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Posts tagged “nuclear”

By Russ Finley on Feb 4, 2014 with 11 responses

Maintaining the Grid as Residential Solar Power Increases

SolarFail

Photos courtesy of Activ Solar, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Avinash Kaushik, via Flickr Creative Commons

It makes little sense to be anti-solar energy in this day and age, although it does make sense to do it right. Even solar can be done wrong. Usurping farmland, forest, or pristine desert tortoise habitats for solar should be against the rules.

I was motivated to do this post by a rare, cloudless, 50 degree day in the dead of winter. CONTINUE»

By Geoffrey Styles on Jan 31, 2014 with 2 responses

“All of the Above” vs. “Best of the Above”

Energy’s Brief Appearance in the State of the Union Address

Energy issues received scant mention in Tuesday’s State of the Union speech, consisting mainly of a victory lap for the President’s “all of the above” formulation and a somewhat contradictory promise to place even more federal lands off-limits to drilling. While browsing through reactions from various energy leaders and environmental groups I was intrigued by one critique of Mr. Obama’s approach from an environmental NGO, arguing that he should instead be placing the country’s bets on “best of the above” energy. They weren’t the only ones to object to the current approach.

It’s clear from their statement that Earthjustice has definite ideas about what’s best and what isn’t, but their comment merits further discussion. After all, who could argue against supporting the best energy sources? And isn’t all of the above just a sop to the status quo, in which a diverse array of energy sources dominated by fossil fuels provides the energy for the rest of the economy?

Obama and “All of the Above”

As President Obama noted Tuesday, his reference to an “‘all of the above’ energy strategy”–a debatable characterization in itself–referred to a key phrase in his 2012 address to Congress. It’s worth recalling the context, in an election year in which the Republican nominee was certain to focus on conventional energy when it was delivering US production growth in both oil and natural gas that couldn’t have been imagined just a few years earlier.

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By Russ Finley on Jul 8, 2013 with 24 responses

“Pandora’s Promise”–The Truth About Nuclear Energy

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I recently watched Pandora’s Promise, (7) the pro-nuclear energy documentary directed by Robert Stone (8).

This is a professionally rendered, engaging piece of filmmaking. It is as honest and accurate as any documentary you are ever likely to see, providing a much needed counter-balance to the decades of misinformation from anti-nuclear groups.

My review will be in the form of a critique of Ed Lyman’s review  “Put Pandora’s Promise Back in the Box” (9) on the Union of Concerned Scientists and Citizens blog called All Things Nuclear.

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By Matthew Stepp on Jun 18, 2013 with 4 responses

Nuclear Energy Innovation Big and Small Important to Climate Change

There is substantial opportunity to incorporate next-generation nuclear energy — through either large, advanced reactors or emerging SMR designs or both — more significantly into a productive strategy for reducing carbon emissions in the long and short term, writes Matthew Stepp.

By Geoffrey Styles on Jun 14, 2013 with 27 responses

Early Retirement of Nuclear Plants Is a Step Backward

Half of California’s Nuclear Generating Capacity Shut Down

I’m still digesting last week’s announcement by Southern California Edison that the utility’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in Southern California will close permanently, nine years prior to the expiration of the facility’s operating license. The plant’s two nuclear reactors were shut down for repairs in early 2012, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) still hadn’t approved the company’s plan to restart them, despite a protracted review. Although this event is quite different from the 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan, its ripples are likely to extend beyond California, where both the state’s electricity market and its greenhouse gas emissions will be adversely affected.

California’s Emissions Could Increase by 6 Million Tons per Year

Before considering how the San Onofre closures will affect the nation’s nuclear industry and generating mix, let’s focus on California. While accounting for only 3% of the state’s 2011 generating capacity from all sources, the SONGS reactors typically contributed around 8% of the state’s annual electricity generation, due to their high utilization rates. That’s a large slice of low-emission power to remove from the energy mix in a state that is committed to reduce its emissions below 1990 levels.

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By Will Rogers on Jan 31, 2013 with no responses

Top Five International Energy Trends to Watch in 2013

Energy issues ranked among the top international headlines in 2012 – As we look ahead, what are the major energy trends that are likely to take shape and play out in international headlines in 2013?

By CER News Desk on Sep 16, 2012 with 1 response

Japan Says ‘No’ to Nuclear Power

The new energy policy will allow some or all of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors, 48 of them currently shut down, to go back online during the 27-year transition period, as needed.

By CER News Desk on Sep 13, 2012 with no responses

Japan’s PM Hints at ‘Nuclear Free’ Energy Policy

Despite concerns that switching to renewable energy sources will prove too expensive for his country, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has said during a political debate among party leadership candidates that he will take into account his party’s recommendation to phase out nuclear power by the 2030s; news reports suggest that the prime minister’s Cabinet already has an official policy agreement in place.

Expected to be put into political action by the end of this week, Japan’s new energy policy will see it gradually move away from nuclear power — a monumental shift for a resource-poor nation that has long relied on nuclear energy to keep its citizens supplied with electricity. The policy will include a 40-year cap on maximum reactor lifespans, an immediate halt on the planning and construction of new reactors and a strong focus on renewable energy sources and conservation efforts.

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By CER News Desk on Sep 7, 2012 with 8 responses

Utility Head: Japan Can’t Afford Renewable Energy, Needs Nuclear

A new power grid based around renewable energy will cost Japan $622 billion to build, according to government estimates

With Japan in the process of rebuilding the infrastructure damaged during 2011′s devastating tsunami, many in the country are suggesting that the time is right for a transition from nuclear to renewable energy in that country. Fears of nuclear disaster fueled by the damage and subsequent radioactive leak at the Fukushima nuclear reactor after the tsunami have many groups, both private and public, clamoring for an immediate shutdown of Japan’s nuclear program.

Despite public pressure, though, many politicians recognize that the cost for Japan to move away from dependance on nuclear energy would simply be too high.

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By Russ Finley on Apr 5, 2012 with 15 responses

A Base Load Free Power System

Below I Fisk an article titled Why Germany is phasing out nuclear power by David Roberts.

Why is Germany planning to phase out nuclear power? In a nutshell, because they fear it — self-serving behavior based on irrational fear. They’re doing it because a sufficient number of German citizens have been convinced by the fear tactics used by the anti-nuclear lobby that their nuclear power poses a significant safety risk (which it doesn’t).

They will be removing from the European grid their low emission nuclear power exports while simultaneously increasing the use of fossil fuels domestically in addition to using more from the E.U. grid, which is almost entirely nuclear and fossil fueled. They are counting on that power from the E.U. grid to fill in the gaps inherent in their own renewable power. To meet their goal of 100% renewable they would have to isolate themselves from the European grid.

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