Top Nuclear Stories (June 27th – 30th)

I’ve been adding a lot of other energy news, hope you have the chance to take a look. The best of times… The worst of times. With Australia backing out of the global nuclear push while China digs in further… Its all here this week, including a major pro-vs.-anti nuclear piece in the Wall Street Journal.

Nuclear Reactor News

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.

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.

The Case For and Against Nuclear Power –
Is nuclear power the answer for a warming planet? Or is it too expensive and dangerous to satisfy future energy needs? Interest in nuclear power is heating up, as the hunt intensifies for “green” alternatives to fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Even some environmentalists have come on board, citing the severity of the global-warming threat to explain their embrace of the once-maligned power source.

Vanguard Online: How safety fears delays Nigeria’s nuclear plant installation, by NNRA boss
DIRECTOR general ofthe Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), Babatunde Shamshideen Elegba, has disclosed that the only obstacle hindering the installation of nuclear plant in Nigeria is fear of its security and safety.

STLtoday – Swords to plowshares: nuclear bombs to electricity
Nuclear power’s resurgence in the United States is tied to a surprisingly effective program that is helping to make the world a safer place from nuclear weapons. Known as the “megatons to megawatts” program, it has led to the elimination of huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons materials, thus making it much more difficult for rogue countries and terrorist groups to obtain them.

AFP: Spanish PM firm on phasing out nuclear power
MADRID (AFP) — Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Saturday he would not extend the life of Spain’s ageing nuclear plants as he repeated his government’s commitment to phasing out nuclear power. “We are committed to respecting the normal life-span of the plants unless there are urgent energy needs, and to not building new nuclear plants,” he said in an interview with top-selling daily El Pais.

My Turn: True face of the nuclear endeavor || The Burlington Free Press
Vermont Yankee’s affable radio jingle is nothing more than malignant propaganda, shrink-wrapped in jovial soliloquy and mellifluous melody. It seems the purveyors of nuclear monoliths seek to trick the public into appreciating actinides (that are responsible for long-term radiation in spent fuel) as they mutate and decay the fabric of life — if not for thousands of years, billions of years.

Retired professor warns against pursuing nuclear power
Nuclear energy is not the magic bullet to solve global warming and the costs of building reactors far outweigh the benefits, warns a retired University of Regina professor. Jim Harding visited Saskatoon and Prince Albert Wednesday and Thursday to speak against uranium mining and nuclear energy, a hot topic in Saskatchewan since last week’s announcement by Bruce Power LP that it is studying the feasibility of a reactor for the province. In his presentation, Harding said now is the time for public debate on whether the province should pursue nuclear power — and his long-held argument is that we shouldn’t.

Nuclear not answer to Australia’s energy needs: Rudd
Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the country can cope with climate change without resorting to nuclear power. The former premier of the eastern state of New South Wales, Bob Carr, and Australian Workers Union national secretary, Paul Howes, have both urged Mr Rudd’s Labor Party to drop its opposition to nuclear power.

Activists block restart of French nuclear reactor construction | Greenpeace International
Flamanville, France — Twenty of our activists have successfully stopped construction of a new nuclear reactor being built in Flamanville, France, from restarting, for over 50 hours. Although building was halted because of safety problems, these are still unresolved.

EnergyBiz Magazine: Nuclear costs estimates
The rising cost of materials and labor has the potential to put an end to the nuclear renaissance before it ever gets started. Company estimates that have been released show costs for an individual unit could be as high as $12 billion, and one consultant expects those estimates could rise if material prices continue to escalate.

Nuclear industry spins new mythology
The nuclear myth of the 1950s and ’60s was atomic power would be “too cheap to meter.” That didn’t pan out, so the nuclear industry is spinning a new mythology, also designed to win popular support. At a meeting of the Regina Chamber of Commerce last week, Hugh MacDiarmid, president and CEO of Atomic Energy of Canada, described nuclear power as “environmentally sustainable.” At the same time, Premier Brad Wall stated that Saskatchewan would not proceed with the nuclear option “unless we can demonstrate, obviously, environmental sustainability.”

Nuclear Health and Safety News

The Sydney Morning Herald: Luxury home is too radioactive to live in
A WATERFRONT home on the site of an old uranium smelter at Hunters Hill is so radioactive that it is “unfit for human habitation”, independent tests have found.\n\nPeter and Michelle Vassiliou, who bought their property at 11 Nelson Parade from the NSW Health Department seven years ago, are too scared to go home after radioactive soil next to their bedroom was measured at 350 times safe levels.

Vue Weekly: Well, Well, Well – Health risks from radiation make nuclear power an unsafe option
Although those in the industry have recently been pulling out all the stops to convince us otherwise, nuclear power makes little economic or environmental sense, and even less health sense. Can you tell I’ve been reading nuclear guru Dr Helen Caldicott?

‘We’re not going away,’ Flats workers say at rally : The Rocky Mountain News
Former Rocky Flats employees demanded Wednesday that the federal government cut red tape and provide quicker compensation for work-related illness.

Sick nuclear workers gather to push for better compensation : Knoxville News Sentinel
OAK RIDGE About 60 sick workers and their advocates gathered today for a rally to reform the compensation program to help those made ill at the government’s Cold War nuclear weapons facilities.

Nuclear Security News

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.

AFP: Bush exit may pave way for new nuclear security strategy
WASHINGTON (AFP) — President George W. Bush’s impending departure has rekindled hopes that new US leadership can prop up the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which marks its 40th year Tuesday. Both the presidential candidates, senators Barack Obama and John McCain, recognize that renewed US leadership on disarmament is critical to strengthen the global accord aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating dangers posed by nuclear weapons.

