Top Nuclear Stories (July 10th-14th)

Radbull This is the 2nd version of this latest format of the Top Nuclear Stories. Please feel free to send me any feedback you may have. Note that I’m putting in pictures from some of the stories to brighten up the look. I’ve currently got a bit of extra time to do this, but cant promise to do quite as many in the future.

The G8 campaign continues to grow as a major media push is underway to attack the German government’s anti-nuclear stand of the past. Additional reactors were called for by the British government this past weekend, as well as the latest settlement in the ongoing North Korean nuclear weapons story. The story in India continues to be a major story as the Indian government bay be broken up over the push to get a treaty with the Bush government.


Top Nuclear Stories Index

Reactors Safety Security Fuel Cycle N-Waste
Policy Weapons Dept of Energy Other Energy News OpEd

Nuclear Reactor News

bertell: 3 Mile Island Coverup

“I feel that former President Jimmy Carter should come forth with all of
the facts surrounding the Three Mile Island Accident, especially those which
involved the radiation release and the dose to the public. This disclosure should,
moreover, be in language which can be easily and correctly understood by the
public, and not massaged to hide the truth. After the accident, for example,
I found that the dose officially assigned to the public, was called: “measured
dose to the public from the accident” – where “measured” meant
it only included the dose after the rate matres were in place the third day
after the accident began; “accident” meant that the radiation dose
received during the same time period in 1978 when the TMI reactors were all
operating and there was Chinese nuclear test fallout, could be subtracted.

Greenpeace climbs Eiffel Tower in nuclear protest | Reuters

About 15 environmental activists climbed the Eiffel Tower on Sunday to unfurl
a banner protesting against France’s nuclear energy policies, on the day when
it hosts a major summit of heads of state. Campaign group Greenpeace said the
banner showing the nuclear logo was placed in the middle of a circle of stars
representing the European Union displayed on the tower to mark France’s six-month
term as EU president.

AFP:Merkel calls for slower nuclear phase-out in Germanygermany

Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a contentious call Sunday to slow Germany’s planned phase-out of nuclear energy, amid growing fears it will be impossible to slash greenhouse gas emissions without it.

More nuclear plants to be approved within two years – Times Online

At least eight new nuclear power stations are to be approved within the next
two years and built swiftly under fast-track planning procedures, The Times
has learnt. Gordon Brown believes that they will be needed to avoid an energy
crisis in the next decade, and more will follow as the world tries to reduce
its dependence on oil for power.

Heavies in power bid for nuclear | Herald Sun
THE Rudd Government is being urged to embrace nuclear power as a source of clean
energy, amid warnings its emissions trading scheme could result in “desolate”
industrial wastelands.

Tower problems plague Yankee: Rutland Herald Online

Problems with broken wooden timbers continue to plague Vermont Yankee’s cooling
towers, as Entergy Nuclear was forced Friday to cut power production in half.
According to a preliminary report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, engineers
found timber support problems first in the east cooling tower and then in the
west tower, including the same cell that was rebuilt last summer after it collapsed.
VY leak forces power cutback – Brattleboro Reformer

A leak in one of Vermont Yankee’s cooling towers has state officials and legislators
concerned that the owner of the nuclear power plant in Vernon is not doing all
that it promised to insure the plant operates safely. Both cooling towers at
Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon were pulled out of service Friday
morning after technicians discovered sagging and leakage in a pipe that moves
thousands of gallons of water through the plant’s cooling system. Because of
the loss of the cooling towers, power output at the plant was reduced to less
than 50 percent.

RussiaEyes the Atom: The Monologue of Nuclear Power- SPIEGEL ONLINE
facility

Russia plans to build up to 40 new nuclear reactors in the near future. But experts warn that may not be possible. The country lacks experts, skilled personnel and a clear idea about what to do with the waste.

United Kingdom: The British Atomic ‘Green Revolution’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE

For years, nuclear energy was seen as an “unattractive option” in Great Britain, and the country’s nuclear phase-out was in fact a done deal.
But in light of soaring oil prices, the British government is rethinking its
position, even praising nuclear power as an environmentally friendly alternative.

Natural gas solution, N-power overhyped-India-The Times of India
Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said on Wednesday that India could ill afford to opt out of the race for nuclear power at a time when 24 of the 35 nuclear power plants under construction in the world are in Asia. He also suggested that the Indo-US deal was a must for guaranteeing India’s energy security.

