Top Nuclear Stories (July 3rd-7th)

I spent the first 3 days of the week working on doctors stuff with the person I take care of as well as myself. I’ve been given a variety of Chinese treatments to knock out a severe Urinary Tract Infection as well as continuing prostate problems.

I’m hoping to get back onto schedule tomorrow.

Nuclear Reactor News

Economy Minister pessimistic on Belene nuclear power plant funding – Business news
Even Bulgaria’s ever optimistic Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov has had to concede that the country’s plans to build a second nuclear power plant at Belene on the Danube River face an uphill struggle to secure financing for construction to begin.

French nuclear rivalry may hamper UK energy plans | Environment | The Guardian
France’s two biggest energy groups, EDF and GDF Suez, are vying to build the country’s latest nuclear power plant, casting fresh doubt on their participation in Britain’s planned nuclear renaissance. Last week President Nicolas Sarkozy gave the go-ahead for a second new-generation European pressurised reactor (EPR) on an existing site. It will be France’s 60th nuclear power plant.

CHRONOLOGY – Twists and turns in the India-U.S. nuclear deal | Reuters
Reuters – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appears to be pressing ahead with a civilian nuclear deal with the United States despite threats from his communist allies that they could withdraw their crucial parliamentary support from the government

The Press Association: France to build nuclear reactor
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said France will build a second new-generation nuclear reactor. France has been constructing its first European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) on the Normandy coast.

Call for public ownership of nuclear reactor based on mistaken beliefs
Recently, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix carried an op-ed (SaskPower Must Own Nuclear Reactor) that made the case for the province to invest in a major facility like a nuclear reactor.

Duke VP sought firing of worker | Cincinnati Enquirer
A vice president at Duke Energy recommended firing an employee who in 2006 questioned the legality of payments that the utility made to big corporate customers. Advertisement “My opinion is that he should definitely go, one way or the other,” the vice president, James Ganier, said in a March 2006 e-mail.

TVA wants big power boost from reactors | The Tennessean
TVA wants to increase the power output of each of the three nuclear reactors at its Browns Ferry plant by 15 percent, a move that could raise questions about safety. Getting 15 percent more electricity is a big increase compared with most other such undertakings at nuclear plants around the country. Some plants have been damaged by increased vibrations, but no radioactive materials escaped, officials have said.

Four Spanish nuclear plants suffer faults in 72 hours
The Vandelòs II plant saw its fire-detection systems activated. Asco II had a problem in the refrigeration system. Asco I had a problem in valve in a heat extractor. The Confrentes plant in Valencia saw an unplanned power surge.

Monticello nuclear plant ready to move spent fuel
Months of planning at the Monticello nuclear plant will be put into practice soon when spent nuclear fuel is moved to a new storage facility. Radioactive fuel rods will be moved in a process designed for safety and security from inside the plant to the above-ground storage.

AfricaNews – Nigeria nuclear plans worry G-8 – Murtala
The world most powerful nations, the G8, have expressed concerns over Nigeria’s ability to acquire nuclear technology. They are said to be uncomfortable with that nuclear move despite Nigeria’s position that the nuclear power generation is purely meant for electricity supply. Speaking to ‘This Day’ at the end of a week long safety nuclear energy training programme, Shamsedeen Elegba, Director-General of the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA) confirmed that the G8 had expressed wories over Nigeria’s readiness to acquire nuclear energy.

Evaluate Bataan nuke plant thoroughly, IAEA cautions RP – INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines — The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has cautioned the Philippines and other countries considering the revival of nuclear energy options not to let “commercial interests take precedence over safety issues.”

Malaysia’s nuclear plans delayed – UPI.com
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, July 1 (UPI) — Malaysia’s nuclear plans could take more than 15 years to implement. Analysts say the government needs to be more assertive if it wants to put nuclear power plants in place, the New Straits Times reported.

The Associated Press: Auditors: Nuclear plants not following fire rules
WASHINGTON (AP) — Operators of nuclear power plants have yet to comply with some of the government’s fire safety rules three decades after they were issued, a congressional report said Monday.

