Overcrowded spent-fuel pools at US nuclear power plants pose an 'unacceptable threat to the public,' says risk assessor. Much of the leaked radiation from Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi came from spent-fuel pools.
State and federal legislators voice concerns about the earthquake risk at two California nuclear power plants – as well as the adequacy of safety protocols in place there.
Chernobyl and Three Mile Island did not stop nuclear power growth. Will the Japan nuclear crisis at Fukushima delay or end the 'nuclear renaissance'?
Fourteen safety-related events at nuclear power plants required follow-up inspections from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC reported in 2010. These "near-miss" events "raised the risk of damage to the reactor core – and thus to the safety of workers and the public," concluded a new report, "The NRC and Nuclear Power Plant Safety in 2010," by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Here are five of these 14 "near miss" examples:
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.
The circle of seismic activity in the Pacific Ocean, known as the "ring of fire," stretches from Australia to Russia around to Alaska and America's West Coast and down to Chile in South America. It's an area responsible for 90 percent of the world's earthquakes and 75 percent of its volcanoes. So which of the more than 26 nations in the ring has nuclear power? Only three: Japan, of course (more than 50 plants); the United States (eight reactors at four plants); and Mexico (two reactors at one plant). Here's a look at the five non-Japanese plants in the world's most active earthquake zone:
Scientists at a press conference for anti-nuclear power groups say the Japanese nuclear reactor crisis could get worse before it gets better. But other scientists say it's not yet clear whether the accident will become another Three Mile Island – let alone a Chernobyl.
A nuclear plant in Japan is said to declare a state of emergency, as backup power used to cool three reactors runs low. Help is on the way. 'It's a dicey situation,' says nuclear specialist in US.
A tractor plows a field near the steaming cooling towers of Slovakia's oldest nuclear power plant, Jaslovske Bohunice. The plant was built by a Soviet designer and was upgrated with Western technology.