Pop culture has long helped fuel an irrational fear of radiation, and dire warnings about Japan's embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are likely overblown, scientists say.
The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan underscores – yet again – the need to abandon nuclear power as a panacea for energy independence. Experts may never determine what caused all of the emergency cooling safety systems at Daiichi to fail completely. But they have learned that they are nearly powerless to bring the smoldering units under control. In the meantime, significant amounts of radioactive gas have vented, and partial meltdowns of at least two reactors have occurred. Indeed, nuclear power will never live up to industry promises. As a whole it is ultimately unsafe, an accident waiting to happen, and far more expensive than proponents admit. Colby College professor Paul Josephson gives seven reasons why we should abandon nuclear power and instead turn to solar, wind, and other forms of energy production that won’t experience such catastrophic accidents.
In Sendai, a port city 60 miles from the damaged reactors at Fukushima, residents say they're getting conflicting warnings about the level of nuclear radiation.
The US embassy in Tokyo has urged American citizens within 50 miles of the threatened plant to relocate and announced it would help US citizens evacuate the country by plane.
For those who don’t work in the nuclear energy field, some of the terms being thrown around in news coverage of the events unfolding at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are being heard for the first time. These definitions will provide some clarity.
Workers at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant are still days – if not weeks – away from bringing the crisis under control. The reason: nuclear fuel rods remain dangerously hot well after reactors are shut down, and all cooling systems at Fukushima have failed.
The Japan nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant points to a need to rethink safety design for such technology. Now, with a possible meltdown, Japan, like many countries, faces a crisis of confidence.
Reports suggest that greed within the worldwide nuclear industry, combined with an insufficient UN watchdog and lax oversight of Japan's nuclear plants, contributed to the Japan nuclear crisis.
Japan's emperor Akihito sought to reassure citizens who are beginning to doubt government reassurances amid rising fear about a nuclear crisis.