Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Archive for the ‘Nuclear Energy’ tag

Nuclear Energy, Big and Small

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The biggest problem with nuclear energy, much bigger than the overblown fears of future accidents such as Chernobyl or Three Mile Island, is the potential for weapons proliferation, as the article below from The Economist discusses.

On another front, the BBC article further down presents a whole different side of nuclear: a very small fusion reactor, hand built in an amateur’s New York workshop. Individual inventors like this, not just in nuclear, may be key to helping the U.S. achieve energy independence. I’m quite certain the creator’s lack of hair is unrelated to his work in nuclear energy.

Finally, the Energy Central article at the bottom of this post gives some of the more practical concerns for the use of nuclear energy in the U.S.

Enjoy!

Nuclear proliferation in South Asia

The power of nightmares

China’s proposed sale of nuclear reactors to Pakistan will intensify nuclear rivalry with India. But the damage will go far wider

Jun 24th 2010

AT FIRST sight, China’s proposed sale of two civilian nuclear-power reactors to Pakistan hardly seems a danger sign. Pakistan already has the bomb, so it has all the nuclear secrets it needs. Next-door India has the bomb too, and has been seeking similar deals with other countries.

[…]

America argued that India had a spotless non-proliferation record (it doesn’t) and that bringing it into the non-proliferation “mainstream” could only bolster global anti-proliferation efforts (it didn’t). The deal incensed not just China and Pakistan but many others, inside and outside the NSG. An immediate casualty was the effort to get all members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), who have already promised not to seek the bomb, to sign up to an additional protocol on toughened safeguards. Many have, but on hearing of the America-India deal Brazil’s president is reputed to have flatly ruled that out. And where Brazil has put its foot down, others have also hesitated.

Read the entire article here.

Extreme DIY: Building a homemade nuclear reactor in NYC

Wednesday, 23 June 2010 09:01 UK

By Matthew Danzico
BBC News, Brooklyn, New York

Many might be alarmed to learn of a homemade nuclear reactor being built next door. But what if this form of extreme DIY could help solve the world’s energy crisis?

By day, Mark Suppes is a web developer for fashion giant Gucci. By night, he cycles to a New York warehouse and tinkers with his own nuclear fusion reactor.

Read the entire article here.

Nuclear’s New Path

June 18, 2010

Ken Silverstein, EnergyBiz Insider
Editor-in-Chief

BP’s oil spill cuts two ways in terms of nuclear energy. On the one hand, it would tend to bode well for the growth of the non-fossil-fired energy. On the hand, it begs for a greater dialogue about nuclear safety.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

June 24th, 2010 at 8:13 am

Controversial Cleantech: Three Alternative Energy Resources Spurred by Government Support, Spurned by Extreme Greens

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Marketwire

Mar 10, 2010 13:43 ET

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – March 10, 2010) –  As controversial as they are viable, three alternative energy resources are gaining government support as practical solutions in the global clean-energy revolution: carbon emissions trading, clean coal, and nuclear power. Government stimulus monies worldwide are funding clean coal research and technologies and safe nuclear power generation as cap-and-trade emissions options remain under debate.

Read the entire article here.

U.S. withdraws Yucca Mountain application

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Well, this seems to add some finality to the situation. We’ll see.

Mar 03 – United Press International

The U.S. Department of Energy said Wednesday it has filed a motion to withdraw its license application to store high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.

In a news release, the department said it filed the motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with prejudice. President Barack Obama has instructed Energy Secretary Stephen Chu to establish a commission to study the issue of how best to dispose of nuclear waste.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

March 5th, 2010 at 3:09 am

Company has plan for small reactors

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Feb 25 – McClatchy-Tribune Regional News – Mike Freeman The San Diego Union-Tribune

A San Diego defense contractor has come up with an early design for a compact commercial nuclear reactor that aims to generate power using the nation’s stockpile of spent nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste.

General Atomics’ Energy Multiplier Module, or EM2, is among a handful of relatively miniature reactors that are being developed by companies seeking to capitalize on a renewed interest in nuclear power.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 26th, 2010 at 6:02 am

U.S. turns to Sweden as model in nuclear waste storage

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Yes, it is difficult to see how the Obama administration is being so supportive of nuclear energy with those loan guarantees, and yet oppose Yucca Mountain, and have no clear plan regarding what to do with the waste from new or existing nuclear plants. There’s an editorial today in the Columbus Dispatch arguing the similar sentiments.

While progress here has lagged, the Scandinavian country has successfully chosen a site for a geological repository after including citizens and local government in the discussion.

By Margot RooseveltFebruary 21, 2010

If the United States is at a loss over what to do about nuclear waste, it may be time to check out the Swedish model.

[…]

The Scandinavian success comes in stark contrast to efforts in the U.S., where spent nuclear fuel rods have remained for decades in temporary storage at power plants around the country. Meanwhile, Congress has debated where to bury them, decided on a repository under Yucca Mountain in Nevada, and then changed its mind.

Read the entire article here.

Adding some juice to the nuclear energy industry

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I’ve heard that about the biggest cost for building a nuclear power plant is the legal fees required to protect the operating firm from all of the liability and public pressure on new plants. Could it be that this is the reason why Obama, an attorney, is putting so much government money into nuclear energy? All that hope, fading to cynicism in the face of all this deficit spending.

I still like nuclear power, but am tired of thinking about the debt my grandchildren will be forced to shoulder due to a decade of irresponsible government. Come on, Obama, where’s the fiscally conservative pragmatist endorsed by The Economist?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

“OBAMA doubles down on nuclear energy,” wrote an environmental blogger after the president’s State of the Union address last month. Actually, it’s more like he tripled down. After his speech, he proposed increasing the size of the federal loan guarantee program for building nuclear power plants from $18 billion to $54 billion, and this week he backed two proposed reactors in Georgia — which would be the first built in decades — promising that this would just be the first of many such announcements.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 20th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

DOE Delivers Its First, Long-Awaited Nuclear Loan Guarantee

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By PETER BEHR of ClimateWire
Published: February 17, 2010

The Obama administration yesterday pledged a conditional $8.3 billion loan guarantee to support the construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia, which would be the first new U.S. nuclear plants in more than three decades. More commitments are on the way, officials said.

Administration climate adviser Carol Browner said yesterday that the Energy Department’s preliminary commitment to Southern Co. and its partners in the $14 billion Plant Vogtle development was hopefully “the first of many new nuclear projects.”

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 17th, 2010 at 7:05 am

President Obama reaches out to Republicans to get new energy legislation

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WE’VE ALREADY said that President Obama’s State of the Union address didn’t convince us that he had a real plan to improve the tone of politics in Washington. But on energy, Mr. Obama did reach out to Republicans — not just rhetorically, but with substantive concessions meant to revitalize a foundering legislative effort.

Read the entire article here.