The Fukushima Cleanup is Progressing, But at a Painstaking Pace

Earlier this year, remotely piloted robots transmitted what officials believe was a direct view of melted radioactive fuel inside Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s destroyed reactors—a major discovery, but one that took a long and painful six years to achieve. In the meantime, the programme to clean up the destroyed reactors has seen numerous setbacks and concerns, including delays on Japanese electrical utility Tepco’s timetable to begin removing the highly radioactive fuel and continued leakage of small amounts of radioactive substances. Read More >>

A Robot Captured Photos of What Might Be Melted Nuclear Fuel Inside Fukushima’s Reactor No. 3

One of the several brave robots to make one-way trips into Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s severely damaged reactors has accomplished what its less fortunate compatriots did not, sending back photos of what appears to be melted nuclear fuel from the interior of the ruined facility. Read More >>

What Makes a Nuclear Reactor ‘Fail-Safe?’

When things go wrong at a nuclear power plant, they can go very wrong. The reality is that outside of some high-profile disasters, nuclear power is extremely safe. But what does it mean when people say that a nuclear reactor is “fail-safe?” Read More >>

Japan Just Scrapped a £7.2 Billion Nuclear Reactor That Never Really Worked

The government of Japan has decided to decommission the experimental Monju nuclear reactor, which worked for just 250 days out of its total 22-year lifespan. Read More >>

renewable energy
China is Going to Build a Solar Plant in Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone

A pair of Chinese companies are planning to build a solar plant in one of the scariest places in the world: the exclusion zone around the damaged Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Read More >>

Chernobyl’s Gigantic Radiation Shield Is Now Being Moved Into Place

A giant metal shield designed to contain radioactive waste at Chernobyl’s damaged nuclear reactor is being moved into place. Read More >>

New Russian Data Centre Will Be Nuclear Powered

Russia’s newest data centre will also be its largest, with a capacity for 10,000 racks. With that much power draw, it of course makes sense for the facility to be built next door to an existing nuclear power station. Read More >>

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster’s New $1.5bn Confinement Structure is Amazing, Terrifying and Heartbreaking

There's been no greater ecological disaster than the Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown. Approaching 30 years since the April 1986 event which saw a power surge trigger a series of events that would lead to a reactor vessel rupture, the area near Pripyat, Ukraine, is still reeling from the fallout. It will be thousands of years until the region will be habitable again, and the damaging effects on the health of those living near the disaster zone are still being discovered today. Read More >>

We are Running Out of the Nuclear Fuel That Powers Space Travel

Rosetta's lander lasted just 60 hours on a comet before bouncing into the dark shadows of a cliff, where its solar panels couldn't power the spacecraft. Why didn't it carry a more reliable power source, say a nuclear battery like one that's unfailingly fuelled Voyager for decades? It's a simple question with a fascinating answer, one that begins with the Cold War and ends with the future space exploration. Read More >>

Mystery Drones Have Been Flying Over France’s Nuclear Power Plants

Quadrotors of various shapes and sizes have been flying over some of France's (numerous) nuclear power plants over the course of the past few weeks, causing mild alarm, embarrassment for the Air Force that's supposed to police the air space, as well as a judicial enquiry, Le Monde reports. Read More >>

Vintage Cutaway Drawings Show How Nuclear Reactors Really Work

If you're anything like me, you've probably wondered how a nuclear reactor works. When you look at pictures nuclear power plants, questions must march through your head. Why are some of them shaped like weather balloons? How do they keep the fuel safe? Where's Mr. Burns's office? Read More >>

A 30-Year-Old Reactor in Oxfordshire Could Set the World Record for Nuclear Fusion

In 1984, an EU-funded prototype nuclear fusion reactor called JET was officially opened by Queen Lizzy, and has been happily fusion-ing away ever since, even setting a world record for fusion energy back in 1997. The old gal's not done yet, however, and following an upgrade a few years ago, the scientists in charge want to have another go at a world record shot. Read More >>

Floating Nuclear Reactors Might Make More Sense Than You’d Think

At a symposium held by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers this week, a team of MIT engineers will present an idea that seems to tempt fate: A floating nuclear reactor, anchored out at sea, that would be immune to tsunamis and earthquakes. Is it really that crazy of a plan? Read More >>