Nuclear Energy

We should have been prepared for the Fukushima tsunami

March 11, 2012 by

A year ago yesterday the Tōhoku-Oki earthquake and resultant tsunami hit the Japanese coastline, triggering the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster. A year on, many questions are being asked about how bad conditions really are one year after the disaster, and how long it will be before Japan truly recovers.

Could Iran be building nuclear weapons? A scientific perspective

March 5, 2012 by

There is much concern that Iran is in the process of developing nuclear weapons. Such a development, we’re told, could induce Israel to launch a unilateral military strike with all types of unpredictable consequences. Now Iran, of course, is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – unlike many other Middle East nations – and thus far the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no direct proof of nuclear weapons development in Iran.

North Korea’s Pivot

March 1, 2012 by

After three years of frozen relations between North Korea and the United States, the two longstanding adversaries are on the verge of a thaw. In what has been called the “leap day deal”, North Korea has pledged to stop uranium enrichment and suspend nuclear and missile tests. The United States, meanwhile, will deliver 240,000 metric tonnes of food to the country’s malnourished population.

Review of the BBC’s ‘This World: Inside the Meltdown’

February 29, 2012 by

The BBC documentary, “Inside the Meltdown,” on the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant is oddly powerful in its depiction of the savage destructive nature of the environment as it battered and subsequently caused the meltdown of the Fukushima plant.

Africa, Nuclear Security and the 2012 Summit

February 29, 2012 by

Many hold a view that the terms Africa and nuclear security have no correlation. This is a false and dangerous perception. South Africa’s Energy Minister Dipuo Peters announced on Tuesday 28 February 2012 that her country plans to use nuclear energy as part of diversified mix to help cure South Africa’s energy crisis and to take a step closer to cleaner energy.

Post-Fukushima Japan’s Energy Market

February 28, 2012 by

In a few weeks it will be the one year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, which had all but soured the Japanese public’s appetite for nuclear energy. What once supplied 25% of the country’s energy needs, nuclear power plants are being decommissioned one by one. As of February 2011, only two of the country’s 54 commercial reactors remained functioning.

Panel Discussion: After a Turbulent 2011, What Lies Ahead for the Global Economy?

February 13, 2012 by

2011 was filled with economic and political turmoil. On January 25, 2012, Japan Society hosted, The 2012 Outlook: After a Turbulent 2011, What Lies Ahead for the Global Economy? The panel of analysts examined the outlook for 2012. In addition to a review of 2011 and insights and analysis for 2012, the panelists discussed the recovery in Japan, the position of the U.S. dollar, the political landscape worldwide, and the health of financial institutions in several major economies.

IAEA Delegation Arrives in Iran to Discuss Nuclear Program

January 29, 2012 by

A delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Iran to discuss the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear program, the Iranian media reported on Sunday. Iran’s Envoy to the IAEA Ali Ashgar Soltanieh said last week that a delegation of the UN nuclear watchdog would visit Iran on January 29-31 “to negotiate and discuss issues raised by the IAEA.”

China’s Economic Clout and Nuclear Expertise Invades Saudi Arabia

January 19, 2012 by

Ever since the end of World War Two, the U.S. has come to regard Saudi Arabia as almost its exclusive oil producing enclave. In February 1945, after the Yalta Conference with Soviet General Secretary Iosif Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, on his way home U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud met aboard the New Orleans-class heavy cruiser U.S.S. Quincy in the Suez Canal’s Great Bitter Lake.

Fukushima’s Rice: Mental Health Crises in Fukushima

December 8, 2011 by

In Japan, rice is life. It is the core of the Japanese diet and its importance cannot be overstated. After the Fukushima meltdown, since radioactivity in rice grown in the irradiated ground is not visible to the naked eye, tests must be conducted to determine its levels of radioactive cesium. If the levels are too high, the rice can’t be sold.

IEA Report Calls for Governments to Embrace Nuclear Power

November 14, 2011 by

The good news is that on 8 November the International Energy Agency released its 2011 “World Energy Outlook.” While it will cheer nuclear advocates, overall the report makes for grim reading. Pulling no punches, the report states at the outset, “There are few signs that the urgently needed change in direction in global energy trends is underway.”

Occupy Fukushima: Women of Fukushima against Nukes

November 12, 2011 by

The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has acted as a spur to a host of “Occupy” operations including “Occupy Fukushima!” – a movement with a distinctly Japanese feminist twist, a strong link with the anti-nuclear/peace movement and a close affiliation with Greenpeace. It is more accurate, to call this movement the “Women of Fukushima against Nukes.”

The Island of Miyatojima: an Architect comes to its Rescue

November 7, 2011 by

For Americans, unless you live in New Orleans, it’s very hard to imagine the extent of the devastation of this year’s earthquake, subsequent tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown which the Japanese call “3/11”. “I have seen disaster zones around the world, but none compare in the scale of damage to the latest disaster,” said architect Shigeru Ban, after visiting Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, and other devastated areas.

US-Japan Cooperation after 3-11: Report on the CSIS Keidanren Partnership for Recovery Task Force

October 28, 2011 by

Chaired by James McNerney, CEO of The Boeing Company, the “Partnership for Recovery and a Stronger Future” focuses on areas where the United States and Japan can work together to help with recovery and reconstruction and build a better future.

From Chernobyl to Fukushima

October 23, 2011 by

Many of us can remember Ukraine a quarter of a century ago when the city of Chernobyl experienced the horror of a nuclear meltdown and the ineptitude of the Russian government unable to cope with the disaster. We remember the Russian government’s persistent denials of responsibility for the accident.

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