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Do you think it's getting weird around here?

The fragments of information that have filtered out make it clear that the building houses one of the largest fusion experiments now operating in the United States. It is also one of the most unconventional. Instead of using the doughnut-shaped 'tokamak' reactor that has dominated fusion-energy research for more than 40 years, Tri Alpha is testing a linear reactor that it claims will be smaller, simpler and cheaper — and will lead to commercial fusion power in little more than a decade, far ahead of the 30 to 50 years often quoted for tokamaks. The Fusion Upstarts.
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Jul 24, 2014 - 37 comments

a panicky exodus

The Asahi Shimbun has learned (from recently released interviews with now-deceased Fukushima plant manager Masao Yoshida) that 90% all workers, including managers required to deal with accidents, defied orders and fled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant at a critical juncture when the disaster was unfolding in March 2011. The New York Times reports on the story as well.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 20, 2014 - 37 comments

“What’s been the biggest challenge? Every single thing,” he said.

Twenty-eight years on, the struggle to build a permanent containment building at Chernobyl.
posted by Chrysostom on Apr 29, 2014 - 35 comments

Vermont Yankee nuclear plant announces closure

Entergy announces it will close and decommission the contested Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in southern VT. Vermont Public Radio covers governor Peter Shumlin's announcement.
posted by maniabug on Aug 27, 2013 - 66 comments

Fukushima tired of being out of the news, makes new play for spotlight

A Water Storage Nightmare: Fukushima Daiichi is back in the news. "Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an 'emergency' that the operator is struggling to contain."
posted by saulgoodman on Aug 5, 2013 - 68 comments

New Nuclear Power

Georgia Power has updated their photo gallery to include photos showing the placement of the first part of the new Unit 3 containment vessel at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Georgia. No small task, as the component is almost 130 feet across, nearly 40 feet tall, and weighs 900 tons. Vogtle Units 3 & 4 are the first new nuclear reactors to be built in the US since Three Mile Island. They're based on the Westinghouse AP1000 two-loop pressurized water reactor design. The gallery includes some high resolution gems like this one showing the completed placement.
posted by disillusioned on Jun 5, 2013 - 105 comments

Don't blame the tsunami

"The ... Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco, and the lack of governance by said parties."
posted by mondo dentro on Jul 5, 2012 - 127 comments

'On contaminated dives, they get an extra $10 per day'

Swimming on the Hot Side: An elite team of nuclear divers are risking their lives to help save a troubled industry. The Life of a Nuclear Diver
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 29, 2012 - 71 comments

Iranian uranium

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran has tripled its production of >20% enriched uranium in the past three months, while adding 2,600 new uranium centrifuges to its main enrichment facility in Natanz. The agency has not received a "satisfactory explanation" of how 20kg of uranium metal went missing from an Iranian research laboratory. Iran has been blocking IAEA inspections, and the agency "is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities". In recent years, Russia and China have chosen to limit UN sanctions against Iran, whose government denies it aims to make atomic weapons.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Feb 24, 2012 - 220 comments

24 Hours at Fukushima

As part of their special report Fukushima and the Future of Nuclear Power, the IEEE has published 24 Hours at Fukushima, chronicling the events that turned a disaster into a catastrophe, and detailing what might have been done to prevent them.
posted by ob1quixote on Nov 4, 2011 - 20 comments

Earthquake in Virginia

As everyone knows there was an earthquake in central VA today that could be felt from South Carolina to Maine and points west. Stunning pictures of the carnage are beginning to appear. This is also time to consider nuclear power plant vulnerability in the USA (interactive map). North Anna Power Station was very close to the epicenter and shut down automatically.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 23, 2011 - 144 comments

Japanese nuke plant run with help from yakuza (mafia) / Two dogs rescued from nuke plant (video)

Tepco, the Japanese nuclear power company, is still battling multiple core meltdowns including one complete "melt-through" (breach of containment). The news gets worse, except for one hopeful story of two dogs. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 28, 2011 - 129 comments

Fukushima 'Full Meltdown' Made Official

TEPCO officials confirmed that the Reactor No. 1 at Fukushima suffered a full meltdown What has been alluded to for weeks has been confirmed today. High levels of cesium has been found in the water and soil of japan and reports that from 60 to 70 percent of the radiation the Chernobyl disaster have been released. The Australian Broadcasting Company news service is reporting that reactor number three continues to leak dangerous levels of radioactivity in to surrounding seawater.
posted by Poet_Lariat on May 12, 2011 - 177 comments

Funeral money in the contamination zone: living with Chernobyl, 25 years after the accident

Nadezhda Korotkaya, 77, a widow who lives alone in her small wooden house on the edge of Stary Vyshkov, still remembers the World War II. "The Germans came and went," she said. "But Chernobyl came here to stay." It was 25 years ago today that reactor number four at the Chernobyl power plant exploded, following an emergency shutdown (detailed recounting of the disaster on Wikipedia). A memorial was held in Kiev, Ukraine, this morning for the liquidators who were the first human responders, with a bell struck at the exact moment of the Chernobyl explosion on April 26, 1986. See also: a look back, with The Big Picture. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 26, 2011 - 23 comments

The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale

The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale looks at the cause of polarizing debates such as: global warming, gun ownership, school shootings, terrorism, nanotechnology, public health, nuclear power, foreign wars and just about every heated thread in Internet history. In short, the polarizing issue is "risk"- the perception of risk, and the proposed solutions to risk. It turns out people see risk in polarizing ways according to where they stand on a scale of cultural beliefs. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Mar 26, 2011 - 46 comments

"For obvious reasons of morale, these tunnels are not near those in which the men's dormitories are situated."

