The Nuclear Option for Decarbonization

BrightFuture-coverIn this week’s show, Beth interviews Joshua Goldstein. He and co-author Steffan Qvist wrote eloquently about how nuclear energy can replace fossil fuels – a vital necessity in a rapidly warming world. A new generation of nuclear plants reduces waste and completely eliminates CO2. In Sweden, France and Ontario, these plants have allowed these countries to eliminate their reliance on fossil fuels and significantly reduce their carbon footprints.
Host: Beth Bennett
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer:Maeve Conran
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Joel Parker
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Conquering the Energy Crisis

book_cover_amazon-198x3001360_517118571690819_2111630523_nWelcome to this special edition of How on Earth.  This week, the 66th annual Conference of World Affairs is happening on the campus of CU-Boulder, and today’s show is one of the events.  The speaker and guest in our studio today is Maggie Koerth-Baker.  She writes a monthly column, “Eureka,” for The New York Times Magazine and is also the science editor at BoingBoing.net.  She enjoys exploring the intersection between science and culture, and you can “Find your daily dose of Maggie science” through her website at maggiekb.com, and her pages on Facebook and Twitter.   She has co-authored a book titled: “Be Amazing: Glow in the Dark, Control the Weather, Perform Your Own Surgery, Get Out of Jury Duty, Identify a Witch, Colonize a Nation, Impress a Girl, Make a Zombie, Start Your Own Religion.”  Her recent book, and with a shorter title, is called: “Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us.”  And that is the topic that brings her here today.

Host, Engineer, Producer: Joel Parker

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Fukushima Anniversary: global impacts one year later

Damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, courtesy Air Photo Service

Fukushima’s impacts a year later: In today’s show we offer a full-length feature (start at 4:57) to mark the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster — the worse nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl in 1986. We explore the longer-term impacts on public health, the environment, and the nuclear power industry, both in Japan and in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Co-host Susan Moran interviews two nuclear experts: Jeff King, the interim director of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines; and Len Ackland, co-director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is also author of “Making a Real Killing: Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West.”  (King and Ackland also joined us on March 22, last year.)

Hosts: Breanna Draxler, Susan Moran
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Fukushima Cleanup // Space Debris

Today, Feb. 28, we feature two interviews.

Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant meltdown, Image courtesy of Yomiuri Shimbun

Fukashima Cleanup (start at 7:23).  A daunting and ongoing cleanup task is that of removing radioactively contaminated material from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The plant suffered a meltdown in the wake of a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011. The tsunami swallowed whole towns and killed more than 20,000 people. How On Earth Executive Producer Shelley Schlender interviews Steve Rima, vice president of Radiological Services and Engineering at AMEC, in Grand Junction, Colorado.  AMEC is assisting with radiation cleanup in the 500-square-mile Fukushima evacuation area. (Scroll down to previous post to hear extended version of the interview.)

Space debris, image courtesy of Wikipedia

Space Debris (start at 14:10). You thought cleaning your room was a chore. Imagine the problem if your room was the size of, say, the space around Earth where real, full-sized rockets and satellites are in orbit.  Who is going to clean all that up?  Or is it even a problem?  How On Earth cohost Joel Parker interviews Dr. Darren McKnight about this issue of “space junk” or “space debris.”  Dr. McKnight is the technical director at Integrity Applications Incorporated. He has served on the National Research Council’s Committee on NASA’s Orbital Debris and Micrometeoroid Program, and is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He is coauthor of the book “Artificial Space Debris.”

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Headline contributor: Breanna Draxler
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Reactor Accident

Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor schematic drawing

In-studio guests Jeff King, Director of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines, and Len Ackland, Co-Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, discuss the recent nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan.  We look at the accident itself and how it might impact the future of nuclear power in the United States.

Producer: Tom McKinnon
Co-hosts
: Tom McKinnon and Tom Yulsman
Engineer
: Ted Burnham

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How On Earth is produced by a small group of volunteers at the studios of KGNU, an independent community radio station in the Boulder-Denver metro area. KGNU is supported by the generosity and efforts of community members like you. Visit kgnu.org to learn more.

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