“The nuclear industry and the Commission refuse to encourage such widespread public participation [in planning] for fear of diminishing the public acceptability of nuclear power plants.”
Information and transparency are desirable, but they will not make the ambiguities surrounding the Fukushima crisis disappear. Technical expertise alone cannot provide the clarity we seek.
Like most people, nuclear experts may respond to crises with emotions such as anger and dread, which can lead to panic and regressive behavior.
The nuclear safety "stress tests" planned for Europe should be expanded to include tests that evaluate the security of nuclear materials around the world.
Although a catastrophic failure of emergency backup systems at a US nuclear reactor may be unlikely, solid planning and preparations are in order -- and should begin with determining whether an emergency zone extends 10 or 20 miles from a nuclear power plant.
A probabilistic approach to risk leaves us unprepared for "infrequent catastrophes." Nuclear plants require a "possibilistic" approach that allows us to design safeguards against the worst-case scenario.
The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is not a cause for panic but rather an opportunity to improve safety worldwide.
The origins of civilian nuclear power positioned our society, and the nuclear industry, to favor military needs and financial gain over public understanding. Until this approach is changed, history will continue to repeat itself in devastating ways.
After the 1986 explosion, about 135,000 people were evacuated from a zone 30 kilometers in radius around the reactor complex. Four years after the accident we know little more than when it happened but the news is growing worse.
When Unit 4 blasted radionuclides all over the Northern Hemisphere, it all but wrecked the global nuclear power industry.
Soviet and Russian authorities have never told the full story of the critical first ten days.
A decade after Unit 4 exploded, there is no consensus on the number of victims, nor are Soviet-style reactors any safer.
Six who were there tell their stories.
Hippel and Cochran delve into the long-term health effects that followed the 1986 accident that occurred at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station.
Chernobyl represented the largest recorded experience of the effects of whole-body radiation and should serve as a warning about more than just nuclear power plants.
The accident began Saturday, April 26. A sudden increase in power was followed by an explosion of hydrogen. This was followed by a fire in the reactor building and a separate fire in the reactor core.
“…humans, in opting for nuclear energy, must pay the price of extraordinary technical vigilance for the energy they derive from nuclear fission if they are to avoid serious trouble.”
The word “Chernobyl” abruptly entered the world’s vocabulary in 1986. In addition to causing death and disruption to citizens living in the plant’s vicinity, the accident sent radioactive clouds drifting over a wide area of the western Soviet Union, Europe, and other parts of the globe.