Jason Barton

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Archive for the ‘U.S. Energy’ tag

Study: Nuclear plant radiation may be to blame for cancer spike

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Nuclear power has so much potential as a clean energy source, but stories like this illustrate that the technology, at least the technology used in Pennsylvania’s reactors, may not be as safe as it needs to be.

The Standard Speaker

By KELLY MONITZ (Staff Writer)
Published: January 22, 2010

Pennsylvania’s incidence of thyroid cancer in the mid-1980s was 40 percent below the national rate, and now the rate is 44 percent above the national rate, [Mangano] said.

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Some of the highest thyroid cancer rates occur in eastern Pennsylvania, which has the nation’s largest concentration of nuclear reactors, including the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Salem Township, he said.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

January 30th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

NREL study shows 20 percent wind is possible by 2024

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If U.S. energy consumption were reduced by 30% by 2020, this same amount of wind power generation would account for nearly 30% of our energy use. It will take investment in our transmission grids that ensures this electricity is transported efficiently, but with the savings in overall energy costs, these expenditures are more easily covered, moving us closer to that goal of having plenty of natural gas and coal for many, many generations to come.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS) January 20. This unprecedented two-and-a-half year technical study of future high-penetration wind scenarios was designed to analyze the economic, operational, and technical implications of shifting 20 percent or more of the Eastern Interconnection’s electrical load to wind energy by the year 2024.

“Twenty percent wind is an ambitious goal, but this study shows that there are multiple scenarios through which it can be achieved,” said David Corbus, NREL project manager for the study. “Whether we’re talking about using land-based wind in the Midwest, offshore wind in the East or any combination of wind power resources, any plausible scenario requires transmission infrastructure upgrades and we need to start planning for that immediately.”

Read the entire article here.

Mountaintop Mining: Coal Baron Debates a Kennedy

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If the damage to water quality is as bad from mountain top mining as many say it is, the paychecks these miners earn could have to go to their rising health care costs.

Coal baron vs. Kennedy: Activists, industry in mountaintop mining debate for wide US audience

By TIM HUBER and TOM BREEN Associated Press Writers
CHARLESTON, W.Va. January 22, 2010 (AP)

The real audience for the debate between coal baron Don Blankenship and conservationist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was not the hundreds who packed the audience at the University of Charleston.

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For Blankenship, mountaintop mining puts food on the table and mortgage checks in the mail. For Kennedy, it defaces majestic scenery, pollutes water and shatters the quiet country existence of people who’ve called the mountains home for generations.

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“If we can’t have intelligent discourse about the most important issues we face, where are we?” he said. “If we can help people understand it’s a hard issue, that’s a major step forward.”

Read the entire article here.