Slug: Education is key to nuclear expansion in U.S.
Short Head: Prof. Rich Denning on Nuclear Expansion, Fukushima accident
Long Head: Professor Rich Denning discusses accident in Fukushima, Nuclear Expansion in U.S.
Ohio State students, administration, scientists and engineers were ready, with coffee in hand, to explode with knowledge.
The chairs were full and the others stood along the wall of a small classroom. Located in the basement of Scott Laboratory, Tuesday where Professor Rich Denning, chair of the nuclear program at OSU, prepared a presentation, to discuss the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan and the potential nuclear future of the U.S.
On March 11th, a 9.0 scale earthquake and 46-foot high tsunami crashed into Japan’s coast. This caused a number of nuclear failures, including an explosion, at a plant near the city of Fukushima.
“The Japanese had a design basis assumption for the maximum earthquake and tsunami the plant could handle,” Denning said. “The magnitude of the earthquake was higher than their design basis and the tsunami was appreciably higher.”
The accident at Fukushima was rated as a major accident or a seven on the international nuclear events scale, the same as the accident at Chernobyl in 1986.
Though the impact of Fukushima may have more societal affects, than that of Chernobyl Denning said there won’t be significant human health risks from this, in the future.
Denning said, the workers at Fukushima will be monitored and only exposed to 25 rem of radiation, which in turn could cause a 1.5 percent increased chance of cancer over their lifetime.
“It’s (25 rem) is five times the amount of rem that the public is allowed to be exposed to in a year,” Denning said. “Forty percent of people get cancer related to other causes in their lifetime, this is a low number compared to that but it still could be significant for some.”
Denning an expert on nuclear safety and assessments describes research and education as the key to the future of nuclear expansion and safety in the U.S.
“He was pretty informative,” Garret Quist, a third-year in mechanical engineering said. “There’s nothing I really disagreed with at all, I think it (the PowerPoint) was well within what people already know.”
With Fukushima, Denning expects more studies to be conducted with results similar to the Paul Scherrer Institute’s statistics demonstrating that the safest way to create energy is by going nuclear.
“If I had a nuclear plant in my back yard it wouldn’t be pretty but it would be fine. If it was a coal plant, it would be a disaster, have you ever seen one of those things?” Mike Lisa, professor of physics at OSU said. “I would like if students would think about that in a rational way, because the rest of America, won’t, and I would hope someone getting a college education can.