Project Iceworm was part of an investigation into the feasibility of storing nuclear missiles under Greenland's ice sheet, in the event that the Cold War turned Hot. In 1960 the US Air Force took it upon themselves to bury a city, called "Camp Century" in the ice sheet, and see how life went there. There's an excellent documentary (parts 2, 3, 4) on YouTube about its construction and installation of various facilities, including the first portable modular nuclear power plant. [more inside]
posted by Xoder on May 13, 2010 - 16 comments

The nuclear option

The Vermont state legislature voted today to close Vermont Yankee, the Green Mountain State's own nuclear power plant.
posted by vortex genie 2 on Feb 24, 2010 - 26 comments

One million years of isolation

An interview with Abraham Van Luik, US DoE geoscientist working on the nuclear waste repository under construction in Yucca Mountain. [more inside]
posted by Dr Dracator on Jan 4, 2010 - 32 comments

The Economist: The World in 2009

In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.

The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 27, 2008 - 31 comments

Small-scale nuclear - not an oxymoron anymore

For sale: 25 MWe uranium hydride nuclear reactor. $25 million. Size of hot tub; transportable on back of truck; suitable for burial next to steam turbine generator. No risk of meltdown. Powers 20,000 American homes, or significantly more remote African ones. Provides electricity at 10 cents/kWh. To join the waiting list or if you have questions, please contact Hyperion Power Generation.
posted by Dasein on Nov 12, 2008 - 85 comments

KABOOM!

Jonathan Golob at Dear Science.org has a series of posts up about nuclear power. Topics include: The physics behind nuclear power, the inner workings of a reactor, nuclear radiation, nuclear waste, the disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and the future of nuclear power. Also in a truncated podcast form. [more inside]
posted by Weebot on Jun 19, 2008 - 2 comments

Tamahagane steel is bliss

Samurai-Sword Maker's Reactor Monopoly May Cool Nuclear Revival There stands the only plant in the world...capable of producing the central part of a nuclear reactor's containment vessel in a single piece, reducing the risk of a radiation leak. From a windswept corner of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, Japan Steel Works Ltd. controls the fate of the global nuclear-energy renaissance. Each year the Tokyo-based company can turn out just four of the steel forgings that contain the radioactivity in a nuclear reactor. Even after it doubles capacity in the next two years, there won't be enough production to meet building plans. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 30, 2008 - 28 comments

Nuclear Blues

Nuclear plant operation correlates with increased infant mortality rate. Correlation may not prove causation, but these numbers are pretty dramatic.
posted by alms on Nov 3, 2003 - 19 comments

Freshman builds fusion reactor

Top this, MacGyver A college freshman and inveterate tinkerer followed Philo Farnsworth's designs to build a workable fusion reactor out of junk. via Macintouch
posted by adamrice on Sep 17, 2003 - 26 comments

"Nothing like this will be built again"

"Nothing like this will be built again" is the summary, by sf author Charles Stross, of his tour of the Torness nuclear power station in East Scotland.
His enthusiastic descriptions of the extreme coolness of the technology, the combination of near Victorian style brass plumbing and advanced nuclear engineering, go some way to demystify and humanise what I always regarded as one of the more terrifying pieces of architecture I had ever seen when I lived in the area.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Jan 24, 2003 - 15 comments

Neighbors of nuclear plant north of NYC line up for precautionary pills.

Neighbors of nuclear plant north of NYC line up for precautionary pills. "Hundreds of suburbanites living near a nuclear plant north of New York City were given pills Saturday that could protect them from thyroid cancer in the event of a nuclear catastrophe." Would you feel safer if you had the potassium iodide pills?
posted by Kevin Sanders on Jun 9, 2002 - 7 comments

"Terrorists plan July 4th attack in US" - claim

"Terrorists plan July 4th attack in US" - claim
There are claims that terrorists linked to the al-Qaeda network are planning an attack on a US nuclear power plant to coincide with Independence Day celebrations.
posted by tomcosgrave on May 13, 2002 - 25 comments

Live near one of these 10 nuclear power plants?

Live near one of these 10 nuclear power plants? They either have cracks in their control rod nozzles or are particularly "vulnerable" to cracking. An inspection at Ohio's Davis-Besse plant led to the completely unexpected discovery of "the most extensive corrosion ever found on top of an American nuclear plant reactor". Radioactive boric acid leaked out of the cracks and came within a half-inch of burning a hole through the steel containment dome. NRC officials say this kind of corrosion "was never considered a credible type of concern," but nuclear safety groups have been warning for years that NRC inaction on this issue was endangering the public. (more links inside)
posted by mediareport on May 9, 2002 - 7 comments

If terrorism is real, then a clear-eyed view would suggest nuclear power is done for.

If terrorism is real, then a clear-eyed view would suggest nuclear power is done for.
posted by sudama on Sep 17, 2001 - 10 comments

The nukes are alright...

The nukes are alright... "since most American nuclear plants were built in the 1960s and '70s, they operate on analog systems, and are unlikely to be affected by digital errors." I feel so much safer now...
posted by grant on Nov 8, 1999 - 4 comments

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