The US Goes Nucular: Prefab Reactors and Longer Life-Spans – SPIEGEL ONLINE
reactor

No nuclear reactors have been built in the United States since the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island. But that is about to change. A number have recently been approved and dozens more are waiting in the wings.

MaineToday.com| Maine Yankee settlement on water contamination

Maine Yankee, the former nuclear power plant in Wiscasset, has reached a final settlement with state agencies to compensate for groundwater contamination at the site. The agreement calls for Maine Yankee to pay $930,000 to several projects in the region ranging from land conservation easements along the Sheepscot River to the restoration of a large area of salt marsh.

Leak in cooling tower at Vermont Yankee – Boston.com

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is operating at half its power level while it investigates a leak in one of the plant’s cooling towers. The cooling towers were the source of a problem last summer when one of them degraded so badly that it collapsed.

Chattanooga Times Free Press: Tennessee: NRC extends permit to build Watts Bar Unit 2 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced today that it has extended its construction permit for the unfinished Unit 2 at the Watts Bar nuclear power plant to March 31, 2013. The Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates Unit 1 at the plant about 10 miles south of Spring City, Tenn., requested the extension in May. TVA is spending $2.5 billion to complete a second reactor at Watts Bar. NRC spokesman Roger Hannah said the agency’s staff “found no significant impact on the environment” to extending the construction permit until 2013 so the construction could be completed. Work at the unit began in 1974, TVA halted the project in 1985 and is restarting construction this year.

Report: The Self-Limiting Future of Nuclear Power
towers Nuclear power generates approximately 20 percen of all U.S. electricity. An because it is a low-carbon source of around-the-clock power, it has received renewed interest as concern grows over the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on our climate.

Leak at French Nuclear Plant Recalls Nuclears Downside | Discover Magazine
Uranium leaked from a reservoir at a French nuclear power plant earlier this week, contaminating two rivers near the town of Avignon. People in nearby towns have been warned not to drink any water or eat fish from the rivers since Mondays leak. Officials have also cautioned people not to swim in the rivers or use their water to irrigate crops [BBC News]. In response to the leak, the French nuclear safety agency ordered the plant to shut down temporarily while it improved safety measures.

Jim Harding: Seven Myths of the Nuclear Renaissance

Thirty years ago, my now-deceased colleague David Comey was asked to make a
presentation before the annual meeting of the Atomic Industrial Forum, then
the major trade association backing expansion of nuclear power worldwide. He
was asked to deliver that speech because he had built credibility with the press
and with key decision makers by being scrupulously careful with his facts and
analyses. The industry understood that its reputation – particularly with
the media – was poor, and they wanted to understand how David had received
such good results. In Comey’s view, there was an easy explanation – the nuclear
industry regularly exaggerated and misled.

10 Reasons Not to Invest in Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power generates approximately 20 percent of all U.S. electricity. And because it is a low-carbon source of around-the-clock power, it has received renewed interest as concern grows over the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on our climate. Yet nuclear power’s own myriad limitations will constrain its growth and make it an infeasible solution for making energy more affordable as well as more sustainable.

Mothers For Peace: Mothers for Peace and NRC Staff Face Off At NRC Hearing

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (MFP) today accused the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Staff (NRC Staff) of failing to address the catastrophic land contamination that could result from a terrorist attack on dry cask storage units designed to hold radioactive spent fuel at the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California.

Wall Street Journal : In Japan, Resistance Rises To Nuclear-Power Plans

As global interest in nuclear power grows, Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s struggle with the world’s largest nuclear plant — shut down after an earthquake a year ago — illustrates how tricky and expensive operating such facilities can be.

NRC: Public Meeting Schedule

Meetings Presently Scheduled for the next 3 months (07/11/08 – 10/11/08) Additional
information for each meeting available by selecting [more...]

Trail of Nuclear Tears-Exposing Nuclear’s Horrid Truth

Indian Point, Unlicensed Abortion Clinic? Living less than three miles from the antiquated, leaking twin reactors of Indian Point, I am not a big fan of Con Edison, Entergy or nuclear energy. On another blog that is currently inactive I have gone to great lenths to expose the risks of this fatally flawed industry, and American’s dangerous aging fleet of nuclear reactors which the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) has been wrongfully rubberstamping in a fixed (as in rigged) licensing renewal process. My claims that the pro-nuclear side have labeled as the rantings of a mad man are being given a great deal of legitimacy in light of the admissions in the news that Celsium 137 has been leaking into the environment at a long term storage facility in Germany.

