Remember the difference between weather and climate? We know what happens when the weather changes—it’s obvious. Climate is another story. Read on. When it rains, you put on a raincoat or take your umbrella when you go out. It snows: time for high boots, a heavier coat, scarf, and warm gloves. And sunny days, well,
Cherry blossoms in the foreground of Mount Fuji (image: ladyadventurer.co.uk) So far, at least, the famed blossoming cherry trees of Japan don’t discriminate geographically. This time of year, they grace even the surroundings of nuclear power generators shaken by earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns three years ago. Otherwise, though, the Fukushima landscape remains desolate. Despite widespread
Though we try to keep a very positive focus here, PlanetSave isn’t just a blog about the wonders of the natural world and the glory of Mankind’s inventions. It also offers knowledge and a caution about our failures as individuals and as a species. We’ve all made mistakes before, big and small. By acknowledging anthropogenic
Bad news from the annual American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu. Researchers there announced today that radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, when three reactors melted down after the March 11, 2011, Tohoku earthquake and subsequent mega-tsunami, have finally reached the West Coast. John Smith, a research scientist at Canada’s Bedford Institute
A diver in California’s kelp forest. A new study will explore possible radioactive contamination from the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns (Wikimedia Commons/Ed Bierman). Biology professor Steven L. Manley of California State University, Long Beach, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Head of Applied Nuclear Physics Kai Vetter have set up monitoring off the state’s coast throughout
TEPCO workers lower the 91-ton shielded transfer cask in preparation for relocating unused nuclear fuel. (Photo from TEPCO.) Today, officials at Tokyo Electric Power Company could breathe a sigh of relief. Using remote-controlled cranes, workers at Fukushima Daiichi cleared some of the dangerously radioactive uranium fuel rod racks from the upper-story cooling pond of damaged
Here’s what the Fukushima I power nuclear plant complex looked like prior to the natural disasters and explosions. (Source: ad-hoc-news.de.) Before March 2011, if you heard the words “Fukushima Daiichi,” you might wonder if someone had concocted a new sushi roll. Now most of us know about the nuclear accident cascade following Japan’s massive Tōhoku
Preparing to decommission the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, TEPCO recently dismantled the damaged roof parapet of Unit 4 and removed debris there. (Screenshot source: Enformable.com/Lucas W. Hixson.) As early as next Friday (November 8), the scariest decommissioning work at the ruined nuclear power complex may begin. Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the largest electrical utility in
Over the past several weeks, a flurry of intriguing and surprising outer space-related discoveries have been made, ones that warrant a recap for those who may have missed them. I have selected four of the more fascinating ones, plus one related, really cool piece with a video, and they are: 1] Magnetic Bubbles Discovered at the Edge of Our Solar System, 2] Biggest Blast Ever Seen In Our Universe, 3] Aussie Grad Student Finds Missing Mass in Galaxies, 4] ‘Rogue’ Planets, More Plentiful than Stars, May Be Roaming the Galaxy, and 5] (An extra-special space goody:) A Supernova Sonata – Turning Exploding Stars into Music
In what would be the microbiological equivalent of discovering buried treasure, a team of Antarctic bioscientists, led by Jenny Blamey of the Biosciences Foundation of Santiago, Chile, recently discovered a trove of some 300 microorganisms, 70% of which are previously unknown to science.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company has released new images from Fukushima, depicting the current problem and photos of the day of the tsunami.
The Topic: Radiation Exposure.
The Question: How do scientists know what kind of (and how much) radiation exposure we do or do not face?
Here’s an interesting infographic for you — all you wanted to know about radiation and more. A nice follow-up to the radiation dose chart I shared last week.
On Friday, March 18, four major medical and scientific organizations*, including The Endocrine Society, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine, issued a joint public statement concerning the real risks from the recent, ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan.
This is a totally awesome radiation dose chart via xkcd that my sister shared with me. Interesting…
With all the focus placed on the Japanese radiation leak as well as the toxic plume of radioactive particles (possibly containing uranium and plutonium) heading for the United States, another potential disaster is receiving virtually no attention.
The U.S. Seventh Fleet said Monday it had moved its ships and aircraft away from a quake-stricken Japanese nuclear power plant after discovering low-level radioactive contamination.
The scientists used a general circulation model known as ModelE (developed at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York). The model calculates ocean-atmosphere coupling effects in addition to allowing varying aerosol inputs.
The initial input for the simulation was 5 teragrams (megatons) of black carbon particles injected into Earth’s upper troposphere. This is the estimated result of the surface detonation of 100 Hiroshima-size bombs (each equivalent to 15K tons of TNT).
Every known particle or atom of “normal” matter in the measurable universe has its own corresponding antiparticle which is in every way like the normal particle except for its charge (opposite of the normal particle) and parity (its left or right orientation). Mathematically, such antimatter particles can be described as moving backward in time.* When
[UPDATED: Sept. 27, 2013; see addendum at bottom] In the spirit of both Halloween and Environmental Awareness, I hereby offer thirteen environmental horror stories of anthropogenic origin. I have chosen to narrow my sample field to the post World War II time period. I have also excluded nuclear weapons tests and chemical weapons usage (such
Milestone Move by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission It’s taken two decades and billions of dollars, but the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository project has finally reached a new plateau. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, (NRC) has accepted an application for licensing, and will begin a lengthy process of safety studies, hearings and public meetings. The application
That fungus among us may be the answer to uranium-polluted soils eventually being brought back into use. Researchers at Dundee Unversity in the UK have determined that fungi can block uranium from finding its way into plants, animals or the water supply. Scientists have found that what they call free-living and plant fungi can, “colonise
Those steel tanks you see are some of the 177 that contain 53 million gallons of heavy metals, acids and solvents. They also contain plutonium, cesium, strontium and uranium. All are buried underground. Of those 177, sixty-seven are confirmed leakers, meaning their contents are leaching into the soil and headed toward the Columbia River. Most
This is the third and final segment of our interview with Robert Loux, Director of the agency for Nuclear Projects in Nevada. In our previous podcasts, Yucca Mountain: The Nevada Case Podcast, Part One, Mr. Loux talked about his agency, it’s mission and why the state is so critical of the DOE and it’s practices.
It’s time to sequester voters in Nevada, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton headed for the jugular vein today by declaring if she’s president, Yucca Mountain will be a thing of the past. The State of Nevada has opposed the Yucca Mountain project since it’s inception, and now, years overdue and billions of taxpayers dollars later,
Amid increased activity signaling a possible resurgence of interest in nuclear power facilities, comes word from Nevada that isn’t at all surprising. Ward Sproat, shown in the Las Vegas Review-Journal photo at the left, is director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, and announced Tuesday that Yucca Mountain in Nevada
Here’s the scenario. You’re a young boy living in southern Utah, not far from Nevada’s atomic testing grounds. The mushroom clouds that rose in the sky were fascinating to see, as was the greenish tint that hung in the western sky for weeks. As your family drives from your home along the road to Zion
A long time ago, I heard, or read, that the human animal is the only creature on earth that’s content with living in it’s own waste. The analogy being that most animals choose to leave their waste products somewhere outside their nests. Our nest is this beautiful, blue marble, maybe the only one of its
I have two concerns for the year 2008, the first is the proliferation of uranium mining and nuclear power stations, and the second is that George Bush and Dick Cheney will be in office for the entire year. Before going on, I’ve made a podcast of this article, and if you’d rather listen, the link