WBEZ | nuclear http://www.wbez.org/tags/nuclear Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Worldview in India: Rag pickers organized into recyclers http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/worldview-india-rag-pickers-organized-recyclers-111815 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P1012950.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="A network of rag pickers and sorting stations is working with the waste of 3 million people in Delhi. (Jerome McDonnell)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/198962227&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Activism: Rag pickers in India</span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span id="docs-internal-guid-56944a80-7fbc-9b85-6c10-02228cd13ea8">Rag-pickers are people in India who rummage through refuge to make a living and for their very survival. </span>Worldview traveled to India with India Development Service (IDS) to meet with the organizers of an initiative to educate, house and uplift rag-pickers&#39; and their children. We spoke with Ashish Jain, director of Indian Pollution Control Association about how he is teaching the rag-pickers how to recycle and develop the garbage they sort. The group provided a space for this rag-picker community by building a small village within a Delhi garbage dump. And IDS helped fund an on-site school for the rag pickers&rsquo; children.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Guests:</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Ashish Jain from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ipcaworld.co.in/">Indian Pollution Control Association</a>.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-104e7536-7c04-39a0-a4e6-ab69d78a7bb0">Nilesh Kothari is a founding board member of <a href="http://idsusa.org/">India Development Service</a>.</span></em></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/198964386&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Deal with Iran is reached, nuclear weapon manufacturing deemed &quot;impossible&quot;</span></font></p><p>After 18 months of deliberation a deal has been reached between major world powers and Iran. The deal would lift certain economic sanctions in favor of reducing Iran&#39;s nuclear capabilities and increasing the number of inspections leveled against it. We discuss the diplomatic implications for both Iran and the Western World with Trita Parsi and Amit Sadri.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-104e7536-7c07-79bb-5202-eef555c1d576"><a href="https://twitter.com/tparsi">Trita Parsi</a> is the </span>president of the <a href="https://twitter.com/niacouncil">National Iranian American Council</a>.</em></p><p><em>Ahmad Sadri is a professor of Islamic World Studies and professor of Sociology at <a href="https://twitter.com/LFCollege">Lake Forest College</a>.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/198966359&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">World HIstory Moment: The Falkland Islands War</span></p><p>Every week, historian John Schmidt tells us about an important date in global history. Today he tells us about the anniversary of the Falkland Island War on April 2nd, 1982.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p><a href="https://chicagohistorytoday.wordpress.com/">John Schmidt</a> is an historian and author of &ldquo;On This Day in Chicago History.&rdquo;</p></p> Thu, 02 Apr 2015 16:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/worldview-india-rag-pickers-organized-recyclers-111815 Worldview: Nuclear talks with Iran to continue until Wednesday http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-31/worldview-nuclear-talks-iran-continue-until-wednesday-111794 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP233133249819.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, third left, chats with U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, as U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, second right, takes a note while waiting for the start of a meeting on Iran's nuclear program with other officials from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, the European Union and Iran at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Tuesday, March 31, 2015.(AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/198621532&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Deal with Iran could be pushed to Wednesday</span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Negotiations with Iran over a possible nuclear deal have reached their deadline. Signals are pointing to continuing the talks on Wednesday, with some of the more sensitive subjects to be dealt with three months from now, according to the New York Times. We opened the line to our listeners to chime in as we talked to John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Nabeel Khoury from Northwestern University about the best and worst case scenarios on this deal.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-2db7f2a8-7185-01b3-c940-b7a5003e4384">John Mearsheimer is the</span> co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the <a href="https://twitter.com/UChicago">University of Chicago</a>. He&rsquo;s written extensively on security issues and international politics, including the books </em>Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em><a href="https://twitter.com/khoury_nabeel">Nabeel Khoury</a> is a visiting associate professor of Middle East Studies at <a href="https://twitter.com/NorthwesternU">Northwestern University</a> and non-resident senior fellow at the <a href="https://twitter.com/ACmideast">Atlantic Council&#39;s Hariri Center</a>.