10 Items

The Chooz nuclear power plant in France (Raimond Spekking/Wikimedia Commons).

Raimond Spekking/Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Nuclear Engineering and Design

What Can Nuclear Engineers Learn From Design Research?

| August 2021

Although nuclear reactor design is recognized as an essential skill and intellectual output of academic nuclear engineering, little attention has been paid within the discipline to the structure of the reactor design process and factors influencing design outcomes. This paper, which marks the first systematic attempt to explore the structure of the reactor design process and choices, applies methodological and theoretical tools developed within the mechanical engineering design studies field to the study of nuclear reactor design.

Damage at Fukushima Daiichi in the days after the March 2011 tsunami.


Analysis & Opinions - Inkstick

Accidents, Paradoxes and the Epistemic Future of Nuclear Policy

| Mar. 11, 2021

When accidents, particularly nuclear accidents, occur, there is a desire, even an imperative almost, to identify the ‘root causes’ of that particular accident. This is not entirely surprising because such accidents cause existential crises sector-wide or industry-wide that reflect the desire to never repeat the mistakes that led to such a severe outcome. However, identifying the root causes of an accident is seldom possible. The causes of an accident are typically large in number and complex in relationship to each other.

Barakah nuclear power plant under construction in the United Arab Emirates in 2017.


Analysis & Opinions - Nature

Nuclear Energy, Ten Years After Fukushima

| Mar. 05, 2021

Ten years have passed since a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, triggering the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

The accident struck at a time of renewed hope and untested optimism surrounding a new wave of nuclear-energy technologies and the part they might play in achieving a low-carbon future. It led to retrenchment, amid fresh concerns over the technological, institutional and cultural vulnerabilities of nuclear infrastructures, and the fallibility of humans in designing, managing and operating such complex systems.

A decade after the disaster, these serious questions linger, even as the climate crisis grows nearer.


Racism and Nuclear Weapons, Part II: Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokić and Aditi Verma on the "Press the Button" podcast

| Jan. 26, 2021

Drs. Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokic, and Aditi Verma are back on "Press the Button" to further explore systemic racism in the nuclear field, and how to begin rooting it out. They also discuss the production of their recently co-authored article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, titled "A Call for Anti-Racist Action and Accountability in the US Nuclear Community."

A demonstration in support of the TPNW in Germany in January 2021.

ICAN Germany via Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Union of Concerned Scientists

The TPNW, Equity, and Transforming the Nuclear Community: An Interview with Nuclear Scholar Dr. Aditi Verma

  • Laura Grego
| Jan. 21, 2021

In anticipation of the entry into force of the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on Friday, Laura Grego corresponded with Dr. Aditi Verma, a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program.  Dr. Verma, who holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT, is broadly interested in how nuclear technologies can be designed in collaboration with publics such that traditionally excluded perspectives can be brought into these design processes. She’s one of the five authors of the essay, “A call for antiracist action and accountability in the US nuclear community.”


Racism and Nuclear Weapons: Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokić and Aditi Verma on the "Press the Button" podcast

| Jan. 05, 2021

Drs. Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokić, and Aditi Verma join the "Press the Button" podcast for an in-depth discussion on how systemic racism in the nuclear field is produced and sustained, and what needs to happen in order to begin combating it. Drs. Turner, Djokić, and Verma recently co-authored an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists titled "A Call for Anti-Racist Action and Accountability in the US Nuclear Community."

Presentation - Union of Concerned Scientists

Hypersonic Hype and the Ethics of Emerging Weapons Technology

| Dec. 17, 2020

Hypersonic missiles have been receiving a lot of attention lately, but do they deserve the hype? And what kind of implications do these nuclear advancements have for equity and justice? The Union of Concerned Scientists hosted a conversation featuring Dr. Cameron Tracy, Kendall Fellow for the Global Security program at UCS, and Dr. Aditi Verma, Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center's Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program to answer these questions.

A US nuclear test at Bikini Atoll in the 1940s.


Magazine Article - MIT News Office

3Q: Fighting Racism in the Nuclear Community

| Sep. 19, 2020

A group of nuclear scientists recently published a call for anti-racist action in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, urging researchers and their colleagues to confront a long legacy of racial disparities and injustices in the history of the nuclear field, many of which continue today.

A 1945 photo of the “Calutron Girls” of the Y-12 Nuclear Security Complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee includes only one Black employee, despite the instrumental role of Black women at the facility. The image has been altered to bring focus to her.

Wikimedia Commons / Ed Westcott, American Museum of Science and Energy

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

A Call for Antiracist Action and Accountability in the US Nuclear Community

| Aug. 24, 2020

As part of the ensuing national racial reckoning, institutions within the US nuclear community—academic departments, think tanks, advocacy groups, national laboratories, and others—have issued statements condemning systemic racism. (Several institutions within the nuclear community, at the time of writing this article, had still not produced a statement.) But the nuclear community must go beyond acknowledgement alone if it genuinely aims to dismantle long-standing structural inequalities. For these institutions, the true work of becoming antiracist still lies ahead: accepting and rectifying their own complicity in the problem.