VPR Regional News: New appointees to nuclear panel draw complaints
(Host) Legislative leaders have picked a nuclear engineer and a veteran utility regulator for a panel that will oversee the inspection of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. But the Douglas Administration immediately criticized the appointments. The administration complains that the two are critics of nuclear power.

RMI: Amory Lovins: Forget Nuclear
Nuclear power, we’re told, is a vibrant industry that’s dramatically reviving because it’s proven, necessary, competitive, reliable, safe, secure, widely used, increasingly popular, and carbon-free—a perfect replacement for carbon-spewing coal power. New nuclear plants thus sound vital for climate protection, energy security, and powering a growing economy.

China wants 100 Westinghouse reactors – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
China wants to have 100 of Westinghouse Electric Co.’s nuclear reactors in operation or under construction by 2020 — more than double what was anticipated, according to the company’s incoming CEO. Aris Candris, who will lead the Monroeville-based firm beginning Tuesday, said Chinese officials shared those plans with Westinghouse during a mid-May meeting.

My Turn: Yankee: Accident waiting to happen | The Burlington Free Press
Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee (ENVY) is scheduled to close for good on the first day of spring 2012 after 40 years of troubled operation. However, in 2006, Entergy Corp., the Louisiana company that owns the plant, applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a 20-year license extension. Also in 2006, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 160, which says ENVY cannot operate after 2012 “unless the general assembly approves and determines that the operation will promote the general welfare.”

There’s downsides to nuclear power: Times Argus Online
The letter from Bill Day highlights the misunderstandings around post-Vermont Yankee electricity costs and the matter of France. The price of electricity in Vermont is likely to rise significantly no matter what. The current contract with Vermont Yankee will end in 2012.

Nuclear Health and Safety News

Feds to investigate Livermore Lab’s handling of toxic metal beryllium – ContraCostaTimes
A team of outside experts audited beryllium work at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory last month and federal regulators are set to follow up with their own review in September. Some of the incidents involved workers being unknowingly exposed to beryllium dust, which if inhaled can lead to beryllium sensitivity and chronic beryllium disease, an incurable and potentially fatal lung condition. In one of the incidents, the lab failed for five months to notify 178 contract workers

AU: The Age: NSW Health ‘knew home’s radiation risk’
NSW health authorities knew a Sydney home had unsafe levels of radiation but did not inform the residents – one of whom has since developed cancer, a NSW inquiry has been told.

Hawaii County passed Resolution against Army’s DU use on Pohakuloa : Indybay
The Hawaii County Council–after prolonged debate with testimonies from dozens of Peace activists & expert medical Dr. Lorrin Pang–passed a Resolution yesterday urging the immediate cessation of bombing and live fire exercises by the U. S. military on the island’s Pohakuloa Training Area. It was a small but significant symbolic victory by Peace citizens over the aggressive expansion plans by the Iron Fist of the American Empire.

Leeds atomic test campaign veteran dies at 70 – Yorkshire Evening Post
AN EX-SERVICEMAN from Leeds who was fighting for compensation over Cold War atomic bomb testing, has died.

Birth defects spike with U.S. use of ‘special weaponry’
Babies born in Fallujah are showing deformities and falling ill on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say. The spike in deformities and deaths among children resulted after “special weaponry” was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.

SKAPP Authors Expose Brush Wellman’s Role in Stalling Stricter Beryllium Limit
In the latest issue of the journal Public Health Reports, there is debate about the role that beryllium giant Brush Wellman played in stalling OSHA action on beryllium, and whether Brush waged a public relations campaign to minimize the hazards of the toxic metal.

Manx Radio: Radioactive contamination – no concerns
It’s being claimed levels of radioactive contamination in the Irish Sea pose no danger to human health. Senior Government Scientist Dr Paul McKenna has been responding to concerns over the latest official data from radioactivity monitoring. The Celtic League has highlighted that levels of Technetium 99 in Manx lobsters are higher than those found in seaweed in Ireland.

French official dismisses nuclear test veterans complaints
The French government’s nuclear safety expert, Marcel Jurien de la Graviere, says the fallout from the nuclear weapons tests in French Polynesia has not been, as it has been claimed, the cause of illnesses.

