Japan’s Katrina Moment

Japan’s Katrina Moment

Japan has always had a reputation for organizational prowess and efficiency, which in the past earned it the nickname “Prussia of the East.” That image, along with its post-World War II prosperity, has been seriously shaken by its stinted recovery from...
Nuclear Tuna and NPR’s Trivialization

Nuclear Tuna and NPR’s Trivialization

Yesterday, National Public Radio (NPR) ran a story asserting that cesium-137 from the Fukushima nuclear accident found in Bluefish tuna on the west coast of the U.S. is harmless. It’s not harmless. The Fukushima nuclear accident released about as much cesium-137...
Improving Spent-Fuel Storage at Nuclear Reactors

Improving Spent-Fuel Storage at Nuclear Reactors

This article originally appeared on the Winter 2012 issues of Issues in Science and Technology, the magazine of the National Academy of Sciences. Introduction: The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, which began with an earthquake in March 2011 and continues today,...
Fukushima Is So Yesterday

Fukushima Is So Yesterday

Wonder if Our noble nation; Is that safe From radiation. Nuclear power may be bad for your health, but it could be great for investors’ portfolios. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) isn’t about to blow the whistle on the industry’s shortcomings...
Fukushima Aftermath: New U.S. Senate Proposal For Spent Fuel Storage

Fukushima Aftermath: New U.S. Senate Proposal For Spent Fuel Storage

The effects of radiation released from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant continue to be felt, as the U.S. Congress is readying proposals to deal with the storage of spent nuclear fuel in this side of the world. Back in March, when news broke that the Fukushima...
Japan’s Version of Kool-Aid

Japan’s Version of Kool-Aid

I don’t usually think a lot about Lady Gaga. I did last week though because we were in Tokyo at the same time, different entourage. Lady Gaga went to Japan for a charity concert, proceeds of which go to victims of the March 11 earthquake. She has donated 3...
Fukushima Has Become the Sequel to “Groundhog Day”

Fukushima Has Become the Sequel to “Groundhog Day”

(Pictured: Bill Murray and friend attempting to escape from Fukushima.) Remember that 1993 film in which the Bill Murray repeats the same day over and over again? The Japanese nuclear crisis has also become déjà vu ad nauseum (please excuse mixed romance...

Sans Insurance, a Nuclear Meltdown Can Become a Financial Meltdown

Way to stay unruffled, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK). The headline at NHK’s website yesterday reads “TEPCO to review cooling operation.” Sounds sober enough — until you find out why it plans to conduct that review. Tokyo Electric Power...

Contamination: From Minamata to Fukushima

A Slowly Emerging Picture On 22 March 2011, an exhausting court battle finally ended for over 2000 victims of mercury poisoning in Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures. In sum, the agreement, decades in the making, was as follows as outlines in the Japan Times (31...

Thanks to Fukushima Nuclear Terrorism Got a Whole Lot Easier

When we think of nuclear terrorism, we think of a nuclear bomb smuggled into an American city. Or, perhaps, a plane crashing into a nuclear reactor. But nuclear terrorism suddenly got a whole lot easier than planning either of those scenarios. Suddenly, it’s as...