The Prague Post Online: Business: Wasting energy

It was supposed to diffuse a potentially explosive political conflict over nuclear power, but an independent panel of experts commissioned to study the future energy needs of the Czech Republic almost led to a government meltdown last week. After months of preparation, the group failed to present viable results at a July 4 meeting with Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, shrouding the future of the country’s ailing energy policy in further uncertainty.


Nuclear Health and Safety News

Childhood leukaemia information can be released if anonymised – Times Online

Information concerning the incidence of childhood leukaemia in a particular postal area should not be disclosed unless either it could be anonymised so that it was not personal data or could be released in a form which did not contravene one of the data protection principles under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Bad Training Caused Mishandling Of Plutonium Spill – KMGH Denver

An internal investigation found that sloppy safety procedures and poor training and response contributed to the mishandling of a plutonium spill at the federal National Institute of Standards and Technology lab last month.

Areva mishandled uranium leak: safety body | reuters

France’s nuclear safety authority (ASN) said on Friday that Areva-subsidiary
Socatri had poorly managed a leak of liquid containing uranium that occurred
in southeastern France this week.

Whitehaven News: Nine farms STILL face post-Chernobyl monitoring

chernobyl NINE Cumbrian farms remain under post-Chernobyl restrictions more than two decades after radiation from the nuclear power plant contaminated the county.

UN Declares Mexico Nuclear Drill A ‘Success’ | AHN | July 14,

New York, NY (AHN) – The United Nations Friday declared a 48-hour mock Mexican nuclear accident a “success.” The International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization used the drill to test their response to a widespread emergency. The drill at Mexico’s Leguna Verde nuclear power plant launched earlier this week with 74 nations involved ended with a Level 5 nuclear accident that included simulated effects which spread beyond Mexico’s sole nuclear plant.

The State | Uranium discarded at fuel plant in Columbia
Westinghouses nuclear fuel plant in Columbia could face nearly $100,000 in fines from federal regulators because a worker accidentally threw away vials of low-grade uranium. It’s uncommon for a company to lose radioactive material, NRC spokesman Roger Hannah said Thursday. Plant workers discovered on Feb. 11 that 16 sample vials containing a total of 4½ ounces of uranium hexafluoride were missing a week after being delivered to the Bluff Road site.

The Press Association: Warning over nuclear power sites
The £73 billion cost of decommissioning nuclear power sites could be increased “significantly”, the head of an influential committee of MPs have warned. Edward Leigh, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee said the cost of work over the next five years had already risen “steeply.”


Nuclear Security News

Unclaimed radioactive material found near Karachi
Two unclaimed sealed containers with radioactive material were reportedly found in the Korangi area of Karachi.

According to inspectors of the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), the containers were found buried in an area owned by the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC).

The PNRA is now making efforts for the safe disposal of the material, reported the Daily Times.


Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

NPP Employee Suspects Nuclear Fuel Fraud: NPP Employee Suspects Nuclear Fuel Fraud
There is a possibility that a corruption scheme for the supply of nuclear fuel was created at the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) “Kozloduy”, according to statements made before Darik radio by Georgi Kotev.

Kotev is an employee of the NPP and had initially made his accusations through a popular video clips Internet site.

ABC North Qld – Minister rejects reports of uranium plan
Queensland Natural Resources Minister Craig Wallace has dismissed reports that tests are being done on the suitability of a uranium mine near Townsville.

Mr Wallace says he has met with Canadian company Mega Uranium and has been assured they have no agenda for a uranium mine at Ben Lomond.

The Hindu : Groundwater in Varanasi contaminated with uranium: study
Varanasi: Groundwater in Varanasi and adjoining areas is contaminated with uranium, according to a study by a group of scientists.

The study conducted by G.C. Chowdhary, former Professor at the Geology Department of Banaras Hindu University, and S.K. Agarwal, also a professor of Geology, has shown that the drinking water in the University premises and some other places in the city contains radioactive uranium more than the recommended limit.

Nuclear Power, Recycling Needed Now – Business – redOrbit
AT A time when America is paying $1.5 billion a day for imported oil, it seems incomprehensible that something isn’t being done to remove the albatross around the neck of nuclear power.

For that we can thank Congress. It is supporting renewable energy, everything from solar and wind power to biofuels and other green sources. While renewable sources might help meet peak energy demand, they simply can’t provide the “base-load” electricity that our nation needs to drive the economy.

Whitehaven News: Who Nuclear Management Partners are
Nuclear Management Partners Ltd is a joint venture comprising URS Corporation – Washington Division, AMEC and AREVA.