Wild Clearing – “Contaminated Forever” – a documentary film about the terrible impact of depleted uranium weapons
Filmmaker Wes Rehberg and artist and social policy analyst Eileen Rehberg have produced and filmed “Contaminated Forever,” a 1-hour and 45-minute documentary film to help in the effort to expose the terrible consequences of the use of depleted uranium weapons (DU) for test purposes and in the battlefield.

Nuclear Security News

Khan: Musharraf approved nuclear sale – UPI.com
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 5 (UPI) — The Pakistani scientist accused of operating a nuclear proliferation ring says President Pervez Musharraf approved a sale of weapons to North Korea.

Report: Security lax at U.S. nuclear sites – UPI.com
A U.S. Air Force study found lax plant security and inadequate personnel experience at most overseas storage facilities for U.S. nuclear weapons.

Global nuclear stockpiles ‘must be reduced to prevent terrorist attacks’ – Telegraph
Nuclear stockpiles around the world must be reduced to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, a coalition of senior British politicians has warned. The four former British defence and foreign secretaries warn that the more nuclear material in circulation, the more countries who have not had such weapons to date are likely to want to acquire their own.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

Heat is on uranium stalemate | Herald Sun
URANIUM miners are lifting pressure on the Queensland and Western Australian governments to drop a uranium mining ban – but both governments won’t budge. The world’s nuclear energy sector has snared a new lease of life and many countries are using or looking to use nuclear energy as a way to curb power-station emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases.

edmontonsun.com – Canada- Canada takes Iraq’s uranium
Canada is the new home to a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium from Iraq, the last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program. The 550 tonnes of “yellowcake,” the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment, was sold to Canadian uranium producer Cameco Corp. in a transaction the official described as worth “tens of millions of dollars.”

CTV.ca | U.S. wanted secrecy in uranium deal: Cameco
A Canadian company that acquired a reported 550 tonnes of yellowcake uranium from Iraq says that the U.S. military wanted the deal to be kept quiet. “We were following the request of the U.S. government,” Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp. spokesperson Lyle Krahn told The Canadian Press of the clandestine route the material took to get out of Baghdad and to Canada.

AFP: Two million Nigerians at risk from radioactive waste
KANO, Nigeria (AFP) — Radioactive materials in abandoned mining fields in central Nigeria’s Plateau state pose a serious health hazard to two million people, officials said Saturday. “Around two million people now live and farm close to the mines, which means they are all at risk from the harmful effects of the radioactive emissions from the mining fields,” Plateau environment commissioner Nankim Bagudu told AFP.

telegraphjournal.com – Government sets uranium exploration restrictions
SAINT JOHN – The provincial government signaled Friday it is no longer open for uranium business after announcing a series of exploration restrictions, industry firms say. The restrictions, banning uranium exploration in municipalities, watersheds, well fields and within 300 metres of private homes, have triggered concerns for investor confidence, with at least one firm reviewing its future in the province.

BBC NEWS | Africa | Nigeria wants mining reparations
Nigeria’s Plateau State wants $100bn (£50bn) in compensation from the UK and Europe for environmental damage caused, it says, by mining in colonial times.

Cibola County Beacon – Clean up planned at old mine sites
Thursday, July 3, 2008 2:18 PM MDT The Mining and Minerals Division of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department has awarded a contract to Golder Associates to initiate cleanup work at abandoned uranium mines in New Mexico. This project will involve a field assessment of more than a dozen abandoned uranium mines northwest of Grants followed by the development and implementation of plans for the cleanup of these sites.

U.S. removes ‘yellowcake’ from Iraq – Conflict in Iraq- msnbc.com
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The Watch Newspapers – Facing Uranium Mill, Effort to Show Paradox Beauty Underway
PARADOX VALLEY – While Energy Fuels Inc. continues toward its application process to build the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in the Paradox Valley, an effort to save the valley from the mill is already underway.

Uranium spot price jumps near $60/pound; is poised to go higher
The spot price of uranium jumped $2 to $59/pound, according to TradeTech and Ux Consulting reports released Monday, but that price “may already be in the rearview mirror” of buyers and sellers, said one analyst.

Arms Control Associationn: Bush’s Nuclear Reprocessing Plan Under Fire
The Bush administration’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) program, already under siege, has been further imperiled after recent action by several congressional panels and an April report from the congressional watchdog agency. Administration officials have claimed that GNEP, which seeks to develop new nuclear technologies and new international nuclear fuel arrangements, will cut nuclear waste and decrease the risk that an anticipated growth in the use of nuclear energy worldwide could spur nuclear proliferation.

