Failed Nuclear Weapons Recycling Program Could Put Us All in Danger

Some government screw-ups are so epic that they require decades of effort. Such was the case for the recently cancelled plan to convert surplus weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear fuel. Not only did the U.S. waste $4 billion dollars, it increased the likelihood that terrorists could obtain bomb-making materials. » 6/06/14 11:30am 6/06/14 11:30am

The economic viability of US nuclear reactors is worsening, says a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Any additional loss of nuclear capacity, the study argues, would increase carbon dioxide emissions, making it more difficult for the US to achieve its 17% emissions reduction pledge by 2020. » 4/29/14 8:45am 4/29/14 8:45am

Nuclear-Powered Vehicle Concepts from the Mid-20th Century

One of the promises of the Atomic Age was the notion that, one day, we would all be riding around in nuclear-powered cars, trains, and airplanes. Even if our roads were never filled with nuclear cars, many designers came up with prototypes and concept art for atomic transportation. » 8/17/13 1:00pm 8/17/13 1:00pm

Why environmentalists embrace nuclear power

A new documentary, Pandora's Promise, has scientists and politicians arguing over the future of nuclear power. It's a movie about how prominent environmentalists went from being anti-nuclear power to favoring it — largely because the alternative, fossil fuel, is so damaging to our ecosystems. » 6/13/13 11:28am 6/13/13 11:28am

NASA Researchers: Nuclear power will kill fewer people than natural gas

Writing in the latest issue of Environmental Science & Technology, NASA scientists Pushker A. Kharecha and James E. Hansen report that nuclear energy leads to fewer pollution-related deaths and greenhouse gas emissions compared with fossil-fuel sources: » 4/02/13 4:46pm 4/02/13 4:46pm

These photographs of present-day Chernobyl are utterly haunting

Back in 2009, redditor HoHoNOPE paid a few hundred bucks to charter an illegal tour of the Chernobyl power plant and nearby ghost town of Prypiat. This is what he saw. » 7/19/12 12:32pm 7/19/12 12:32pm

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Is nuclear power really on the way out?

Last year's horrifying natural disaster in Japan sent shockwaves around the world in more ways than one. The meltdown at Fukushima was a stark reminder of what can happen when nuclear power gets out of our control. Some nations responded to the catastrophe by shutting down plants and announcing ambitious phase-out… » 6/12/12 11:29am 6/12/12 11:29am

The human cost of the Fukushima meltdowns, one year later

In March 2011, a tumult of natural disasters spurred the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant located near the small rural towns of Okuma and Futaba. In the coming weeks, hundreds of thousands evacuated their homes, likely never to return. » 3/26/12 8:35am 3/26/12 8:35am

Nuclear reactors approved for U.S. construction for the first time…

Fukushima may still be reeling from last year's nuclear disaster, but a global interest in nuclear power looks to be on the up and up — even here in the U.S. » 2/10/12 8:00am 2/10/12 8:00am

Doomsday clock moves one minute closer to our planet's complete…

Back in January 2010, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that they were moving their "Doomsday Clock" from five to six minutes to midnight, a sign of cautious optimism and renewed hope for Earth's nuclear safety. » 1/10/12 4:30pm 1/10/12 4:30pm

Scenes from the Fukushima exclusion zone: towns frozen in time and…

Six months after the Tōhoku earthquake triggered the Fukushima disaster, former residents, scientists, and news crews are returning to the nuclear exclusion zone to survey how areas near the plant have fared after being abandoned for months. » 9/13/11 7:35am 9/13/11 7:35am

Horde of 100 radiation suit-clad specters invades German music festival

The Dockville Music Festival in Hamburg it the host of some pretty high concept art installations, such as this subterranean tiny town. Another piece on display this year was this eerie army of radiation workers, who spent the festival forever frozen and glowing. » 8/30/11 11:15am 8/30/11 11:15am

MIT proposes 100-year "temporary" storage for nuclear waste

How can we prevent another nuclear disaster from happening here in the United States? One way is to be more systematic in how we handle spent nuclear fuel. Stored nuclear waste was a huge factor in Japan's Fukushima reactor disaster. » 4/27/11 8:30am 4/27/11 8:30am

How much radiation do you absorb doing everyday tasks? This helpful…

Randall Munroe of xkcd fame has drafted this handy chart that puts in perspective how much radiation humans receive from commonplace activites (such as eating a banana) and less ordinary situations (spending one hour outside of Chernobyl, for example). » 3/20/11 9:15am 3/20/11 9:15am

Four fascinating documentaries about nuclear power

Curious about Uranium mining or the biological ramifications of nuclear pollution? Here's an assortment of enlightening documentaries that will fill you in on sundry nuclear topics (and some of them can be watched online). » 3/19/11 1:00pm 3/19/11 1:00pm

What is the worst kind of power plant disaster? Hint: It's not nuclear.

Media coverage of the Japan nuclear reactor leak makes it seem like the worst kind of power plant disaster that you would ever face. But when you look at the actual statistics and history of similar disasters, nuclear power plants are not the most dangerous energy sources - even when terrible accidents happen. » 3/18/11 2:08pm 3/18/11 2:08pm

How does radiation travel, and what kinds of damage can it do?

The nuclear disaster in Japan has left many people in danger of exposure to radiation and radioactivity. Some are simply fearful. What exactly is this radiation? And what threat does it pose? We've got some answers below. » 3/16/11 9:00am 3/16/11 9:00am

Explosion hits quake-damaged Japanese nuclear plant (UPDATED)

An explosion has wracked the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant in Japan. Nuclear officials have detected radioactive cesium and iodine at the site and fear that the uranium fuel rods have begun melting. Notes the BBC: » 3/12/11 3:40am 3/12/11 3:40am

You will soon be able to visit beautiful, breezy Chernobyl

The site of the worst nuclear accident in history is going to open for business as soon as next year. Take a hike around the facilities and check out the catfish in the cooling pond. » 12/18/10 8:45am 12/18/10 8:45am