URS Corporation – Washington Division (formerly Washington Group International) is a provider of planning, engineering design, construction, technical, management, and operations and maintenance services to public and private sector clients worldwide.
It employs 25,000 people. Washington and URS are the main sponsors of Whitehaven Rugby League.

BBC NEWS | Business | Group chosen for Sellafield jobsellafield

A consortium, including the UK’s Amec, has been named as the government’s preferred choice to clean up and run the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria.

The UK’s Amec, URS’s Washington Division of the US, and France’s Areva have been shortlisted for the £1.3bn-a-year contract.

Newsvine- AP Exclusive: US removes uranium from Iraq
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.


Nuclear Waste News

toledo blade- Radioactive-waste storage holds key to nuclear power
The next four years are critical for Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, not to mention America’s nuclear power industry. Is the industry truly poised for a rebirth? That question begins and ends with what happens at Yucca Mountain, the only site the government has considered for years as the possible host for spent fuel from America’s nuclear reactor cores.

Cleanup of contaminated soil at former Wyle Laboratories in Norco begins Monday |map Press Enterprise A weeklong excavation set to begin Monday will remove a small amount of contaminated soil from the former Wyle Laboratories property in Norco, state officials in charge of the cleanup said.

Locals demand closure of Scottish nuclear beach – Times Online
A Scottish beach contaminated by nuclear waste is a “radioactive minefield that should be closed immediately, say worried locals. Sandside beach, an attractive bay two miles west of the decommissioned fast-breeder reactor at Dounreay, is a popular stopoff for tourists on the Highland coastal route – but campaigners say that thousands of tiny but potentially lethal radioactive fuel particles have contaminated the sand.

Nuclear Waste Storage Described As Bizarre (from The Argus)

A council boss has described the suggestion to store nuclear waste in Sussex as “bizarre” and “inappropriate”. West Sussex County Council leader Henry Smith was reacting to an appeal from Central Government to store nuclear waste in Mid Sussex.

Lone Star Sierra Club Sues to Void Uranium Waste License

The Sierra Club has filed suit in state district court to overturn a decision by the state’s environmental regulatory agency to grant a license for disposal of thousands of cubic feet of highly radioactive uranium waste material in far western Andrews County near the New Mexico border.

PG&E gets radioactive fuel storage facility, hikers get trail by Diablo Canyon nuclear
plant – San Jose Mercury News
Hikers now have access to three miles of coastline north of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which owns the plant and surrounding property, opened the entire length of the Point Buchon Trail to the public June 28. The trail goes from the southern boundary of Montana de Oro State Park to Crowbar Canyon, a point just north of Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

EPA permit hearing for Brush Wellman | Port Clinton News Herald
Ohio EPA will hold a public information session and hearing at 6:30 p.m., July 24, at Woodmore High School, 633 Fremont St., Elmore, to accept comments on a draft air pollution control permit for a primary beryllium production facility at the Brush Wellman plant in Elmore.

6,700Tons of Contaminated Sand Shipped From Kuwait to

Recently the emirate of Kuwait required the United States Department of Defense
to remove the contamination. Consequently, over 6,700 tons of contaminated soil
sand and other residue was collected and has been shipped back to the United
States for burial by American Ecology at Boise

Carl Pope: Radioactive Pigs

It hit 117 degrees here in Las Vegas, but what’s heating up longer term is another
kind of heat — radiation. The Department of Energy applied for its long-sought
permit to open a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. DOE proceeded, as it always has on this project, with reckless disregard of the fact that isn’t
nearly ready to answer the questions that will arise. Just before the filing,
the State of Nevada revealed that it had identified between 250 and 500 legal
flaws in the permit process, any one of which could be the basis for a legal
challenge.

Radioactivity and gas wells
The rocks in the Marcellus Shale not only hold an abundance of natural gas, they also contain quite a bit of radioactivity. It comes in the form of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, which the drilling industry refers to by the acronym NORM. Is NORM harmful to human health?

North West Evening Mail: Decomissioning costs threaten new power stations
Business secretary John Hutton and Prime Minister Gordon Brown were today warned
the next generation of nuclear power stations could be in doubt because of the
spiralling cost of decommissioning and a skills shortage to build new stations.
This could have a dramatic effect on the industry in West Cumbria and Barrow
and plans to build a new station on the Copeland coast.


Nuclear Policy News

Idaho Examiner: Nuclear Tour de France”Common Sense News”
Over the July 4th holiday week, I visited France, as a guest of its government,
to tour the AREVA corporation’s outstanding nuclear facilities which enable
the French to provide 80 percent of their electricity through emission-free
nuclear power. I also visited the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial to
pay my respects to our fallen American soldiers from World War II.

