Nuclear Regulatory Commission/Flickr

Earthquakes and the H.B. Robinson Plant: A Case Study of the NRC’s Failure to Learn from the Fukushima Accident

, Director of Nuclear Power Safety, Climate & Energy

In response to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi triple-meltdown accident in Japan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ordered nuclear reactor owners to conduct studies to revise and update the seismic hazard profiles at their sites. After nearly a decade, the results are in. Read more >

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Photo: FEMA Photo Library

The Importance of Public Funding for Earthquake Hazard Research in Cascadia

Noel M. Bartlow, , UCS

In 2015, the New Yorker published “The Really Big One”, a story that brought public awareness to the dangers posed by the Cascadia subduction zone. The Cascadia subduction zone is a large fault that lies underwater, just off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. As a scientist and professor who researches this fault and its dangers, I really appreciated the large impact this article had in raising awareness of the importance of preparing for the next large earthquake here, especially among the many residents who live in this region. The New Yorker article, and plenty of ongoing scientific research, suggests that we need to prepare for the possibility of a major earthquake in this region—but we also need more research to help with this preparation.

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The Complicated Issues Behind the Manslaughter Convictions of Italian Scientists

, former deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

There’s been a lot in the news and a considerable amount of discussion since my post last week about the Italian scientists convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to jail in connection with the April 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people in the Italian city of L’Aquila. And like many situations with extraordinary complexity, some of the reporting has been incomplete.

I’d like to share what we’ve learned in the interim that casts additional light on the situation, and some lessons that we may take away from this tragedy when it comes to ensuring that scientists continue to share their expertise with the public and that governments are able to effectively communicate about and manage low-probability, high-risk situations. Read more >

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