Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Nuclear power panic – why we need to protect UK nuclear plants from earthquakes. Or not

In response to the containment breach at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a predictable flurry of panicky “safety” measures elsewhere. According to the Metro: Tests will be carried out on Britain’s nuclear plants as part of a safety crackdown in the wake of the radioactivity leak in earthquake-hit Japan Because, of course, a nuclear disaster […]

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Media scientific illiteracy: John Humphrys and the 8.9% Tokyo earthquake

Heard this morning on Radio 4’s Today programme: John Humphrys expressing the magnitude of this morning’s Tokyo earthquake as a percentage – “8.9%”. The Richter earthquake scale is a base-10 logarithmic scale (ie, it has no unit as such, and each unitary value greater than the one before is actually 10 times more powerful). So […]