NM hires company to help with uranium cleanup – Las Cruces Sun-News
SANTA FE—An international company has been contracted to help the state Mining and Minerals Division with the cleanup of abandoned uranium mines around New Mexico. The agency says Golder Associates will conduct field assessments of more than a dozen abandoned mines northwest of Grants to measure the extent of contamination so cleanup plans can be developed for the sites.

Tailings tab could top $1 billion – Salt Lake Tribune
The cost of hauling away the Moab tailings by 2019 could exceed $1 billion, according to the latest estimate by the U.S. Energy Department, the agency managing the cleanup.

Deseret News | Cleaning up Moab tailings could cost up to $1 billion
WASHINGTON — The Energy Department estimates it could cost up to $1 billion to clean up the uranium mill tailings in Moab by 2019, based on an anticipated report issued to Congress late Tuesday. The 2019 deadline gets the project done faster than the 2028 deadline the department submitted to Congress last year but is still way beyond the 2012 deadline initially proposed when the department took over the project.

Report: Iran will halt enrichment if West removes sanctions | Jerusalem Post
Iran expressed readiness to freeze its uranium enrichment program in return for lifting the international sanctions imposed on it, Israel’s Channel 2 senior analyst Ehud Ya’ari revealed Thursday evening.

Nuclear Waste News

PM – ABC drops new site after radioactivity fears
The ABC has abandoned plans to build its new Queensland headquarters at a site in Brisbane after discovering the possibility of radioactive contamination. A year and a half ago, the national broadcaster had to abandon its Queensland headquarters at Toowong, because of a breast cancer cluster among staff.

All of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard should be cleaned to Residential Standards – Prop P. : Indybay
All of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard should be cleaned to residential standards – mandated by Proposition P that passed in the year 2000 by the City and County of San Francisco. Eighty seven percent of the constituents of San Francisco voted for Proposition P. Unfortunately, we have had Mayors Gavin Newsom, Willie L.Brown, and Diane Feinstein – that think the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard should be capped. Well, we must speak out – and speak out now. Dubious forces are planning to handover the whole Shipyard to Lennar and forcing the U.S. Navy to cap the whole area.

Tooele Transcript Bulletin – Energysolutions
A bill scheduled to be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week would forbid foreign-generated nuclear waste from being accepted by American disposal facilities. If passed, the bill would derail EnergySolutions’ bid to take Italian nuclear waste at its Clive facility.

Sydney Morning Herald: Sydney’s radioactive neighbourhood cover-up claim
The son of a Sydney couple who died from cancers says the NSW Health Department tried to cover up the results of radioactivity tests on their neighbourhood.

ABC Sydney – Govt ‘withheld results from radioactive site’
A man whose parents died while living near a former uranium smelter site in Sydney’s north says he is angry the Government withheld information from the public. A New South Wales parliamentary committee is holding an inquiry into the site on Nelson Parade at Hunter’s Hill. Members of the inquiry visited the site earlier this week and found unacceptable levels of radioactivity. Recent independent testing of soil samples found 350 times more radioactive than what is considered safe.

Charleston, SC Latest Editorial News: Limiting S.C. nuclear-waste role
Tuesday marked the end of South Carolina’s role as the low-level radioactive waste disposal site for much of the nation. Henceforth, the Barnwell waste site will operate at a sharply reduced level, accepting waste only from three states, including South Carolina.

Alexander seeks ban on foreign nuclear waste – Oak Ridge, TN – The Oak Ridger
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander wants to ban processing and disposal of some foreign nuclear waste. The Tennessee Republican and Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., said Tuesday they will introduce legislation barring the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from allowing Utah-based EnergySolutions Inc. from importing 20,000 tons of nuclear waste from Italy for processing in Oak Ridge and disposal in Clive, Utah.

