08 Apr 2013

Fukushima Two Years Later: Many Questions, One Clear Answer

You can’t say you have all the answers if you haven’t asked all the questions. So, at a conference on the medical and ecological consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, held to commemorate the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan, there were lots of questions. Questions about what actually happened at Fukushima Daiichi in the first days after the quake, and how that differed from the official report; questions about what radionuclides were in the fallout and runoff, at what concentrations, and how far they have spread; and questions about what near- and long-term effects this disaster will have on people and the planet, and how we will measure and recognize those effects.

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08 Apr 2013

Fukushima Two Years Later: Many Questions, One Clear Answer

You can’t say you have all the answers if you haven’t asked all the questions. So, at a conference on the medical and ecological consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, held to commemorate the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan, there were lots of questions. Questions about what actually happened at Fukushima Daiichi in the first days after the quake, and how that differed from the official report; questions about what radionuclides were in the fallout and runoff, at what concentrations, and how far they have spread; and questions about what near- and long-term effects this disaster will have on people and the planet, and how we will measure and recognize those effects.

16
11 Mar 2013

Fukushima Plus Two: Still the Beginning?

I was up working in what were in my part of the world the early morning hours of March 11, 2011, when I heard over the radio that a massive earthquake had struck northeastern Japan. I turned on the TV just in time to see the earliest pictures of the tsunami that followed what became known as the Tohoku quake. The devastation was instantly apparent, and reports of high numbers of casualties seemed inevitable, but it wasn’t until a few hours later, when news of the destruction and loss of power at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant hit the English-language airwaves, that I was gripped by a real sense of despair.

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11 Mar 2013

Fukushima Plus Two: Still the Beginning?

Two years after the earthquake and tsunami, it is not the beginning of the end of this disaster, and, with apologies to Winston Churchill, it may not even be the end of the beginning.

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29 Jan 2013

Seventy Years of Nuclear Fission: Short on Confidence; Long on Waste

On December 2, 1942, a small group of physicists under the direction of Enrico Fermi gathered on an old squash court beneath Alonzo Stagg Stadium on the Campus of the University of Chicago to make and witness history. Uranium pellets and graphite blocks had been stacked around cadmium-coated rods as part of an experiment crucial to the Manhattan Project–the program tasked with building an atom bomb for the allied forces in WWII.

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29 Jan 2013

Seventy Years of Nuclear Fission: Short on Confidence; Long on Waste

Without a way to safely store the mountain of waste already created, under what rationale can a responsible government permit the manufacture of so much more?

17
30 Dec 2012

Blogiversary VII: The FISA-ing

And the Seven & Seven is not just a good drink for my seventh blogiversary, the Seven & Seven’s specificity makes it a very appropriate cocktail for this last weekend of the year for a more, shall we say, “all inclusive” reason.

Friday morning, while some were distracted by Washington’s self-inflicted fiscal clusterfuck, and most were distracted by things that had nothing at all to do with Washington, the US Senate passed a five-year extension to the FISA Amendments Act (FAA)–the oversight-deficient warrantless surveillance program started by the George W. Bush administration. The vote was 73 to 23.

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30 Dec 2012

Blogiversary VII: The FISA-ing

And the Seven & Seven is not just a good drink for my seventh blogiversary, the Seven & Seven’s specificity makes it a very appropriate cocktail for this last weekend of the year for a more, shall we say, “all inclusive” reason.

Friday morning, while some were distracted by Washington’s self-inflicted fiscal clusterfuck, and most were distracted by things that had nothing at all to do with Washington, the US Senate passed a five-year extension to the FISA Amendments Act (FAA)–the oversight-deficient warrantless surveillance program started by the George W. Bush administration. The vote was 73 to 23.

15
25 Dec 2012

Yule Fuel

Yes, it’s time for that metaphor again.

9
14 Dec 2012

Writing on Shooting: Over Five Years Later, What Has Changed?

Gun violence is more than an everyday occurrence in this country, it is an hourly one. Correction: it is a quarter-hourly one.

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