This week we officially released our book Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster, published by New Press and co-authored by UCS nuclear experts Dave Lochbaum and Ed Lyman, and journalist Susan Q. Stranahan. Susan for many years was a journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer, and was the lead reporter of the Inquirer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. Read More
February 12th, 2014
January 28th, 2014
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently received by email an open letter by four nuclear scientists and engineers—Andrew C. Kadak, Richard A. Meserve, Neil E. Todreas, and Richard Wilson—titled “Nuclear Power’s Role in Responding to Climate Change.” Below we look at some of their arguments. Read More
Christopher Boniface, Molecular Biologist
Department of Biomedical Engineering, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
December 20th, 2013
I remember the first really large protest I ever attended. I was 21 and it was on the eve of the invasion of Iraq. The atmosphere was electric—all over the U.S. and around the world, people were out in the streets in massive numbers telling their leaders, “No War!” The eventual invasion and occupation of Iraq was a wake-up call to me about the decision-making abilities of our leaders. It moved me to action on other issues that I care about—especially the environment. Read More
December 19th, 2013
This week the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the restarting the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, which has not run since the Missouri River flooded in June 2011. That flood reminded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the unmet safety needs of that plant, and helped the plant owner see the advantages of wind power. Read More
December 10th, 2013
Third of 3 posts on spent fuel safety
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee is set to consider a waste management bill for nuclear power reactors—the Nuclear Waste Administration Act—in mid-December. The authors argue that their bill is urgently needed to protect the public since nuclear waste currently stored at reactor sites poses a safety risk that must be reduced now.
However, in its current form the legislation does not address the near-term risks of nuclear waste storage at reactor sites. It would therefore do nothing to increase public safety for the foreseeable future. Read More
December 6th, 2013
This is the second of 3 posts on spent fuel safety
In my previous post I talked about how spent fuel is piling up in cooling pools at reactors across the country. Since 100 million Americans—a third of the U.S. population—live within 50 miles of a spent fuel pool, reducing the risks to those people should be a high priority. Read More
December 4th, 2013
This is the first of 3 posts on spent fuel safety.
In case you don’t have enough to worry about, consider this: nuclear reactor waste is piling up at U.S. reactor sites.
Because the U.S. has not opened a repository to store reactor waste, the government has not fulfilled its promise to take spent fuel from nuclear plants and dispose of it. As a result, spent nuclear fuel has accumulated at the reactor sites, reaching a level of 70,000 metric tons today. And over 70% of that waste is stored in increasingly crowded cooling pools that were originally intended to hold much less fuel. Read More