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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Chairwoman Steps Up Industry Studies

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During the August 2011 earthquake that rattle the east coast, including parts of the Washington, D.C. metro area, the North Anna nuclear plant in central Virginia experienced peak ground movement at twice the level for which the plant was designed. While there were initial concerns related to structural integrity at the facility, no major damage or complications were reported.

In April that same year, a massive earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, leading to multiple meltdowns.

Allison Macfarlane, the new chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, says that the rash of natural events shows the nuclear industry needs to better study geologic risk. Macfarlane also says the events show the industry has to update its understanding of earth processes.


An Exuberantly Dark First Novel Explores The Chaos Of Central Africa

Fiston Mwanza Mujila's novel, Tram 83, is a freewheeling tale about life in an imaginary place inspired by the author's home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Critic John Powers has a review.
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Marion Nestle: "Soda Politics: Taking On Big Soda (And Winning)"

Changing public attitudes have led to a decline in U.S. soda sales. But health expert Marion Nestle believes many people still consume unhealthy amounts of sugary drinks. She argues beverage companies are spending millions on research that misleads consumers.


Sen. Harry Reid Sues Makers Of Exercise Band Over His Injuries

The Senate minority leader and his wife are seeking more than $50,000 in damages over what they say is a defective resistance band that caused him to lose sight in his right eye, among other injuries.

How Skyscraper Construction Ties Into Tech Bubbles

There's a lot of talk in Silicon Valley about a tech bubble.Our Planet Money podcast team examines one possible indicator of a bubble: architecture. Very, very tall architecture.

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