Senators join effort to block EnergySolutions’ nuke waste imports plan – Salt Lake Tribune
America’s landfills for low-level nuclear waste should be conserved for America’s waste, according to a new, bipartisan bill to be introduced next week in the U.S. Senate. The bill targets efforts by Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions to use its Tooele County landfill for contaminated cleanup waste from Italy’s defunct nuclear reactors and maybe other foreign waste in the future. And it echoes a bill proposed in the House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and two colleagues.

Radioactive cocktail: Blending waste won’t lessen the danger – Salt Lake Tribune
Officials from our nation’s nuclear power industry have devised a magical mathematical formula that miraculously transforms dangerous Class B and Class C nuclear waste into less-ominous Class A waste. Anxious to dispose of their radioactive garbage, they pitched the proposal to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission last week.

So Much Radioactive Waste, So Little Time | 80beats | Discover Magazine
It’s been a big news week for nuclear waste, with most of the attention going to the Department of Energy’s announcement that it has at long last submitted an application to open a nuclear waste repository in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.

ReviewJournal – Reid says McCain echoes Bush in talk of Yucca Mountain
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain is saying the same things about Yucca Mountain that President Bush once did, and Nevadans should not be fooled. “That’s what George Bush said, remember, and he’d been president for a couple of weeks when he decided science wasn’t so important and jammed it down our throat,” the Senate majority leader said in an interview.

The dangers of nuclear storage: Rutland Herald Online
After a recent opinion piece, facts need to once again be clarified. To this date only a minor fraction of separated uranium has actually been recovered by reprocessing from spent nuclear fuel. And apparently, there are no expectations that this may change in the near future.

AFP: Toxic legacy: Scientists ponder task of labelling nuclear waste
PARIS (AFP) — How will “DANGER!” be written 5,000 years from now? How will it be written in 50,000 years? Finding an answer to these questions may not seem like a Code Red emergency to most people.

Nuclear Policy News

G8 nations to push nuclear energy – UPI.com
Group of Eight leaders meeting in Japan will push for more nuclear power generation as a way to curb greenhouse gas emissions, sources said Sunday. The Yomiuri Shimbun quoted anonymous sources saying the G8 nations will pressure China and India to satisfy a greater percentage of their electricity needs from nuclear power

New funding woes for Belene nuclear power plant -
Bulgaria’s plans to build a second nuclear power plant at Belene on the Danube River have hit a new snag, with BNP Paribas choosing not to commit any of its own money to fund the project, even though it has been picked to find financing for the power plant, Infrastructure Journal reported.

Meet the Nuclear Power Lobby | Center for Media and Democracy
The nuclear power industry is seeing its fortunes rise. “Seventeen entities developing license applications for up to thirty-one new [nuclear] reactors did not just happen,” boasted Frank “Skip” Bowman. “It has been carefully planned.”

Europe Insight Europe’s Nuclear Energy Woes – BusinessWeek
Rising energy costs and concerns over carbon dioxide emissions have focused minds in Europe’s utility sector. The response? A push to build more nuclear power plants that would reduce the amount of fuel (such as natural gas and coal) that’s imported and cut CO2 just as governments start to take a hard-line stance towards greenhouse gases.

Nuclear Weapons News

FACTBOX: Proposed U.S. missile shield in E.Europe | Reuters
The United States and the Czech Republic will sign a pact on Tuesday for the central European country to host a radar system, part of U.S. plans to create a missile defense shield in Europe.

Another Nail in the NPT Coffin – by Gordon Prather
Garold Larson has the misfortune to be the Bush-Cheney Deputy Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, and hence, was required to “celebrate” the 40th anniversary of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

RIA Novosti – World – U.S. says Lithuania has agreed to consider hosting missile shield
United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that Lithuania has agreed to consider hosting a missile interceptor base if the U.S. deal with Poland falls through.

AFP: Former ministers call for nuclear weapon-free world
LONDON (AFP) — Four former foreign and defence secretaries called Monday for nuclear powers around the world to increase diplomatic efforts to eventually rid the world of nuclear weapons. Writing in The Times, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Lord Douglas Hurd, Lord David Owen and Lord George Robertson said there “is a powerful case for a dramatic reduction in the stockpile of nuclear weapons.”

