The Science Of Japan's Nuclear Crisis
Jul 19, 2011 — In the aftermath of the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says American nuclear reactors need new safeguards to ensure that the kind of accident that damaged the Japanese reactors doesn't happen in the U.S.
Jul 5, 2011 — Japanese officials already have concluded that the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was not designed to withstand the 40-foot tsunami that hit it on March 11. But different decisions early in the crisis might have reduced the accident's severity.
Jun 20, 2011 — In new reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Japanese government highlight the hazardous working conditions, lack of communication and last-ditch efforts by workers to contain meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Early confusion among the leadership was also a problem.
Apr 12, 2011 — Though Fukushima and Chernobyl are both level 7 nuclear accidents, the consequences in Japan to date are much less severe. In part, that's because far more radiation was released at Chernobyl.
Apr 12, 2011 — The Japanese government raised its assessment of the crisis at Japan's stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to the highest possible level. And it could take more than 10 years and $10 billion to clean it up. Though engineers know how to handle the basic operations, nobody's ever tried a nuclear cleanup on this scale before.
Apr 7, 2011 — Japan was rocked Thursday by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake just off its coast. Technically, that strong shaking was an aftershock of the devastating 9.0 temblor that hit the nation nearly a month ago. But it wasn't surprising, says Volkan Sevilgen with the U.S. Geological Survey, who explains the science of aftershocks.
Apr 7, 2011 — The violent shaking from Japan's March 11 earthquake stirred up the soil, leading to broken water pipes, tilted utility poles and manholes that popped out of the ground. The phenomenon, known as liquefaction, was particularly noticeable in areas built on land reclaimed from the sea.
Apr 6, 2011 — Experts say that in the weeks following the series of explosions and fires inside the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, TEPCO made very costly — and avoidable — mistakes. The company, they say, was deeply surprised and overwhelmed by the course of events.
Apr 5, 2011 — "Safe" isn't a defined engineering term. Planners must decide, based on risks and probabilities, how safe they want to make something — whether it's an airplane, bridge, or nuclear power plant. But sometimes it's hard to estimate exactly what the likelihood of a particular calamity might be.
Apr 4, 2011 — The operator of the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant began intentionally releasing radioactive water into the ocean. The company says the release is necessary to bring the plant's nuclear reactors fully under control.