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/198631270&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Eco Heroes: Cheryl Besenjak of Growing Healthy People</span></p><p>Cheryl Besenjak is a Vietnam-era veteran and community gardener. She and her husband started out by asking people to plant an extra row or two in their gardens. In time, their idea blossomed into a life&rsquo;s mission to train people, especially veterans, to become farmers. We&rsquo;ll talk with Cheryl about her organization, Growing Healthy People. It&rsquo;s a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging health through growing organic produce, nutritional education and local food production.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-50e6cfce-7187-ada4-69a5-9a9aa2a73c6e">Cheryl Besenjak is a</span> community gardener and executive director of &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GrwngHealthyPpl">Growing Healthy People</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-31/worldview-nuclear-talks-iran-continue-until-wednesday-111794 Worldview: Talks about nuclear Iran heads into final hours http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-30/worldview-talks-about-nuclear-iran-heads-final-hours-111787 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP783965890108.jpg" style="height: 395px; width: 620px;" title="Officials of Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany, European Union, the United States and Iran wait for the start of a meeting on Iran's nuclear program at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/198459815&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Iran nuclear talks continue as deadline looms</span></font></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-32665110-6c56-5ff1-1035-912bf926ef6d">Nuclear negotiations between the P5 + 1 countries are still under way in Switzerland. Ahmad Sadri, an Iranian American and professor of Islamic World Studies and sociology at Lake Forest College. He tells us what he thinks the odds are of reaching a deal</span> before the March 31 deadline.</p><p><strong><span>Guest:&nbsp;</span></strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-32665110-6c56-a481-3ca3-64526d97ea14">Ahmad Sadri is the </span>Gorter Professor of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Sociology at <a href="https://twitter.com/LFCollege">Lake Forest College.</a></em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/198460507&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">How Engineers Without Borders helps people in the developing world</span></font></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ebb3117-6c58-8f2c-72d3-351f3c6ce968">Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) is an NGO created to &ldquo;support community-driven development programs worldwide...that design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences that enrich global perspectives and create responsible leaders.&rdquo; It has so far recruited 15,000 members in 365 chapters across 39 countries. We sat down with EWB-USA co-founder, Bernard Amadei, to find out what led him to decide to&nbsp; utilize technology for the common good.&nbsp; Amadei is also chair of global engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder and author of &nbsp;</span><em>Engineering for Sustainable Human Development: A Guide to Successful Small-Scale Community Projects.</em></p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://twitter.com/bamadei"><span id="docs-internal-guid-3ebb3117-6c59-61c3-90bc-7050b34a314d">Bernard Amadei </span></a>is the co-founder of <a href="https://twitter.com/EWBUSA">Engineers Without Borders-USA</a>, professor of Civil Engineering&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-3ebb3117-6c59-61c3-90bc-7050b34a314d">Mortenson chair in Global Engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder, author of </span></em>Engineering for Sustainable Human Development: A Guide to Successful Small-Scale Community Projects</p></p> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-30/worldview-talks-about-nuclear-iran-heads-final-hours-111787 Iran nuclear talks extended http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-24/iran-nuclear-talks-extended-111151 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP59866658391.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran has been extended for seven months. We&#39;ll take a look at what the extension could mean with Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, and Joseph Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iran-nuclear-talks-extended/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iran-nuclear-talks-extended.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iran-nuclear-talks-extended" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Iran nuclear talks extended" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-24/iran-nuclear-talks-extended-111151 The U.S. and Nuclear Weapons http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-07/us-and-nuclear-weapons-111078 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP307803699825.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser spent six years examining the state of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. His joins us to talk about his book &#39;Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety,&#39; which documents his findings.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-u-s-and-nuclear-weapons/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-u-s-and-nuclear-weapons.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-u-s-and-nuclear-weapons" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: The U.S. and Nuclear Weapons" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-07/us-and-nuclear-weapons-111078 Reduced nuclear output at some Illinois plants http://www.wbez.org/news/reduced-nuclear-output-some-illinois-plants-107789 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Nuclear.