Just before Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth is expected to reach a historic milestone. All the radioactive fuel that generated electricity—and controversy—for nearly half a century will finally be removed from the reactor building. It will be stored outside in special steel and cement casks.
The rare occasion will be celebrated by both supporters and opponents of the plant. But as the decommissioning of Pilgrim proceeds, concern over the long-term safety of the highly radioactive waste continues.
Even though Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant stopped producing electricity two years ago, there are still armed guards in watchtowers, surveillance cameras spread over the site, mazes of barbed wire fences and concrete vehicle barriers.
Bruce Gellerman, a senior reporter at WBUR in Boston, Massachusetts, explains what the decommissioning process has been like and the future of nuclear power in the Northeast.
Dr. Fauci’s Life Illustrated In A New Book For Kids
Dr. Anthony Fauci became a household name at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, he’s the subject of a children’s book too: Dr: Fauci: How a Boy From Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor. The book takes us back to Fauci’s childhood filled with games of baseball in the streets of Brooklyn, bike rides to deliver medications for his family’s pharmacy, and his long history of asking questions about how the world works.
Author Kate Messner talks to Ira about the surprises she found in Fauci’s life story, the value of showing kids that scientists were once children too, and why curiosity is such an important value to teach children.
A Charismatic Match-up Between Two Feathered Friends
It’s the third and final matchup of this fall’s Charismatic Creature Carnival, our celebration of six overlooked, and often unfairly maligned, species that deserve a chance under the spotlight. Our audience submitted the carnival candidates, but only one will be crowned the very first inductee into the Charismatic Creature Corner Hall of Fame.
This week, our match-up is between two fabulous, feathered creatures: the pigeon and the shoebill stork. Defending the pigeon is Elizabeth Carlen, postdoctoral research fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. Representing the shoebill stork is Judith Mirembe, shoebill researcher and chair of Uganda Women Birders based in Kampala, Uganda.
science-friday092421b.mp3 (47:36, 44MB)