Ask anyone in the street about clean electricity and you will hear that renewables, primarily wind and solar, are what is needed to transform our energy systems. Ask about nuclear and the response is much more likely to be mixed.
It is great news that many environmentalists are now seeing the necessity of nuclear in the mix.
In different ways, the Democratic and Republican Platforms would do irreparable harm to our Nation’s energy infrastructure and environmental health. A normal state of affairs in the new ideology-over-science era that America has entered. What Donald Trump has said about energy is in lock-step with the 2016 Republican Party Platform. But Bernie Sanders has killed the Democratic Party’s rational all-of-the-above energy strategy. Fortunately, Hillary Clinton has already laid out her energy policy which is all-of-the-above.
There certainly is a direct connection between fracking and earthquakes in the central and eastern United States, an important point considering last Saturday’s magnitude 5.6 earthquake that shook Oklahoma. The dramatic increase in fracking for oil and gas in America since 2006 has caused some residents in north-central Oklahoma and southern Kansas to feel like they’re in California. On the other hand, the fracking craze is responsible for the dramatic drop in carbon emissions in America because it has provided enough gas at cheap prices for natural gas to replace coal. Our emissions are now at a 27-year low. Just another human-environmental conundrum that makes policy decisions complex.
In an innovative partnership tiny X-Energy, a start-up, has teamed with one of America’s biggest nuclear utilities, Southern Co., to collaborate on the development and commercialization of the design of an advanced reactor. TRISO fuel is the common element that makes the partnership possible.
A NY Times report is fraught with speculation and FUD with respect to Fukushima’s impermeable “ice wall” project. The Times is usually a source of reliable information, but the newspaper fumbled this one.
On Pat MacDonald’s TV show, Vote for Vermont, Meredith Angwin was interviewed about life after Vermont Yankee, New York Clean Energy Standards, and payments on the grid. The blog post also contains links for some of the subjects that were discussed. The thirty minute video was also chosen as the Friday Matinee at ANS Nuclear Cafe.
Steve Aplin of Canadian Energy Issues pinpoints the cause of the alarming increase in Ontario electricity costs: the exorbitant rates paid to purveyors of wind, gas, and especially solar energy. While wind and solar have played only a marginal role in reducing carbon emissions, Aplin points out that they, together with natural gas, account for by far the lion’s share of the increase in costs.
Scientists at the University of Rochester have taken a significant step forward in laser fusion research. Experiments using the OMEGA laser at the University’s Laboratory of Laser Energetics (LLE) have created the conditions capable of producing a fusion yield that’s five times higher than the current record laser-fusion energy yield, as long as the relative conditions produced at LLE are reproduced and scaled up at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
The OMEGA laser’s 20-cm disk amplifiers at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics. (Photo by Adam Fenster/University of Rochester)
Plans to construct six Westinghouse AP1000s in India have been bolstered by a joint statement issued after a bilateral strategic dialogue yesterday between the USA and India. The two sides also pledged to work towards India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
The AP1000 is a pressurized water reactor with two cooling loops, planned to produce a net power output of 1,117 MWe. Six of them would be 6702 MWe (6.7 GWe)
100 GWe of nuclear power generates about 800 TWh each year in the USA.
53.6 TWh could be generated if the new nuclear reactors had the same operating level as US nuclear reactors