Department of Energy News

New contractor takes over Hanford tank farms | Tri-City Herald
The transition to the new contractor for Hanford’s tank farms starts today. However, the transition to a new contractor for cleanup of central Hanford has yet to begin. The Department of Energy had announced that today was the soonest the transition might start, but has not issued a notice to proceed to the new contractor. At the tank farms, Washington River Protection Solutions begins work today to take over operations from outgoing DOE contractor CH2M Hill Hanford Group. The transition is expected to be completed Oct. 1.

The Associated Press: Plutonium pit plan for N.M. lab faces opposition
DIXON, N.M. (AP) — The market at the heart of this little village is stuffed with locally grown produce. Fat, red radishes practically fly out of the display basket next to the cash register hours after leaving the field. Nourished by a small river that empties into the Rio Grande, the narrow valley is dotted with farms, orchards and vineyards.

GAO: More information needed on viability of Hanford tanks | Tri-City Herald
The Department of Energy needs more information to make sure its leak-prone underground tanks will last as long as they are needed to store radioactive waste, according to a report to Congress by the Government Accountability Office. “DOE and its contractors lack comprehensive information about the condition, contents and long-term viability of Hanford’s aging underground waste tanks,” the report said.

aiken standard – Engineer details SRS deactivation projects
Since 2002, a total of 263 buildings at the Savannah River Site have been torn down, said John Gilmour, chief engineer for deactivation and decommission.\nOnly four of those buildings met the criteria as nuclear facilities and needed extensive coordination with federal and state regulators, Gilmour told Rotary Club of Aiken members Monday.

Other Energy News

From oil to Armageddon
What if oil prices continue to rise with no end in sight? Even now with gas at $4.50 a gallon on the west coast, it’s becoming difficult for many people to fill up their gas tanks. What’s going to happen when it goes to $5.00, $6.00, $7.00 a gallon, or even higher? This will have an effect on all levels of society — from the poor, all the way to the White House. The entire economy of the country and the free world may be at stake. It could lead to war.

AFP: Germany wants to build 30 windfarms
BERLIN (AFP) — The German government wants to build up to 30 offshore windfarms in a bid to meet its renewable energy targets, Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said in an interview published Sunday. Tiefensee told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the windfarms would be built in the Baltic and North seas and said some 2,000 windmills should soon be producing 11,000 megawatts of electricity.

Tomgram: Mike Davis, Welcome to the Next Epoch
For those who didn’t happen to notice, perhaps because it wasn’t exactly front-page news in most of the country, NASA’s James Hansen, the man who first alerted Congress to the dangers of global warming 20 years ago, returned to testify before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming this week. This time around, he was essentially offering a final warning on the subject.

Pictured: The floating cities that could one day house climate change refugees | Mail Online
At first glance, they look like a couple of giant inflatable garden chairs that have washed out to sea But they are, apparently, the ultimate solution to rapidly rising sea levels. This computer-generated image shows two floating cities, each with enough room for 50,000 inhabitants.

AFS Trinity Power A revolution in Fast Energy Storageâ„¢ featuring the Extreme Hybridâ„¢.
AFS Trinity Power has developed patent-pending technology that makes it possible for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to achieve 150 MPG, go 40 miles in all-electric mode, and use gasoline for additional unlimited miles in hybrid mode. In July 2007, in order to very quickly demonstrate all of the key attributes of this technology, the company mounted an effort to build two fully operational XH-150 SUV prototypes using off-the-shelf components. The two vehicles—modified Saturn Vue SUVs—were built in less than six months. They were unveiled on January 13, 2008 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (Press Announcement) and (Salon.com test drive report).

To save fuel, a return to 55 mph — or a four-day workweek? -The Green Blog –
As gas prices keep rising, more and more creative energy-saving ideas are coming out. Senator John Warner has asked the US Energy Department to investigate reimposing a national speed limit. And Utah is putting most of its state employees on a four-day workweek.

JZSmith: Oil prices are probably going up no matter what we do | Opinions | Star-Telegram.com
On Wednesday morning, while walking near my home, I yelled, “Hi” to a neighbor. “Got a new car?” I said, eyeing a sleek little black sedan in his driveway. “Yeah,” he said effusively. His new fuel-sipping four-cylinder was a night-and-day contrast with his prior vehicle, a hulking pickup costing him $100 a fill-up.

