Frank von Hippel

Articles by Frank von Hippel

14 December 2012

Subcritical experiments

Frank von Hippel

Earlier this month, the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced that it had conducted a subcritical experiment with plutonium in an underground tunnel 300 meters below the Nevada National Security Site (formerly, the Nevada Test Site), about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Named Pollux, it was the 27th such experiment that the United States has conducted since it ended test nuclear explosions in 1992.

27 June 2011

Managing nuclear spent fuel: Policy lessons from a 10-country study

Harold FeivesonZia MianM. V. RamanaFrank von Hippel

The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) is in the process of finalizing an analysis of the policy and technical challenges faced internationally over the past five decades by efforts at long-term storage and disposal of spent fuel from nuclear power reactors. These challenges have so far prevented the licensing of a geological spent fuel repository anywhere in the world.

16 March 2011

From the Bulletin Archives: Containment of a reactor meltdown

Frank von Hippel

Editor's Note: Authored by Jan Beyea and Frank von Hippel, this article originally appeared in the September 1982 issue of the Bulletin.

14 March 2011

Second chances: Containment of a reactor meltdown

Frank von Hippel

One aspect of the drama that we have been witnessing at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is the efforts of Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) to prevent the over-pressurization of the containments of its boiling water reactors at plants I and II. These reactors lost power from the grid due to the earthquake and their backup emergency diesel generators failed, apparently due to damage from the tsunami.

1 September 2009
Feature
With Yucca Mountain dead, the United States needs an alternative home for its nuclear waste. It would do well to look to Germany, which invented interim dry-cask storage and still relies on the technology today to store its spent
1 May 2001
Feature
If all the “excess” plutonium from dismantled weapons were measured in units of 8 kilograms—the amount the International Atomic Energy Agency considers sufficient to make a Nagasaki-type bomb—then there is enough excess weapons plutonium to build about 9,000 bombs, and enough plutonium separated fr
1 November 2000
Opinion
Downsizing Russia's nuclear weapons complex is very much in the world's interest.