Jason Barton

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Archive for the ‘Yucca Mountain’ tag

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

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.

New energy bill not a green light for nuclear power

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I have often had conversations with people who, like myself, are tentatively and hypothetically in favor of expanding nuclear power in the U.S, particularly breeder reactors and other technology that can use more of the uranium and reduce waste and the need to store it. But there are two reservations often held by interested citizens. The weapons question is one reservation. As I understand it, developing the technology for electricity is not too far removed from developing the technology for weapons. And as we have seen, technology is inherently democratic, meaning that the more work we do on improving the efficiency, the better the chance that the technology may fall into the hands of those interested in using nuclear weapons.

But the bigger obstacle in the public consciousness, I think, is that of where to place nuclear facilities and the storage sites they necessitate. Whenever people say they are in favor of nuclear energy, I tell them I just read that there was a proposed site not too far from where they live. Some know I’m kidding, but the ones who don’t have a variety of negative reactions, from the passively obstinate–“I think that’d be great, but there are some citizens groups/politicians/etc., who would never let it happen”–to the rediculous–“Oh, it wouldn’t work here; there are far too many children.” Oh, I guess we’ll have to find cities that could use increased clean-electricity generation, but have no children.

If NIMBY is going to be the major problem, the obvious solution is to place these facilities in rural areas with fewer people. One problem is that many of these places are in agricultural areas or places with other valuable natural resources that would still carry heavy citizen resistance, even in the absence of local citizens. Another is that even when there are fewer risks to natural resources, such as with Yucca Mountain, discussed in this article, there still seems to be ample resistance to citing a storage facility, perhaps even more than with the reactors themselves.

A friend of mine whose parents have been engineers at NASA for quite some time has recommended loading the waste onto rockets and shooting it into the sun. As ridiculous as I’ve often thought this to be, at least from a safety and efficiency standpoint if not a feasibility one, it may be the only viable option for nuclear power.

Could we fit those rockets with solar sails? Now that’s clean energy.

The Cap Times

By LAVILLA CAPENER and MIKE IVEY | The Capital Times | mivey@madison.com | Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 6:20 am | (4) Comments

A view of the Point Beach nuclear power plant.

The new clean energy bill trumpeted by Gov. Jim Doyle has been called everything from a forward-thinking green initiative to a jobs-killing mandate that would cripple the Wisconsin economy.

One thing it’s not, however, is a green light for nuclear power.

While the measure does modify the state’s quarter-century moratorium on nuclear plant construction, enough obstacles remain that make it doubtful a new facility would be built here anytime soon. This comes despite the fact that nuclear power does not create global warming carbon emissions — unlike burning coal, which accounts for 70 percent of Wisconsin’s homegrown electricity.

“I think it’s fair to say anyone who wants nuclear energy will be very disappointed with this bill,” says Scott Manley of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business lobby.

Dubbed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, the measure would require that 25 percent of the state’s energy come from wind, solar, biomass or other renewable sources by 2025. It also toughens building codes to increase energy efficiency, restricts idling of diesel trucks to reduce pollution and raises vehicle emissions standards to match many other states, including California.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

January 18th, 2010 at 2:23 pm