The energy panic — Times Union – Albany NY
The fundamental lessons for a country suddenly facing an energy crisis and an uncertain economy ought to be clear enough. Drive slower — when you have to drive at all, that is. Seek alternative forms of transportation. Turn off the lights you don’t need, and don’t be wasteful. Oh, and by all means, don’t go lunging for the panic button.

US oil firms seek drilling access, but exports soar – Forbes.com
While the U.S. oil industry want access to more federal lands to help reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries. A record 1.6 million barrels a day in U.S. refined petroleum products were exported during the first four months of this year, up 33 percent from 1.2 million barrels a day over the same period in 2007.

The Oil Drum | Performance Governing: Getting Lucky and Staying Lucky
Facing the facts and acting to resolve them can defeat peak Oil and Global Warming, both civilization killers. A primary fact is that our current infrastructure is the cause of these killers. We built the infrastructure. We can build better. The purpose of this essay is a call to action to defeat these civilization killers by changing the way we govern infrastructure from specifying HOW to build it, to stating WHAT is needed and allowing a free market to find the rare individuals with lucky breakthroughs that can build sustainable infrastructure. We must get lucky and discover the energy equivalents of lasers, personal computers, cell phones, the Internet, etc….

Massive Global Car Growth To Crash Into Peak Oil | SolveClimate.com
The end of the fossil fuel era may end with a whimper, not a bang — just with lines for gasoline that are too long. Consider these two pieces of unsettling data: (1) The number of cars on the road globally will hit 1 billion by 2011. (2) The world’s oil will peak by 2015, according to the CEO of Shell.

Laugh at High Gas Prices With a 282-MPG VW | Autopia from Wired.com
With gas prices going through the roof and regulators requiring cars to be ever more miserly, Volkswagen is bringing new meaning to the term “fuel efficiency” with a bullet-shaped microcar that gets a stunning 282 235 mpg. Volkswagen’s had its super-thrifty One-Liter Car concept vehicle — so named because that’s how much fuel it needs to go 100 kilometers — stashed away for six years. The body’s made of carbon fiber to minimize weight (the entire car weighs just 660 pounds) and company execs didn’t expect the material to become cheap enough to produce the car until 2012.

Administration Blocking EPA from Addressing Global Warming Pollution
The White House is currently blocking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from complying with a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that directed the agency to develop global warming pollution regulations under the Clean Air Act. Below is a statement by Brendan Bell, a Washington representative with the Union of Concerned Scientists:

A Backlog Of Cases Alleging Fraud – washingtonpost.com
More than 900 cases alleging that government contractors and drugmakers have defrauded taxpayers out of billions of dollars are languishing in a backlog that has built up over the past decade because the Justice Department cannot keep pace with the surge in charges brought by whistle-blowers, according to lawyers involved in the disputes.

Alberta’s mission: convert oil sands skeptics
WASHINGTON — Two years ago, the Alberta government parked a huge dump truck on the National Mall in Washington, announcing to U.S. lawmakers Canada was about to become the next big thing in global energy. It was an ostentatious display — the yellow behemoth used in oilsands extraction stood five metres tall, with four-metre-high tires — that helped put Alberta’s oilsands on the map for a Congress deeply worried after 9/11 about the security of the U.S. energy supply.

WSJ.com : Peak Oil: IEA Inches Toward the Pessimists’ Camp
What’s up with oil prices? Well, it’s not speculators, and there’s no relief in sight, meaning at least five more years of high prices with no easy fixes. The ugly truth? Peak oil isn’t fringe anymore—it’s going mainstream. That’s the reading from the latest oil market report from the International Energy Agency, the rich-country energy watchdog. The IEA’s latest x-ray of the oil market includes plenty of disturbing nuggets.

Rubber ‘snake’ could help wave power get a bite of the energy market
Innovative concept could make wave energy more affordable A device consisting of a giant rubber tube may hold the key to producing affordable electricity from the energy in sea waves. Invented in the UK, the ‘Anaconda’ is a totally innovative wave energy concept. Its ultra-simple design means it would be cheap to manufacture and maintain, enabling it to produce clean electricity at lower cost than other types of wave energy converter. Cost has been a key barrier to deployment of such converters to date.

