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  • In post-quake Tokyo, bicycle transport is newly popular

    A new bike commuter? Maybe.Photo: Byron KiddIn the aftermath of Friday’s earthquake, which disrupted public transit, residents of Tokyo are turning to bicycles to make the trip to and from work. That’s the word from Byron Kidd, who blogs at Tokyo by Bike. I had seen him tweeting after the quake about an increase in […]

  • What will the Japan disaster mean for U.S. nuclear power?

    The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is several miles from a seismic fault.Photo: MaryaCNN just published an opinion piece that I wrote with Richard Caperton, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Here it is: The recent history of the U.S. nuclear industry suggests that nuclear power can be a safe […]

  • What exactly is happening with the Japanese nuclear reactors?

    The nuke plant in Fukushima, Japan.Photo: Beacon RadioThe Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, currently has three boiling water reactors in danger of “meltdown.” Here are the basics on what’s happening and what that means. How does a boiling water reactor work? The nuclear core transfers energy to water by heating it. This cools […]

  • Will Japan be hit with multiple nuclear meltdowns in wake of tsunami?

    The AP reports that 180,000 Japanese are fleeing amid fears of “multiple reactor meltdowns.” In the U.S., Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) says we should “put the brakes” on new nuclear power plants. The estimated death toll from Japan’s disasters climbed past 10,000 Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns […]

  • Guess what else the GOP wants to cut? Tsunami monitoring!

    Whatever, my kid can do that.Image: Pacific Tsunami Warning CenterIf we had any evidence that Republican House members were capable of feeling shame, we’d expect them to be so red right now. Mother Jones reports that one of the items on the GOP’s budgetary chopping block is … tsunami monitoring. Last month, they voted to […]

  • Japan is not a nuclear conflagration right now. Would we be so lucky?

    Japan has declared a state of emergency at the Fukushima nuclear reactor -- but thanks to good engineering, there's been no radiation leak and there's no risk of one. With more than 50 nuclear plants in the earthquake-vulnerable country, things would have been way worse without earthquake precautions in place. Does U.S. infrastructure have that kind of protection?

  • Does climate change mean more tsunamis?

    March 11 tsunami leads to an explosion at Chiba Works, an industrial (chemical, steel, etc.) facility in Ichihara, Japan.Photo: @odyssey Update: The intent of this piece isn’t to attribute today’s tragedy to climate change. Apologies to those whom I misled with the headline. It was meant literally, as in: Tsunamis are inundations of shorelines and […]