» But that’s not happening — at least not yet. A couple weeks back, the Japanese government agreed to let the Kansai Electric Power Co. restart two reactors at the country’s Ohi plant. On Sunday, one of those reactors started up again — and there were protests. One was 100 strong near the Ohi plant; another saw 7,000 people fill the streets of Tokyo. Most want to see the country end its dependence on nuclear power. Will public pressure make a difference here?
Closing the Strait of Hormuz is very easy for Iranian naval forces. Iran has comprehensive control over the strategic waterway.Iranian Adm. Habibollah Sayyari • Claiming that Iran has the ability to close the Strait of Hormuz, a major waterway that’s extremely important for the distribution of one-sixth of the world’s oil. Sayyari’s threats come as Iran worries that the U.S. and its allies will start to sanction Iran’s all-important oil supply out of frustration with the country’s controversial nuclear program. Congress recently passed a bill to sanction the country’s central bank, which Obama plans to sign despite having misgivings about the effects it might have. As tensions continue to rise over Iran’s nuclear program, could military action become an option for the U.S.? source (via • follow)
These drums are designed to a safety standard that would withstand a wildland fire worse than this one.Los Alamos National Laboratory spokeswoman Lisa Rosendorf • Attempting to reassure people that, even as a large wildfire gets close to the birthplace of the atomic bomb — which has about 30,000 55-gallon drums of Cold War-era nuclear waste on the premises, located less than four miles away from the fire — that things are safe. Rosendorf says that it’s located in a place with few trees nearby, meaning that the fire would be unlikely to spread into that particular area, and if it did, it would not affect the drums. Let’s hope she’s right. source (via • follow)
p53angel asks: Hey guys! So first, a little background, I’m a 2nd year microbio major at Ohio State U (basically, I’m into science and what we can use it for). However, and a big however, looking at what’s happened in Chernobyl, Brazil, and recently Japan (heck even the “demon core,”) I’m beginning to wonder if we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew with nuclear power. Before the Sendai earthquake, I was pretty convinced that nuclear power was pretty safe because we understood it, and took tons of precautions with it, but I’m having doubts now; and it was a magic solution to the fossil fuels dilemma. But what about all the toxic waste we don’t really have a way of getting rid of? What about when it goes wrong, something completely out of our control (like an earthquake and tsunami.) It’s like the Jurassic Park question: we can, but should we? In this case, are we ready to play with this fire? I mean, areas in Ukraine are never going to be habitable again. That’s pretty serious stuff. (and, granted, Fukushima is not like that, and Chernobyl was 30 years ago in the Soviet Union). Still. The question stands; Should we use nuclear power on such a massive scale when we really can’t control what we’re doing to our environment/ourselves? Just my thoughts, I’m curious about what you guys have to say. Thanks!
» We say: Without digging too far into all this, I guess that you have to weigh the risk/reward here. That’s ultimately our feeling on the whole mess, and something we’ve said in the past about this matter. The thing is, even with the environmental issues that have come up of late, it’s still far safer than many forms of energy. And even ones considered “safe” have their downsides. And to put into clear terms: I don’t think anyone’s arguing about making nuclear our only energy source. Rather, I think that, because the damage caused when nuclear energy screws up is so acute (thereby lending itself to media frenzy), it leads to the type of overreaction that ultimately hurts further research and discourages figuring out how to make it safer. Coal and oil make smog and are growing more limited by the year; solar is an intermittent resource without continuous availability; wind makes noise and has many of the same problems as solar; biomass cuts into our food supply; fracking natural gas can damage the water supply. And well, nuclear energy occasionally causes fluke accidents like Fukushima and has not-insignificant waste issues. The question is, is there a way avoid or limit these flaws, with any of these sources?
Hello, my name is Green and I’m a geology major.
Cons: From what I’ve read, the safety concerns of the reactors are legitimate. Mark 1 does have some problems.
Pros: At the very least, when reactors are built near/on fault zones, they are usually built to withstand the earthquakes. However - that can only do so much when there is a problem with the design of the REACTOR itself.
My opinion - we need to work on the reactors themselves - building near a fault is not necessarily a huge problem (I wouldn’t recommend it, but it can be managed if done properly).
SO BASICALLY the country needs to take a look at how they manage funds and put some money used for *ahem* other things
1. Upgrading our nuclear power plants
2. Using geothermal energy (Lol check out the Snake River Valley in Idahoooo)
3. Using more Solar/Wind power.
Put you know this will be a fucking huge fight because there are people who don’t want certain OTHER energy industries to fall.
End science rant/
Great commentary on our original graphic.
No United States service members currently conducting relief missions in Japan are showing symptoms of radiation poisoning, but some crew members are being given Potassium Iodide tablets as a precaution, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Additionally, the Pentagon said US forces in Japan are not permitted within 50 miles of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant without special authorization.
(Information via Reuters)
Japan has some of its industry curtailed, like auto and steel — but that’s not going to last too long. People are starting to realize that there [sic] economy is not going to be shut down for long — and they’re going to have to start to look for alternative fuel sources.INFA Energy Brokers CEO Brad Schaeffer • Suggesting that Japan will have to switch its energy sources to an alternative source. But Schaeffer means “alternative” in the way one might call a band like Nickelback “alternative” — see, he thinks that Japan should move to oil. “Remember, they need to get their nation back on their feet,” he says. “They aren’t worrying about their carbon footprint so much. They’re thinking we need to get oil here now – so we can get our generators up and running.” While there’s some grain of truth here, we wonder how much of what he’s saying is wishful thinking, seeing that he’s the CEO of an energy-brokering company. Quotes like these? They seriously make us cringe. source (via • follow)