Giant solar tower could power the future – LiveScience- msnbc.com
A new energy concept called a solar tower could generate enough electricity for 200,000 homes. Looking like a giant smokestack, it would release no noxious fumes — just sun-heated air.

Drilling Wilderness Won’t Bring Cheap Gas
As Americans struggle with high prices at the pump, one thing is certain: a rush to drill in Alaska or on Western public lands will not bring down the price of gas. Unfortunately, it will needlessly sacrifice wilderness and wildlife.

How a Shady Citigroup Subsidiary Secretly Makes Billions in the Oil Market | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet
On June 3 of this year, Dr. Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America, correctly outlined the problem to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation:

U.S. federal oil and gas royalties – Congresspedia
U.S. federal oil and gas royalties are payments made by firms to the federal government in exchange for the opportunity to explore for oil and gas on government-owned land or water. Traditionally, most of the funds generated by these royalties have gone directly into the general U.S. Treasury. Some of the funds have been directed to the Historical Preservation Trust Fund and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. During most of the twentieth century, oil and gas companies generally paid between 12.5 and 16.7 percent in royalties for a lease to drill on public land or water. Over time, these royalty payments generated over $100 billion in revenues.

U.S. Department of the Interior -Oil and Gas Report Offers Roadmap for Energy Relief U.S. public lands estimated to hold 31 billion barrels of oil and 231 trillion cubic feet of natural gas
U.S. public lands estimated to hold 31 billion barrels of oil and 231 trillion cubic feet of natural gas WASHINGTON, D.C. — With average national gas prices hovering around $4 per gallon, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management today released a study that shows vast untapped oil and natural gas resources exist on public lands in the United States. “America has abundant energy resources,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management C. Stephen Allred. “However, for a variety of reasons, many of these resources are not available for development. At a time when energy prices have reached record levels and Americans are feeling the impact, we must find ways to develop those key energy resources that are available to us right here at home, on our public lands.”

U.S. energy policy is huge in election BESCHLOSS: Ample natural gas | The Desert Sun
t’s becoming crystal clear that the resolution of America’s energy crisis is now the centerpiece of the current election campaign; it could conceivably be the decisive issue that decides the future occupant of the White House. Advertisement This is increasingly motivated by public opinion, which heavily favors a “drill now” commitment.

Judge: Reduce CO2 Or Don’t Build Coal Plant – thedailygreen.com
In a ruling believed to be unprecedented, a Georgia judge halted the construction of Dynegy’s Longleaf coal-fired power plant because it had not made provisions for reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most widely implicated in man-made global warming.

U.N. report: Clean energy booming globally | Green Tech – CNET News.com
Global investment in sustainable energy amounted to $148 billion in 2007, a 60 percent gain over 2006, according to a United Nations report (PDF) Tuesday. That will grow to $600 billion past 2020, reported New Energy Finance, a consultant to the U.N. Environment Programme.

$200 Oil and the Hole That Could Swallow Mexico
For 16 days, they blockaded the halls of congress. For 16 days, they chanted in the streets. Until finally, victory was theirs… the bill was struck down, the enemy bested. They sang the national anthem and raised their fists in victory. Senator Carlos Navarrete, leftist leader of the Mexican senate, was especially joyful. “We triumphed! We triumphed!”he said.

Environmental sleight of hand in the Arctic? | csmonitor.com
Environmentalists have hailed recent announcements by the US Interior Department that purport to protect wildlife, but both of these announcements carry with them asterisks that should give greens pause. On Friday, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management announced that some 340 square miles of ecologically sensitive land in the northeast section of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve will be off limits to drilling.

Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

Daily Herald | Nuclear energy is the wrong choice
John McCain’s plan to build 45 new reactors by 2030 demonstrates more about his connections to nuclear industry lobbyists than to any real concern about addressing climate change. Nuclear power provides far less climate protection per dollar than any of its competitors. The mining, uranium production, transport, use and storage of nuclear fuel (and waste) create global warming.

Global Warming Examiner – Three Mile Island Proves Nuclear Power is Safe –
Nuclear power has a major advantage over fossil fuel power sources when it comes to global warming. Generating power from nuclear fuel does not produce any carbon dioxide. Shouldn’t we be retiring our coal-fired power plants and replacing them with nuclear plants?

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