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Atoms for Peas

The specter of nuclear technology gone wrong haunts the Pacific Northwest. From recent radioactivity traced to Fukushima to issues with waste containment along the Columbia River at Hanford, Washington, citizens have good reason to be suspicious. Radioactive materials can benefit society in many ways: They are used to produce carbon-free electricity, to diagnose disease, and […]

The Iran Nuclear Accord: Dangerous deal or step toward truce?

Whether it was an olive branch signaling a new era of peace or a trumpet sounding the coming of World War III, the Iran nuclear accord has opened a new chapter for the United States in security and international policy. Republicans and Democrats are lining up on opposite sides of the aisle to tell us […]

Seventy Years of Peril and Hope

LINUS PAULING, OREGON STATE’S MOST FAMOUS ALUMNUS, spent the latter years of his life warning the world about the humanitarian and environmental threats posed by nuclear weapons. His international activism earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. (See “Like Looking Over His Shoulder,” Terra, Summer 2008.) Now, Pauling’s alma mater is again raising nuclear […]

OSU’s Next Gen Nuclear on Green Science Oregon

There are a lot of ways to boil water. Nuclear energy does it without emitting as much carbon as coal, oil or gas. In the search for safer and more efficient nuclear technology, Oregon State University operates one of the few nuclear reactors on a college campus in the United States. A new production by […]

Power Surge

Last winter, the cavernous vault housing OSU’s nuclear test facility was base camp for a team of elite scientists from Shanghai and Beijing. For six months, the Chinese engineers studied every bolt, tube and plastic elbow in the scale-model reactor. They ran accident simulations and analyzed the data. They posited every scenario under the sun, […]