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Exelon, one of the largest utility providers in the country, will be reducing the amount of energy it provides from some of its Illinois nuclear power plants. That concerns David Kolata, executive director of The Citizen Utility Board. He worries the company is reducing supply, in order to increase the price of electricity. He says that kind of market manipulation, &ldquo;opens up a whole hornet nest of issues.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;What we don&rsquo;t want to happen from a consumers&rsquo; point of view is the worst of all possible worlds, where you get markets when they lead to higher prices, and no markets when they lead to lower prices,&rdquo; said Kolata.</p><p>Exelon says sometimes electricity prices drop so low, it actually cost the company money to produce energy. Those are the times it would take energy off-line. Exelon says they are working with <a href="http://www.pjm.com/about-pjm.aspx" target="_blank">PJM</a>, the company that oversees energy markets, to get advanced notice of when it looks like the price of energy will drop. The company says that is well within guidelines against market manipulation.</p><p>The reason for the very low energy prices is also under debate. Exelon blames wind subsidies, which they say makes it impossible for other forms of energy to compete.</p><p>Kolata says that claim is overblown. He says the low price of natural gas, a result of fracking, might have more to do with the price drop. He also says that the demand for electricity has dropped, which he attributes both to the recession and more energy efficient products.</p><p>Nuclear energy currently&nbsp; makes up about half of the energy used in Illinois. Kolata says as we move towards more renewable energy resources and smart grid technology, that the market will reward forms of energy that can quickly respond to demand. Nuclear, which generally runs 24/7 and needs notice to ramp up and down, could struggle. Exelon says as long as patterns are predictable, they will remain competitive.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow her at <a href="http://twitter.com/shannon_h" target="_blank">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 15:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/reduced-nuclear-output-some-illinois-plants-107789 Huge magnetic ring coming to Chicago’s suburbs via the long road http://www.wbez.org/news/huge-magnetic-ring-coming-chicago%E2%80%99s-suburbs-long-road-107145 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Magic%20Ring%202_130513_LW.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="The muon ring at Brookhaven National Laboratories. The 50-foot ring will be removed from its casings and separated from many attachments, but cannot be dismantled for transport to Fermilab. (Brookhaven National Laboratory)" /></div><p>Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory in west suburban Batavia has a very unusual shipment coming this summer: an electromagnetic ring so wide its journey will shut down whole highways.</p><p>The ring, which looks like a huge hula-hoop, currently resides at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, where it&rsquo;s been used to conduct high-level experiments on tiny subatomic particles called muons.</p><p>&ldquo;We use them to probe the basic underlying structure of particle physics,&rdquo; said Chris Polly, a Fermilab physicist. &ldquo;What are the particles out there, how do they interact at the most fundamental level?&rdquo; But after being created by high-energy interactions between particles, they only exist for about two millionths of a second.</p><p>&ldquo;Right now, there&rsquo;s muons passing through you,&rdquo; Polly said. Those muons sometimes come to earth in &ldquo;showers&rdquo; produced by high-energy particle collisions in the earth&rsquo;s atmosphere; countless invisible muons shower down over wide areas. &ldquo;We sometimes build experiments that are a mile underground just because we&rsquo;re trying to get away from the muons.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite being common, muons are elusive and difficult to study. Because the miniscule particles exist so briefly before decaying into electrons and neutrinos, they have to be carefully suspended in a magnetic field for observation. That&rsquo;s where the magic muon ring comes in: the latest in muon experiments requires a very strong magnetic field, and the way to create that field is through a ring that&rsquo;s fifty feet in diameter, or about four highway lanes wide.</p><p>The muon ring&rsquo;s massive metal casings can be removed, but the ring itself has to stay in one piece and can&rsquo;t be tilted more than a few degrees. That means its journey to the western suburbs of Chicago this summer will begin with a barge trip down around the tip of Florida, through the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi River to get to Chicago&rsquo;s waterways. The ring will then get off the boat at Lemont Port to be<a href="http://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/2013/images/Muon-g-2-201305/Muon5-map-hires.jpg" target="_blank"> transported to the Batavia lab</a> using high-tech remote control carts. Between the carts, the ring and the entourage of police officers and scientists, the process is expected to shut down stretches of I-88 and I-355 overnight in July. <a href="http://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/2013/images/Muon-g-2-201305/g-2_MoveMap_US-hires.jpg" target="_blank">The entire trip</a> is about 3,200 miles.