Germany’ Anti-Nuclear Consensus Crumbling | Germany | Deutsche Welle sticker
Germany’s governing coalition is looking increasingly split over the issue of atomic power as Chancellor Angela Merkel makes her opposition to the nuclear phase-out in 2020 clearer.

reactor

Switzerland: Putting Nuclear to the Vote – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Nuclear at the Crossroad » The Foundry
As we continue to chronicle the worldwide nuclear renaissance here on the Foundry
and at The Heritage Foundation, it is important to note the outlier nations and the reasons for which they resist nuclear power.

State begins hearings on Vermont Yankee: Rutland Herald

The state officially began its inquiry Thursday into whether the Vermont Yankee
nuclear plant should remain operating with a hearing before the Vermont Public
Service Board. But already questions are being raised about whether the board’s
work will be completed in time for lawmakers to make their decision on the plant’s
future before they go home at the end of the next legislative session in 2009.

ENVIRONMENT:German Leaks Raise More Nuclear Fears
Confirmation that radioactive brine has been leaking for two decades from a
German underground deposit for nuclear waste is yet another blow to the idea
that nuclear power can safely increase electricity generation and simultaneously
reduce emissions.\n\nRadioactive leaks from the nuclear waste deposit Asse II
near Braunschweig in Lower Saxony, some 225 km southwest of Berlin, were first
discovered in 1988. The state-owned Helmholtz Institute for Scientific Research,
which operates the centre, officially admitted the leaks only Jun. 16, under
pressure from the German press.

New Progress Energy Nuclear Plant Goes To Vote Tuesday – Central Florida News 13
Florida is hungrier than ever for more energy, and nuclear energy could be where
to get it. A new plant could generate enough power for more than 1 billion homes
along the I-4 corridor, but getting the green light from regulators could be tough. “For me, I was raised by a scientist and an engineer, and it’s just a bad investment,” said Holly Binns, field director of Environment Florida.


Nuclear Weapons News

The Associated Press: 43 nations to seek Middle East free of WMDs

More than 40 nations have agreed to try to create a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. A final declaration Sunday from a summit to launch a union of Mediterranean nations says members will “pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction.”

The Associated Press: 13,000 Japanese protest US nuclear carrier

japanThousands of Japanese rallied against the permanent basing of a nuclear-powered U.S. warship near Tokyo, saying a recent onboard fire made it unsafe. About 13,000 protesters gathered at a park near the port of Yokosuka, just south of the capital, where the USS George Washington aircraft carrier will be based, media reports and organizers said.

Atomic bomb survivor shares her story – Kentucky.com

hiroshima Miyoko Watanabe had just walked out of her house in Hiroshima on the morning
of Aug. 6, 1945, when she saw a flash of orange and yellow light.

FACTBOX – Key parts of N.Korea nuclear talks communique | | Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) – The latest session of talks aimed at persuading North Korea
to abandon nuclear weapons ambitions ended in Beijing on Saturday, with host
China issuing a communique spelling out the points of agreement reached.

Nuke- Paranoids – by Gordon Prather
Emigré scientists – many of them Jews who had fled Europe to avoid persecution
under the Nazi regime – were principal instigators of the United States nuclear-fission
weapons program known as the Manhattan Project.

BBC NEWS | Europe | Tests show US shield ‘not needed’
missile

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the results of Iran’s missile tests prove that US plans for a defence shield in Europe are unnecessary. Mr Lavrov said the tests confirmed Tehran had missiles with a limited range of up to 2,000km (1,240 miles).

Think Outside the Bomb
National Youth Conference on Nuclear Abolition Boston, MA, August 14-17, 2008

RIA Novosti – Russia may scrap missile deal over U.S. shield – military expert
Russia may respond to U.S. plans for missile defense bases in Central Europe with a host of measures, including the withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a senior military expert said on Thursday. President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia would respond to the U.S. missile shield program in Central Europe, adding that Moscow was “dismayed” by the signing of a U.S.-Czech missile deal. He did not specify what steps Russia would take


Department of Energy News

Hot cells now processing transuranic waste for final disposal – The Oak Ridger
ornl Remote-handled transuranic waste resulting from decades of research activities at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is now being readied for safe, long-term storage out of state. Specially designed rooms called hot cells enable this environmental legacy to be safely sorted and packaged into containers with robotic arms, avoiding all human contact and supporting worker safety.

