Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fukushima and Burning Questions

This week, National Public Radio aired the first of a four-part series entitled BURN:  An Energy Journal.  The first, aired on the one-year-anniversary of Japan’s earthquake, focused on Fukushima, asking what we’ve learned, and what’s next.

Also this week, the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements held its annual meeting, with a focus on two events:  a study showing medical exposures to radiation now account for about 50% of the United States population’s annual radiation dose; and the accidents at the Fukushima reactors and storage facilities.  Both issues raise questions about lessons learned and best practices going forward (and look for a later post on low-level radiation exposure). 

Here’s a sample of the law, policy, and science flurry of activity over the past week or so that’s focused on some of the enduring questions surrounding nuclear technology made especially salient by Fukushima’s anniversary:

  • Scientific American:  1 Year Later, What Does Fukushima Mean for Nuclear Research?
  • The journal Science published a study entitled Nuclear Fuel in a Reactor Accident, which discusses research priorities for developing predictive models of radionuclide behavior during and after accidents
  • A U.S. Geological Survey study measured minimal amounts of fallout in U.S. precipitation following Fukushima
  • Lincoln Davies’s piece Beyond Fukushima: Disasters, Nuclear Energy, and Energy Law appeared on ssrn
  • National Geographic published an article exploring energy shortages in Japan

What are the most pressing issues for nuclear technology? What have we learned? And by the way, does your answer depend on how you perceive risk?

 

--Emily Meazell

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/environmental_law/2012/03/fukushima-and-burning-questions.html

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