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Magic%20Ring_130513_LW.jpg" style="height: 191px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="A model of the special cart that will transport the muon ring. The ring is taking a 3,200-mile trip from Long Island to Chicago’s Fermilab in summer of 2013. (Fermilab)" />Polly&rsquo;s excited about the ring&rsquo;s arrival because the previous Muon g-2 (pronounced &ldquo;g-minus-two&rdquo;) experiment at the Brookhaven Lab found inconsistencies not predicted by physicists. These anomalous observations could suggest the existence of a previously unknown particle; in other words, the Standard Model of physics could be proven to be incomplete.</div><p>The results of the Brookhaven experiment are suggestive but uncertain, mainly because a definitive answer would require 20 to 25 times more data than Brookhaven&rsquo;s researchers were able to gather with the technology available to them. Fermilab&rsquo;s advanced accelerator technology, some of which is left over from the now-defunct Tevatron, will allow the the lab to produce the necessary amount of muons for the experiment.</p><p>Fermilab broke ground last week on a new experimental lab to accompany the ring, and the ring won&rsquo;t be ready to experiment with until 2016. At that point, Polly says the experiment is expected to take three to four years to complete. But he says it&rsquo;s worth the wait.</p><p>&ldquo;It could be a harbinger of new physics,&rdquo; said Polly. &ldquo;There could be new particles in the universe.&rdquo;</p><p>The shipping cost for the magnetic donut is 2.5 million dollars, but Fermilab says that&rsquo;s just a tenth of what it would cost to build a new one.</p><p>You can watch a demonstration of the ring&rsquo;s mode of transportation and follow its actual movement this summer on the <a href="http://muon-g-2.fnal.gov/" target="_blank">Muon g-2 website</a>.</p><p><em>Lewis Wallace is a Pritzker Journalism Fellow at WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/lewispants" target="_blank">@lewispants</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 13 May 2013 16:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/huge-magnetic-ring-coming-chicago%E2%80%99s-suburbs-long-road-107145 Does Illinois have a nuclear future? http://www.wbez.org/news/does-illinois-have-nuclear-future-106113 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F83427532&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>President Barack Obama was in town Friday visiting Argonne National Laboratory in the Western suburbs. The president talked about his &ldquo;all of the above&rdquo; energy policy, which includes alternative fuels and better batteries, but one area didn&#39;t get quite as much air time from the president: nuclear power.&nbsp;</p><p>Illinois continues to be the largest producer of nuclear power in the country.</p><p>And scientists at Argonne, and nearby Fermilab, want to keep it that way &ndash; by making nuclear part of our sustainable energy future.</p><p>But the future of nuclear here and across the country is shaky. After a long hiatus, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is licensing <a href="http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/new-reactor-map.html" target="_blank">new reactors</a> again, but most of those are in the Southeast, and none are in Illinois.</p><p><strong>Reduce, reuse, recycle...</strong></p><p>The first rule of Argonne National Laboratories: Don&rsquo;t touch anything. When nuclear engineer Roger Blomquist took me on a tour, he was sure to show me the Geiger counter the employees use to check their hands and feet on the way in and out of the lab where Argonne builds specialized parts for research reactors.&nbsp;</p><p>I learned the second rule of Argonne pretty fast, too: Don&rsquo;t say <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-04/illinois-swims-in-atomic-waste-with-dump-unbuilt-bgov-barometer.html" target="_blank">nuclear waste</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;The idea that it is waste is somebody&rsquo;s interpretation,&rdquo; Blomquist said. At Argonne,&nbsp;the radioactive stuff most of us know as nuclear waste is called spent nuclear fuel.</p><p>Part of the reason for the linguistic shift, says Blomquist, is that we could be recycling the materials in nuclear waste.</p><p>&ldquo;With enough recycling you can use 100 percent of the energy that&rsquo;s in the uranium ore you dig out of the ground,&rdquo; he said. Today&rsquo;s technology uses up just one percent of the power we could be getting out of uranium through nuclear fission. The rest comes back out of the reactors, mixed with a slush of more volatile, radioactive elements.</p><p>But recycling nuclear fuel is well within reach. Blomquist is working on the development of <a href="http://www.ne.anl.gov/research/ardt/afr/index.html" target="_blank">fast reactors</a>, a type of nuclear reactor that can run on reprocessed fuel and that he says would be smaller, more contained and safer than the reactors we currently use.&nbsp;</p><p>Just down the road at Fermilab, Argonne&rsquo;s sister laboratory, researcher and associate lab director Stuart Henderson agreed that the technology in use these days is way behind the times.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of what we do with spent nuclear fuel is sort of what Homer Simpson would do,&rdquo; Henderson said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not very sophisticated.