THE PEACOCK REPORT (TPR): DoE-Industry Outreach Seeks to Bring About “Commercial Nuclear Renaissance” doeNuclear technology and service providers later this month will get a chance to jointly hustle their wares to the federal government, which is planning a conference where industry representatives can set up shop, free of charge, in order to network with Dept. of Energy (DoE) officials in Denver.

Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Suit Legal Fees top $9 Million – NewsChannel 6 WPSD


paducah

The attorney for 80 property owners near the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant claims four law firms have been paid $9.4 million to defend the plant’s former owners in a suit filed by the property owners over ten years ago. James Owens, attorney for the property owners said, “The amount of money the Federal Government is paying to stall claims of these Property Owners is unconscionable”.

IEER: SDA Vol. 5 No. 3 — Fernald Neighbors
Assessments of the harm done by nuclear weapons plants to both workers and neighbors
have generally relied on the radiation data provided by the Department of Energy
(DOE) and its contractors. Detailed studies of the DOE’s uranium processing
plant near Fernald, Ohio, (commonly called the Fernald plant), show that DOE
and contractor assessments are fundamentally flawed in numerous ways and that
harm to both neighbors and workers was far greater than the DOE acknowledged.
Further, preliminary indications are that the conditions that gave rise to the
DOE’s false reassurances of safety and environmental compliance are also likely
to be present at a number of other nuclear weapons plants.


Other Energy News

Germany Charts New Waters With Offshore Wind Energy Plans | Deutsche Welle |

gwindGermany has grand plans to build its first ever offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic Sea, a project that energy experts warn still has a long way to go in meeting formidable financial and technical challenges.

Philippe Starck Makes A Come Back, Designs Mini Wind Turbine ( philippe, starck,, designer,, wind, turbine,, mini, wind, turbine,)wind

Personal wind turbines are more often invented than actually manufactured. Those that make it to the commercial stage are mostly available at several thousands of dollars. That’s why it is all the more surprising that as of next September you’ll be able to buy a true designer windmill for way less than that in the past.

New windows double as solar panels – Science, News – The Independent
solar

A new type of solar panel that allows light to pass through it like a pane of glass has been invented by scientists who said that it is 10 times more powerful than conventional methods of producing energy from

toledoblade.com — Oil threatens U.S. security, Obama says
DAYTON – Calling it one of the most dangerous weapons pointed at America, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama yesterday vowed to break the hold the “tyranny of oil” has on the United States.

Technology Review: A Better Solar Collector
Looking to make solar panels cheaper, MIT researchers have created sheets of glass coated with advanced organic dyes that more efficiently concentrate sunlight. The researchers, whose results appear in this week’s issue of Science, say that the coated glass sheets could eventually make solar power as cheap as electricity from fossil fuels.

Doctor Fish Invents Fan Blade With Twenty Percent Greater Efficiency By Mimicking A Whale Flipper : TreeHuggerwind
Christian Science Monitor has published a totally charming story about how Dr. Frank E. Fish was inspired to “bio-mimic” a fan blade design, upon viewing a Humpback Whale sculpture in a Boston MA gift shop. There are prospective efficiency gains from re-designed wind turbine blades, also, based on this “discovery”.

Building the Green Modern Home: Looking at Windows : TreeHugger


windows I used to be a strict modernist; my role at TreeHugger was to demonstrate that green design could be wonderful and cool and I filled the site with all kinds of modern houses with some claim, often weak, for being green. Those houses became less common on the site in recent times, as I worried more about house size, the appropriateness of single family dwellings on big suburban lots, and trying to reconcile my love of clean, modern design with my concern about the use of fossil fuels or building materials that cannot be maintained in a world made by hand.

Our Electric Future: The American, A Magazine of Ideas
us Twenty-five years ago, when I was CEO of Intel, I had an unusual experience while visiting a customer. It was during a period of tight availability of microprocessors, our main product. This was not an unusual state of affairs. Supply and demand ebbed and flowed as the computer business had its ups and downs. Sometimes we had too many chips sitting in inventory; other times, like this one, we had too few. My main purpose in visiting was to reassure the customer that we were working hard to boost production and that relief was on the way.

Frustrated with gas prices? Ditch the ride! – Money – MSNBC.com
Author Chris Balish says the way to put the brakes on high gas prices is to do the unthinkable: leave your car behind! In his new book, “How to Live Well Without Owning a Car,” Balish argues that getting rid of the ride can actually increase your quality of life. An excerpt.

