Future U.S. Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear reactors planned for the U.S. are safer and more efficient than the 40-year-old Japan facility that has suffered explosions and leaks, experts say. Still, their approval is likely to be delayed.

The biggest takeaway from the nuclear crisis unfolding in Japan will not concern the future technology of nuclear facilities, says University of Wisconsin engineering professor Robert Corradini and member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (N.R.C.). "'You're going to see refortification of plants for the tsunami. I expect that the N.R.C. is going to slow down the process and do a re-analysis to make sure that nothing has been unturned in terms of lessons learned.' Corradini says the 'Generation III-plus' plants proposed by Westinghouse, General Electric, Mitsubishi and the French firm Areva incorporate new designs that take in the lessons of past nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl."

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less