&rdquo;</p><p>Reprocessing or <a href="http://www.ne.anl.gov/pdfs/12_Pyroprocessing_bro_5_12_v14[6].pdf" target="_blank">pyroprocessing</a> nuclear waste would allow us to take the pellets of radioactive fuel out of reactors, separate out the elements with the longest half-lives, and reuse them as fuel for reactors. The only thing left over would be the most radioactive parts of the waste, which decay in just a few hundred years.</p><p>Right now spent fuel has to be stored in pools or casks for hundreds of thousands of years.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7145_DSC_1405-scr.JPG" style="height: 208px; width: 310px; float: right;" title="(WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p>Henderson&rsquo;s working on another type of nuclear reactor that would deal with both waste and safety issues, a reactor powered by a particle accelerator.</p><p>Right now, what happens in a nuclear reactor is a <a href="http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Nuclear_chain_reaction.html" target="_blank">controlled chain reaction</a>: in short, particles crash into one another and cause other particles to crash into one another, generating an enormous amount of heat.</p><p>But once it starts, nuclear fission in a reactor can be hard to slow down.</p><p>In the new model, called a sub-critical reactor, there would be no chain reaction. A particle accelerator would shoot particles into the reactor to keep the reaction going.</p><p>So if you want to stop it, you just hit a switch and turn off the accelerator.</p><p>&ldquo;That means that the reactor is never capable of having a Chernobyl-type explosion,&rdquo; Henderson said. He&rsquo;s in touch with Belgian scientists who are building one of these reactors, called a sub-critical reactor; his job is to help build the high-powered accelerator that&rsquo;s capable of doing the job.</p><p><strong>If you build it</strong></p><p>So, what&rsquo;s the hangup? Where are these reactors of the future?</p><p>Both Blomquist and Henderson say having the technology is simply not enough to usher in a nuclear renaissance. We&rsquo;d need to start building these reactors of the future now if we wanted to be getting power from them in less than 15 years, and in the U.S., that&rsquo;s just not happening.</p><p>They both say the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is a part of that equation &ndash; it&rsquo;s expensive and complex to license a reactor design, so much so that companies don&rsquo;t see an incentive to get involved with the grandiose designs of the future, no matter how much safer they might be. Here in Illinois, Exelon is looking to make its current reactors more efficient, but there are <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/03/29/exelons-nuclear-guy-no-new-nukes/?feed=rss_home" target="_blank">no plans for new reactors</a> in the state.</p><p>&ldquo;Nobody&rsquo;s gonna build any new ones, anytime soon,&rdquo; said Mark Cooper, a researcher at the University of Vermont who studies the <a href="http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Documents/NuclearSafetyandNuclearEconomics(0).pdf" target="_blank">safety and economics of nuclear power</a>.</p><p>Cooper says other options available like solar, wind, natural gas and coal remain far more economically viable than nuclear, and he suggests we should be investing more in other high tech energy innovations.</p><p>Plus, he says even the most advanced nuclear reactors still come with risks &ndash; and someone has to pay for insurance on those, too.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;As you operate them, you learn that you haven&rsquo;t done enough,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Mother nature throws you a curve, human beings don&rsquo;t behave properly, equipment breaks down.&rdquo;</p><p>Just two years after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan, those possibilities loom large, especially for people with nuclear power in their own backyards.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7148_DSC_1438-scr.JPG" style="height: 228px; width: 340px; float: left;" title="Ronda Bally puts on music at the Stumble Inn in Godley, down the road from the Braidwood plant. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /><strong>Living with nuclear power</strong></p><p>Braidwood, Ill. is only 50 miles from the high tech labs, but in a lot of ways, it&rsquo;s a different world. The fear of nuclear power is real here.</p><p>Exelon operates a nuclear plant at the edge of the small town, and in the 1990s the water was contaminated with radioactive tritium from the Braidwood plant. <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-01-26/news/0601260133_1_exelon-nuclear-exelon-corp-nuclear-plant" target="_blank">According to the Chicago Tribune</a>, Exelon didn&rsquo;t admit the mistake until years later.</p><p>The people in Braidwood have developed a sort of gallows humor about living near a reactor.</p><p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re gonna be the first one to go if you live by one,&rdquo; said resident Mike Franklin put it. In other words, you won&rsquo;t live to suffer through the devastating effects of radiation &ndash; and that&rsquo;s a good thing. Franklin, like a lot of people I talked to, grew up in Braidwood, and said he generally doesn&rsquo;t think much about the plant.</p><p>In a grocery store parking lot at Braidwood&rsquo;s main intersection, just up the road from the reactor, I caught an older man named Charles Crick unloading his grocery cart. He worked at the Braidwood plant.</p><p>&ldquo;I started in a nuke in 1971, and I worked in &lsquo;em until I retired,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Do I glow in the dark? No.&rdquo;</p><p>The Stumble Inn is a bar just a mile down the road the other way, in the 600-person town of Godley. The morning crowd at the Stumble Inn was small but enthusiastic - and none of them like living near the plant.