The Militarization of Energy Security II – International Analyst Network
A speech delivered to the Energy Forum: “The Global Energy Market: Comprehensive Strategies to Meet Geopolitical and Financial Risks,” at the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, on May 21, 2008.

The purpose of this talk is twofold: First, I will briefly cover some of the highlights of a paper co-authored with my colleague at the Naval Postgraduate School, Daniel Moran, titled “The Militarization of Energy Security.”[1] This paper was published in the January 2008 issue of our e-journal Strategic Insights and is the opening chapter in an edited volume that will be published by Routledge in the summer of 2008 titled: Energy Security and Global Politics: The Militarization of Resource Management.

RITA | Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)
transportation resources

Energy use in the United States – Wikipedia
Excellent graphs and evaluation of US energy usage

Apartment Therapy Unplugged | Philippe Starck’s Designer Wind Turbine
We know what’s really been holding you back from building a wind energy farm in
your backyard is the fact that turbines clash with the rest of your décor. Well,
Philippe Starck is here to rescue the renewable energy industry with his Democratic
Ecology. The transparent mini-turbine, which comes out in September, can generate
20-60 percent of the energy needed to power a home for $633. Pramac, a company
better known for oil and diesel generators, helped out with the technical

MIT opens new ‘window’ on solar energy – MIT News Office
Cost effective devices expected on market soon Imagine windows that not only provide
a clear view and illuminate rooms, but also use sunlight to efficiently help power
the building they are part of. MIT engineers report a new approach to harnessing
the sun’s energy that could allow just that.

McClatchy Washington | 55-mph speed limit may have found its Washington patron
Is the double-nickel speed limit ready for a comeback? Congress thus far has shown
no movement toward resurrecting the 55-mph speed limit, but one of the Senate’s
senior members — Republican John Warner of Virginia — says it’s time to start
the conversation about an energy-saving national speed limit to help spare Americans
from usurious fuel costs.

Act now or face disaster, Garnaut report warns | theage.com.au
PETROL should be included in Australia’s carbon emissions trading scheme, but
low-income households should be compensated for higher power and fuel bills, the
nation’s top climate change expert has warned. Issuing a stern challenge to the
Rudd Government to include petrol in the scheme, when it begins in 2010, Ross
Garnaut warned of dire consequences for Australia’s natural icons unless urgent
and decisive action is taken.

Technology could streamline solar power – LiveScience- msnbc.com

tech
A new, compact way to collect sunlight from windows and focus it to generate more
electricity could make those multiple expensive rooftop solar panels a thing of
the past.

The old man who farms with the sea – Los Angeles Times
Carl Hodges walks along a berm on a research plot where he grows salicornia and
experiments with different planting and harvesting techniques. Hodges and his
crew have flooded the plots with saltwater from the nearby Sea of Cortez.

ENN: LCD Chemical Found to Have 17,000 Times the Climate Impact of CO2.
Dubbed the “missing greenhouse gas,” nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) was
found by a recent study to have a global climate impact 17,000 times greater than
carbon dioxide. The chemical is found in the LCD panels of cell phones, televisions,
and computer monitors, as well as in semiconductors and synthetic diamonds. The
chemical is not one of the greenhouse gases monitored by the Kyoto Protocol, due
to the fact that LCDs were not produced in significant quantities when it was
drafted.

EPA Seeks Comment on Emissions Rules, Then Discredits Effort – washingtonpost.com
The Bush administration yesterday unveiled but immediately disparaged a proposal
to seek public comment on whether the government should regulate greenhouse gas
emissions under the Clean Air Act, declaring at the outset that the proposed approach
would be unworkable.

President George Bush: ‘Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter’ – Telegraph
The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing
to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: “Goodbye
from the world’s biggest polluter.” He then punched the air while grinning
widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy
looked on in shock.

Red Alert: the Saudi Princes have announced the arrival of Peak Oil « Fabius Maximus
The BusinessWeek story cited below, along with King Abdullah’s April announcement
that they will not be opening new fields, provides evidence that we are near —
or perhaps even at — Peak Oil. 1. It may be political peaking;: perhaps the
Saudi’s could invest to increase production, but choose not to (an obviously
sensible decision). 2. It may be geological peaking, if the Saudi’s are unable
to increase production. But whether geological or political peaking, the long-discussed
event may be starting now.

