What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

No Bottom in Sight for Nuclear Disaster with Every Hour Bringing More Bad News

March 14, 2011, 1:35 PM
Japaneseradiationtesting

As of Monday morning, the situation in Japan continues to deteriorate and we haven't hit bottom yet. Every hour on the hour continues to bring more bad news with even more complications. This isn't the type of situation that has a step-by-step emergency plan. We are witnessing a gigantic science experiment, with the Japanese people as guinea pigs. With everything seemingly have a domino effect at this point, the utility is literally making this up as they go along. Problems continue to arise at nearly every turn and is clearly making it difficult to gain traction.

News & Developments: 

  • Three reactors (units 1,2,3) are now involved with partial meltdowns.
  • Units 1 and 3 have had their outer containment wall blown off by huge hydrogen gas explosions. (The hydrogen gas comes from a chemical interaction between water and the zirconium cladding surrounding the rods.
  • The gas explodes when it is vented and interacts with oxygen.)
  • All three units have had some core damage. Units 2 and 3 apparently were almost totally uncovered at some point, without any cooling water. Sea water is apparently leaking out of Unit 3, so that seawater is escaping as soon as it is flushed into the core. Even fire hoses are being used to keep sea water in the core. This also means that the reactors will become permanent pieces of junk afterwards, unfit for commercial use.
  • The water level gauge that measures how much water there is in the nuclear core is broken, and hence reliable figures are hard to get.
  • Radiation levels have soared. Several workers have shown full blown symptoms of radiation sickness (probably indicating that they absorbed perhaps tens of thousands of X-ray equivalents).
  • Unit 3 contains MOX fuel (mixed oxide fuel) which contains plutonium, which is one of the most toxic chemicals known to science. So a possible meltdown there might spread this deadly chemical as well.
  • The state of the nuclear waste units is unclear so there is always the possibility that the huge nuclear waste contained in these storage units might escape.
  • The utility states that the situation is, at present, stable. This might be true, but its the stability of hanging on a cliff by your fingernails.

Be sure to stay tuned to the blog for more developments.

More from the Big Idea for Monday, March 14 2011

 

No Bottom in Sight for Nucl...

Newsletter: Share: