Before this month's tragedy in Japan, many were confident that reactor design and safety had matured and catastrophic accidents were simply not going to happen. Fukushima has proven these assumptions wrong -- and it will have a number of implications for the energy debate.
With science unable to accurately determine major geologic events, a reassessment needs to be made of how much nuclear site planning relies on such predictions.
Releasing information about the status of the nuclear plants, the extent of the damage, and the risks of further radioactive emissions can serve to dampen negative commentary and worst-case speculation.
The authors outline reasons that it is possible that it will take an accident more serious than Three Mile Island to overcome the inertia that is holding back further development of containment improvements.
No prediction can be made today for Japan, but it is safe to project a sharply increased probability for a major earthquake on the broad, simple subduction-zone segments both north and south of the Tohoku rupture zone.
A combination of safer nuclear plants and much greater use of renewable energy could position Japan as a global leader in shifting toward a sustainable pathway with renewable sources.
In the wake of Fukushima, it may be time to broaden the scope of the Seoul 2012 Nuclear Security Summit to include safety issues as well as security.
The first step in disarming North Korea--energy aid. Here's how the United States, South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia hope to provide it.
Scientists and policy makers recommend 9 ways to encourage the safe and responsible development of new nuclear reactors in the United States and around the world.
Campaign promises and hopes for a green energy future depend on fundamental reform at the Energy Department, long one of the government's most dysfunctional offices.
The Bush administration intended for GNEP to jump-start a global nuclear power revival without proliferation risks. But as the administration ends, the partnership has heightened proliferation concerns, leaving its future murky.
How shifting research goals and improving collaboration with industry will help U.S. national labs spur new nuclear energy development.
Humbled by the accident at Three Mile Island, the nuclear industry has changed for the better in the years since.
While industry has improved nuclear power plant safety and security since TMI, it needs to do more to prevent future reactor accidents.
In the midst of the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history, former NRC Commissioner Victor Gilinsky writes that it was not all deadly serious--at some points it was just absurd.
The NRC's chief historian recounts how popular accounts of the accident skewed essential facts and suggests that the industry still be on guard for complacency.
The accident at Three Mile Island presented the U.S. nuclear power industry with serious problems but, writes NRC Commissioner Victor Gilinsky, the industry was already in serious trouble.
The final report on Three Mile Island offers within its voluminous pages almost any message an attentive reader wants to find. Nuclear advocates see it as a license to proceed cautiously, anti-nuclear groups as a blistering critique.