The Big Secret about Peak Oil and the US Military :: The Market Oracle
Those of you who do not believe Peak Oil Theory should first make sure you fully
understand it. According to this theory, after a reservoir has been depleted by
half of its total volume, the output begins to plateau or remain constant for
some unknown period. At some later time (which is unpredictable) the output begins
a permanent decline of variable duration (which is also unpredictable) until the
remaining quantity of oil is no longer economically feasible to extract with current
technology. Therefore, Peak Oil Theory does not state that the earth is running
out of oil per say. It states that the earth is running out of inexpensive oil,
otherwise known as conventional oil – the high-grade oil that comes out by drilling
on land and requires minimal refinement costs.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Solar dyes give a guiding light
A new way of capturing the energy from the Sun could increase the power generated
by solar panels tenfold, a team of American scientists has shown. The new technique
involves coating glass with a specific mixture of transparent dyes which redirect
light to photovoltaic cells in the frame.

Bush sidesteps court ruling on warming – Climate Change- msnbc.com
The Bush administration on Friday rejected regulating greenhouse gases blamed
for global warming, saying it would cause too many job losses. In a 588-page federal
notice, the Environmental Protection Agency made no finding on whether global
warming poses a threat to people’s health, reversing an earlier conclusion at
the insistence of the White House and officially kicking any decision on a solution
to the next president and Congress.

Right Web| Oil Prices and Attacking Iran
If U.S. President George W. Bush wants to boost Republican chances of holding
on to the White House and keeping Democratic gains in Congress to a minimum in
the November elections, he might consider taking an attack on Iran before the
end of his administration off the table. Of course, that’s probably the last thing
Bush—and his particularly belligerent vice president, Dick Cheney—will do.

In Gaza, electric cars offer a way around Israel’s blockade | csmonitor.com
While gas prices of $4 per gallon may feel steep to Americans, Palestinian drivers
in the Gaza Strip have faced highs of $50 per gallon. “The people here cannot
afford that kind of money, especially now,” says Waseem Khazendar, who along
with Fayaz Anan has tackled the problem by building an electric car. Their prototype
– a Peugeot that runs for 110 miles on a single charge from a standard electrical
outlet – costs just $1.50 a charge, Mr. Anan says. “We are trying to help
everyone here get through a difficult period.”

World must aim for 90pc emissions cut: climate lawyer: Australian Broadcasting Corp
smoke

An Australian climate lawyer says the G8 nations’ commitment to a 50 per cent
cut in global greenhouse gas emissions would require a much bigger reduction target
for industrialised nations. Countries agreed at the G8 summit to a “vision”
of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

SunPower,Florida Power Sign 35-Megawatt Solar Power Deal | AHN
San Jose, California-based SunPower Corp. announced Thursday that it has clinched
a deal with Florida Power and Light for the development of a 35 megawatt solar
power system in Florida, the largest in the United States, according to reports.
The project involves the construction of two solar power generation facilities,
a 25 megawatt plant in DeSoto County in 2009, and a 10 megawatt plant at Kennedy
Space Center in 2010.

Newsmax.com- Freedom Watch Sues OPEC for ‘Economic Terrorism’
Larry Klayman’s non-profit watchdog group Freedom Watch has filed a lawsuit
against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting States, charging the cartel with
engaging in “economic terrorism” by fixing the price of oil. The suit was
filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in
Miami, and announced by Klayman, a former U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust
Division prosecutor who helped break up AT&T in the early 1980s.

We cannot afford not to invest in renewables | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
The UK government’s renewables consultation called for a green revolution in energy.
In doing so, it created a perfect tabloid rod for its own back. The proposed cost-to-consumer calculated by the Department of Business were based on the vanishingly unlikely prospect of an oil price as low as $70 a barrel in 2020. Expected additions to UK energy bills, at that oil price, would be 10-13% for electricity and 18-37%
for gas, the government said.

Newsvine- When Village Idiots Become World Leaders, Nuking the Planet Becomes a No-Brainer Recently, the famous picture of Iran launching four missiles capable of reaching Israel has drawn even more attention to the renegade government in Iran. Their current activities make North Korea’s nuclear program look tame by comparison.

Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

The Sun News On-line| Editorial: Nuclear power in Nigeria
There is every reason to believe that the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC)
is committed to its mandate of steering the national effort towards the introduction
of nuclear power for electricity generation in the country. To this end, it
has embarked upon manpower training and capacity building for sustainable nuclear
power.

New generation of reactors aren’t safer: Times Argus Online

A commentary in the June 29 edition of the Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus
mentions a “new” improved reactor design. These high temperature gas
reactors have been around in various stages of evolution since the early 1980s.

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