Tag Archives: Nuclear Power

Five Years Since the 2011 Earthquake in Japan

It’s now been five years since the huge earthquake off the coast of Japan in 2011 and the subsequent tsunami and reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Fukushima prefecture. Japan is just starting to try to turn some reactors back on and the Fukushima site still isn’t completely secured. The Fukushima Daiichi disaster is the second largest nuclear accident ever recorded (Chernobyl remains the worst). It’ll still be a long time before things are really cleaned up.

At the same time, there’s still plenty of fear-mongering about nuclear power. I’ve had people try to tell me that much of that region of Japan is now basically a radioactive wasteland (something that happens in a town like Boulder), which is very far from the truth. There is a closed zone around the plant (I’ve never been particularly close¬†though) but even a few towns away things are safe.


Ernest Moniz on the Nuclear Deal With Iran

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz wrote on op ed in the Washington Post a few days ago on the proposed nuclear deal between the international community and Iran. While many don’t seem to know it, the DoE’s primary responsibility is oversight of various nuclear facilities, so it would be the agency most qualified to respond to the technical (rather than political) details of the deal. Moniz is also an emeritus professor physics at MIT. Moniz emphasizes that the deal, if it passes in the end, would achieve many of the goals that the US and other countries want, which is to prevent the development of nuclear weapons or at least make it hard enough to delay anything. It would also allow Iran to continue a civilian nuclear program, which is what it claims it wants anyway while making it difficult to evade limitations on fuel enrichment.