Japan’s Nuclear Power Sector Awakens After Long Sleep

Japan's Nuclear Power Sector Awakens After Long Sleep
Amid protests by anti-nuclear groups, Japan restarted the first of its shuttered nuclear reactors today, four years after the Fukushima disaster closed all of that country’s nuclear plants. There were no problems during the restart (BBC; NEI). Owned and operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company, the Sendai nuclear reactors were the first approved for restart ...

Probing what happens to plutonium in a nuclear explosion

Probing what happens to plutonium in a nuclear explosion
For years, research on nuclear weapons has relied on old data, limited experiments and computer modeling. But this year, that pattern has changed. Scientists have run new experiments that simulate what happens to plutonium in a nuclear explosion, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). The research will deepen scientists’ understanding of ...

This dome in the Pacific houses tons of radioactive waste – and it’s leaking

This dome in the Pacific houses tons of radioactive waste – and it's leaking
Black seabirds circle high above the giant concrete dome that rises from a tangle of green vines just a few paces from the lapping waves of the Pacific. Half buried in the sand, the vast structure looks like a downed UFO. At the summit, figures carved into the weathered concrete state only the year of ...

No, a Nuclear Explosion Did Not Launch a Manhole Cover into Space

No, a Nuclear Explosion Did Not Launch a Manhole Cover into Space
In 1957, the Nevada Test Site saw a series of nuclear explosions that, according to legend, launched a manhole cover into space. Except it probably didn’t. Here’s where the story came from—and why the inadvertent source of the story has been trying to stop its spread for years. Operation Plumbbob was a series of 29 ...

What an underground nuclear explosion looks like

What an underground nuclear explosion looks like
One this day, 53 years ago, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory detonated a thermonuclear device 194 meters below the Nevada desert. Why? Well, the government at the time thought blowing up a nuclear bomb underground sounded like a good idea if you want to excavate a mine. It’s a lot quicker than drilling with a ...

UW researchers working on novel nuclear fusion technique

UW researchers working on novel nuclear fusion technique
Sustainable nuclear fusion has long been a dream for most scientists and energy experts alike. Clean, abundant, and economical, there have been many attempts to make it workable. Now, researchers at the University of Washington have stepped up their existing involvement in the fusion field with a $5.3 million Department of Energy grant to scale ...

Got nuclear innovation? DOE will pay millions for it

Got nuclear innovation? DOE will pay millions for it
The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced more than $60 million in research grants to further nuclear energy infrastructure. The recipients included 68 projects from all across the country -- all of which were selected based on potential for scientific breakthroughs toward energy security and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. "I remain convinced that ...

Nasa prepares for real-life Armageddon: Agency could launch nuclear bombs into space to defend Earth from asteroids

Nasa prepares for real-life Armageddon: Agency could launch nuclear bombs into space to defend Earth from asteroids
Nasa and the National Nuclear Security Administration have announced they are now working together on the possibility of destroying hazardous asteroids using nuclear weapons. And like the film Armageddon - where Bruce Willis flies a space shuttle to an oncoming asteroid to drill a warhead into its core - the nuclear payload could be delivered ...

Obama Threatens China with Nuclear Weapons.

Obama Threatens China with Nuclear Weapons.
Last Friday, National Security Council senior Asian affairs director Evan Medeiros said John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter would meet their Japanese counterparts in New York on Monday. They’d “announce some historic changes to the way US-Japan alliance operates” ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Washington visit this week. On Tuesday, Obama hosted him ...

US wants nuclear transparency, but not for its own bombs

US wants nuclear transparency, but not for its own bombs
Amid all of last week’s headlines parsing Iran’s nuclear infrastructure as the deadline for a potential deal with world powers drew near, it was easy to miss the item in the Science section of The New York Times. It was about the US hydrogen bomb programme. The H-bomb, the paper reminded readers, is a thermonuclear ...