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not for nuclear power,&rdquo; said Arthur Wallace, who goes by Slick here. Slick&rsquo;s son-in-law worked at the Braidwood reactor, and died of leukemia at age 44; some research suggests <a href="http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/nrsb/miscellaneous/Sauer_morning_present.pdf" target="_blank">links between leukemia and radiation</a>. His daughter worked in security at the plant.</p><p>&ldquo;They sent her home every once in awhile with her badge gettin&rsquo; too much rads. Too much radiation,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;She quit after 11 years.&rdquo;</p><p>The bartender, Ronda Bally, was a school bus driver for a long time, and recalled getting trainings from Exelon on how to pick up children and the elderly during a nuclear emergency.</p><p>&ldquo;My life is half over,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;My kids and my grandkids still have a lot of years left ahead of them, and if something as basic as a water supply could cause them serious health issues or even possible death, I have a problem with that.&rdquo;</p><p>A lot of people here say they&rsquo;d support safer nuclear power in a heartbeat. But Bally, like Slick, isn&rsquo;t sure she wants a nuclear future at all.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m kinda more interested in the whole wind farm thing that they&rsquo;re doing now&rdquo;, she said. &ldquo;Nuclear anything is very scary.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>The nuclear future</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Nuclear power is the worst investment in the current environment,&rdquo; said Mark Cooper. &ldquo;You have gone through a series of these pursuits of a technological holy grail. And they have failed.&rdquo;</p><p>His point: scientists have known about safer nuclear for decades &ndash; and companies just aren&rsquo;t willing to spend the money to make it happen.</p><p>But Roger Blomquist at Argonne thinks it&rsquo;s only a matter of time before climate change eclipses the barriers to nuclear innovation.</p><p>&ldquo;Then getting rid of burning fossil fuels will become a national emergency,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And when that happens, that&rsquo;s when this technology will be blindingly obvious to most people.&rdquo;</p><p>At that point, he says, maybe living in the nuclear future won&rsquo;t seem so bad.</p><p>Follow <a href="http://twitter.com/lewispants" target="_blank">Lewis Wallace on Twitter.</a></p></p> Thu, 14 Mar 2013 23:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/does-illinois-have-nuclear-future-106113 America's Misguided Policy Concerning Iran http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/americas-misguided-policy-concerning-iran-105643 <p><p><strong>John Mearsheimer</strong> is the E. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor and co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago. He has written extensively about security issues and international politics, including the books <em>Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics,&nbsp;The Tragedy of Great Power Politics,</em>&nbsp;and <em>The Isreal Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy</em> (with Stephen M. Walt). He has written numerous articles for academic journals and op-ed pieces for <em>The New York Times</em> and the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> dealing with topics like Bosnia, nuclear proliferation, American policy toward India, the failure of Arab-Israeli peace efforts, and the folly of invading Iraq.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F80128334" width="719px"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ASCD-webstory_3.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Recorded live Sunday, January 27, 2013 at the&nbsp;Stevenson Historic Home.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 27 Jan 2013 16:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/americas-misguided-policy-concerning-iran-105643 CP-1: The Past, Present, & Future of Nuclear Energy and the 70th Anniversary of the First Nuclear Chain Reaction http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/cp-1-past-present-future-nuclear-energy-and-70th-anniversary-first-nuclear <p><p>On December 2, 1942, 49 scientists, led by Enrico Fermi, made history when Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1), under the west stands of the original Alonzo Stagg Field stadium at the University of Chicago, went critical and produced the world&rsquo;s first self-sustaining, controlled nuclear chain reaction.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F78655018" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>This talk commemorates the 70th anniversary of the world&rsquo;s first self-sustaining, controlled nuclear chain reaction with Dr. <strong>Mark Peters</strong>, Deputy Laboratory Director for Programs Argonne National Laboratory, and Dr. <strong>Robert Rosner</strong>, Director, Energy Policy Institute Chicago at the University of Chicago. The two speakers will discuss nuclear energy from the history of CP-1 to what the future holds.</p><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/C2ST-webstory_8.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div>Recorded Friday, January 25 at&nbsp;Hughes Auditorium, Northwestern University Chicago Campus.</div></p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 11:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/cp-1-past-present-future-nuclear-energy-and-70th-anniversary-first-nuclear