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Posts Tagged "Fukushima"

Guest Blog

Technogenic Disasters: A Deadly New Normal for the Media

Some go to school to become journalists. Others hit the road with a notebook, camera and insatiable curiosity, while others have a shocking moment of awareness of the complexity of the human condition and want to document it. I decided to enter the field when a war journalist showed me a roll of images from [...]

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Guest Blog

Radiation levels explained: An exposure infographic

There’s been a lot of confusion and concern about radiation in the past few weeks. As part of the Building a Better Explainer project at N.Y.U.’s Studio 20, we decided to create a visual explainer of radiation levels, inspired by some recent presentations over at XKCD and Information is Beautiful. Both compare radiation doses from [...]

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Guest Blog

Impact of the Japan earthquake and tsunami on animals and environment

On Friday, March 11, Japan was rocked by an earthquake. People were displaced, a nuclear reactor was in trouble, and the world watched as a tsunami flooded Japan, threatened the islands of the Pacific, and ultimately hit the western coasts of North and South America. Chris Rowan pointed out that “Very little of the devastation [...]

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Guest Blog

Poor risk communication in Japan is making the risk much worse

The radiation crisis in Japan worsens for two reasons: one that we’ve heard about, one that we haven’t but which may in the end do far more harm. The Japanese government, and the company in charge of the crippled nuclear complex, are struggling with their risk and crisis communications, and their missteps are fueling mistrust [...]

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Guest Blog

Deja vu: What does the Gulf oil spill tell us about the Japanese nuclear crisis?

For the second time in under a year, a large-scale energy disaster is unfolding before our eyes. Two different industries. Two different crises. Can we apply any lessons from the Gulf oil spill, and what can we expect for the nuclear industry moving forward? It was just over a year ago that the Macondo well [...]

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Observations

Civilian Drones to Change How We Respond to Emergencies

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You may think you know what a “drone” is. But the word  “clearly means a lot of things to a lot of different people,” according to Dean Jansen, co-director of the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC), which took place in October. Jansen’s remark came while introducing one of the speakers at the multidisciplinary conference [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Observations

Hackers Use Open Hardware to Solve Environmental Problems

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Autonomous mini-sailboat drones ply the ocean and mop up oil spills, gather information on marine life in crisis and clean up floating plastic trash. That’s the vision of Protei, a collective of technology students from around the globe who have been designing a fleet of these craft as “open” hardware—or electronic gadgets assembled from scratch [...]

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Observations

Fukushima Absorbed: How Plutonium Poisons the Body

plutonium poisoning uptake in body cells

Plutonium has a half-life of about 24,000 years. And scientists have known for decades that even in small doses, it is highly toxic, leading to radiation illness, cancer and often to death. After the March nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, people the world over worried that plutonium poisoning might [...]

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Observations

Are Babies Dying in the Pacific Northwest Due to Fukushima? A Look at the Numbers

A recent article on the Al Jazeera English web site cites a disturbing statistic: infant mortality in certain U.S. Northwest cities spiked by 35 percent in the weeks following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The author writes that "physician Janette Sherman MD and epidemiologist Joseph Mangano published an essay shedding light [...]

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Observations

Robot measures radiation at Fukishima Daiichi site, verdict unclear

iRobot,Fukushima,Japan,nuclear,robot

After weeks on standby, robots have been called from the sidelines to help inspect reactor buildings at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Tokyo Electric Power Company sent a remote-control robot into the No. 1 and No. 3 nuclear reactor buildings on Sunday and then into the No. 2 reactor the following day. The [...]

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Plugged In

Fukushima – U.S. Responds to Lessons Learned

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A year ago today, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Northern Japan. In the wake of this earthquake, a massive tsunami would flatten the Northern Tohoku region, killing nearly 20,000 people and knocking out power to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. And, as the country rode through a large series of aftershocks, news of an [...]

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