

Last week’s post served up facts from Power to Save the World (Vintage, 2008) by Gwyneth Cravens, whose book forced me to see nuclear energy in a more positive light. At the risk of destroying what little credibility I still possess, I’d like to urge readers to check out two even more provocative analysts of [...]

Keep reading »
Cross-Check

Nuclear fall in: Why I’m becoming a pro-nuke nut

My belated education in nuclear energy continues. I just read Power to Save the World: The Truth about Nuclear Energy (Vintage, 2008) by Gwyneth Cravens, a petite, energetic novelist and journalist. Cravens contacted me after seeing my chat with Rod Adams, a nuclear-trained Naval officer, on Bloggingheads.tv last May (which I followed up with a [...]

Keep reading »
Cross-Check

Obama’s nuclear policy takes one step forward and two steps back

In 1983, a Columbia University undergraduate named Barack Obama wrote an article, “Breaking the War Mentality,” for the school publication Sundial. Obama expressed the hope that someday humanity would abolish nuclear weapons and create a “nuclear free world.” Obama never abandoned that dream. The Nobel Foundation awarded him its Peace Prize last December in large [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

“All of the Above” Energy Means More Fracking, Renewables, Nukes and Clean Coal

ernest-moniz

There is no technical issue with fracking, the controversial technique of fracturing shale rock with high-pressure, chemically treated water to release natural gas. But there is clearly a political one, judging by the multiple interruptions to a talk at Columbia University by new Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz. The affable former M.I.T. professor and [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Pandora’s Promise: The Triumph of Hope over Fear in Nuclear Power?

pandoras-promise-poster

A believer in solar power rarely has a good word to say about nuclear, though the sun generates light in a nuclear way via fusion. Of course, the zealotry works in the other direction as well. Almost any energy source boasts a cadre of ardent adherents: burning coal (it alleviates poverty!). Fracking for natural gas (we’re [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Meet the New Secretary of Energy Nominee: Ernie Moniz

ernest-moniz

Ernest J. Moniz, a nuclear physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who serves on Scientific American’s board of advisors, will be President Barack Obama’s pick to replace Nobel laureate Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy. While Moniz has yet to win a Nobel, he served on the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Is Nuclear Power Doomed to Dwindle?

crystal-river-nuclear-reactor

The nuclear reactor near Crystal River north of Tampa Bay will never fission again. Duke Energy has decided to shutter the troubled nuclear power plant, which has been shut down since 2009 thanks to a crack in the dome that shields the reactor. Attempts to repair the initial crack had caused other cracks to form [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

What Will Steven Chu’s Energy Legacy Be?

steven-chu

Steven Chu will step down as Secretary of Energy at the end of this month, though he “may stay beyond that time so that I can leave the Department in the hands of the new Secretary,” he wrote in a farewell letter to Department of Energy (DoE) staff, issued February 1. Regardless, when Chu leaves [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

How to Rid the World of the “Element from Hell”

plutonium-238

The vast majority of the radioactive plutonium on the planet is man-made—roughly 500 metric tons, or enough to make 100,000 nuclear weapons by the calculations of the International Panel on Fissile Materials. Much of it is the legacy of the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and Russia in the latter decades of the 20th [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

1 Year after Fukushima: Could It Happen in the U.S.?

Last year, on March 11, a deadly earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan, killing more than 15,000 people. To make matters worse, the natural disaster triggered a major crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. The subsequent meltdown and radioactive release is the only event in history other than Chernobyl to rate as a “major [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Researchers Trumpet Another Flawed Fukushima Death Study

In June I wrote about a claim that babies in the U.S. were dying as a direct result of Fukushima radiation. A close look at the accusation revealed that the data used by the authors to make the argument showed no such thing. “That data is publicly available,” I wrote, “and a check reveals that [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Is Fukushima really as bad as Chernobyl?

satellite image of Fukushima Daiichi explosion

One month to the day after the devastating twin blows of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent 15-meter tall tsunami, Japanese officials have reclassified the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at the highest possible level. The partial meltdown of three reactors and at least two spent fuel pools, along with multiple hydrogen [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

A need for new nukes? “Modular reactors” for energy attract interest

nuclear-reactor

The entire budget of the U.S. Department of Energy branch that covers today’s energy mix—from cleaning up energy generation’s environmental aftermath to energy efficiency programs and renewable energy development—is $10 billion. That’s enough to "either build one supercollider on the basic end or one nuclear power plant on the applied end," said Kristina Johnson, the [...]

Keep reading »
Plugged In

Photo Friday: Nuclear Power Lands on Mars (2012)

8056997796_470b730679_c

NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. Its primary goals were to gather geological and environmental data from the planet. This photo was taken by a navigation camera located toward the back-left of the rover. It is, one can see a part of Curisoty’s nuclear power supply. Beyond the rover itself, one can [...]

Keep reading »
Plugged In

Will Germany really phase out nuclear by 2021?

800px-Nuclear_plant_at_Grafenrheinfeld

Germany’s electricity mix is rapidly changing, with renewables on the way in and nuclear (potentially) heading out. But, given nationwide concerns regarding energy affordability and fairness, the future remains unclear. Today, approximtley 15% of Germany’s electricity comes from nuclear power. But, under the country’s national energy transition plan (Energiewende), nuclear power will be phased out [...]

Keep reading »
Plugged In

Tax credits – the wind in wind energy

For wind power, 2011 was a great year. California added more new wind energy to the grid than any other state, according to a report published Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Energy. A number of other states received high honors as well. These include Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Colorado, which churned out at [...]

Keep reading »
Plugged In

Nuclear Energy Innovation – Getting off the bench

flickr-467128837-small

Over the past two months, the U.S. nuclear power industry has seen significant events occur including the first approval for new reactor construction in more than three decades and the Nuclear Regulator Commissions’s release of a new set of orders aimed at increasing plant safety post-Fukushima. Both appear to signal that the U.S. federal government [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article



This function is currently unavailable

X