Cost of border radiation monitors climbs –
WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) — The cost to put new radiation monitors in place at U.S. borders and ports would be far more than the Department of Homeland Security (OTCBB:HSCC) said, budget papers show.

Preparing for the unthinkable – nuclear attack
It is a grim, almost unthinkable scenario: a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon, smuggled into the United States, is detonated in a major U.S. city, perhaps even the Bay Area. Top federal officials and medical experts gathered in Washington on Thursday to consider this nightmare vision. Their conclusion: Cities and states are frightfully ill-prepared for dealing with an attack using a small nuclear bomb.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

How Washington lost the $2 billion Areva plant and at least 400 jobs to Idaho | Tri-City Herald
OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire was repeatedly pressed to support Areva’s $2 billion uranium enrichment plant and told her help was critical to luring its 400 high-paying jobs to the Tri-Cities, according to e-mail and other communications obtained by the Herald.

Victoria Advocate – Public comment period on uranium permit open
GOLIAD – Residents can still comment on the ongoing uranium mining project in Goliad County. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality prepared the draft permit which is now available for public comment until July 25. Uranium Energy Corp. has not yet submitted its affidavit that it has printed a public notice, TCEQ spokeswoman Andrea Morrow said.

RIA Novosti – Somalia invites Russian firms to develop uranium deposits
MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Somalia hopes Russian companies will take part in the development of uranium deposits, and oil and natural gas production, the Somali ambassador to Russia said Friday. “Today we say: let’s cooperate. Somalia is a very rich country, this is the main basin of oil and gas on the territory of the Horn of Africa,” Mohamed Handule told a RIA Novosti press conference.

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.

Hanford News : Utah industrial park gets uranium mill
GREEN RIVER, Utah (AP) – A Canadian company plans to build a uranium-processing mill near this town in eastern Utah. Mancos Resources Inc. of British Columbia says producers can’t make enough yellowcake for the world’s growing number of nuclear-fueled plants.

Hanford News : Uranium Resources ends plans to buy Rio Algom in NM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A Texas mining company – blaming sliding uranium prices and the difficulty of getting financing – on Thursday backed out of a deal that could have led to the first uranium mill in the Grants area in two decades. Uranium Resources Inc. agreed last Oct. 12 to buy Rio Algom Mining LLC, based in Oklahoma City, from Australian mining company BHP Billiton Ltd.

Atlantic Free Press – Tomgram: Chip Ward, Uranium Frenzy in the West
This has been energy crisis week at Tomdispatch (with a brief pit stop at America’s mega-bases in Iraq, built with control of the oil heartlands of the planet in mind). First, Michael Klare asked why the Pentagon’s garrisoning of the global gas station had anything to do with American security. Then John Feffer wondered whether, when it came to that lethal combo of soaring energy prices, soaring food prices, and extreme weather, we were all now North Koreans. Today, Chip Ward takes up the energy crisis in America’s increasingly arid western backyard.

IOL: Recycling of spent nuclear fuel on the cards
The government is in favour of recycling the hundreds of tons of highly-radioactive spent uranium fuel that has passed through the country’s three nuclear reactors, members of parliament’s minerals and energy portfolio committee heard on Wednesday.

Ohio nuclear processing plant to close –
WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Energy says it has given Restoration Services Inc. a contract for assistance in decommissioning an Ohio nuclear facility. The contract requires the Oak Ridge, Tenn., woman-owned company to provide technical services for the remediation, decontamination and decommissioning of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant at the Energy Department’s site in Piketon, Ohio.

Idaho Falls, Pocatello – Industrial park gets uranium mill
GREEN RIVER, Utah (AP) – A Canadian company plans to build a uranium-processing mill just west of the town of Green River. Mancos Resources Inc. of British Columbia says producers can’t make enough yellowcake for the world’s growing number of nuclear-fueled plants.

Uranium mill signs on for site in Emery – Salt Lake Tribune
Emery County is revisiting an old theme in search of new prosperity. Hoping to ride the latest energy bubble – in uranium – county officials have signed an agreement with a Canadian company to build a $100 million uranium mill just west of Green River.

Stop uranium mining until study is done on impact: coalition
Uranium exploration should be suspended in Ontario until its impact on health, the environment and aboriginal land rights is properly addressed, said a report released yesterday by the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium. The report emerged from a series of public meetings in Ottawa, Sharbot Lake, Kingston and Peterborough in April. It also called for a royal commission to review Ontario’s Mining Act, deeming it out of date.

Independent – June 25, 2008: Eastern Navajo health facility returns to 24/7 operation
WINDOW ROCK — Producers of the 2000 documentary, “The Return of Navajo Boy,” were back on the Navajo Reservation Tuesday to showcase an epilogue to the acclaimed film before Navajo Environmental Protection Agency staff.

GOAT – Out of the frying pan
A prairie fire at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver site, an Army training facility in southeastern Colorado, was reduced to smoldering ash earlier this month after consuming more than 45,000 acres. But now Fort Carson officials are drawing a different sort of fire.

The Associated Press: Mining temporarily halted near Grand Canyon
WASHINGTON (AP) — One million acres of public land near the Grand Canyon would be off limits to new uranium mining under an emergency declaration adopted Wednesday by a House committee. Tapping a rare provision not used in more than 20 years, the House Natural Resources Committee voted 20-2 to stop any new claims to uranium on lands adjacent to the national park for up to three years.

Nuclear Waste News

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.

Barnwell nuclear waste to close to most states
SNELLING, S.C. — The low-level nuclear waste disposal site in Barnwell County is to close to most out-of-state shipments. Starting Tuesday, the facility near Snelling will take waste only from South Carolina, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Oak Ridge processing waste for disposal – Oak Ridge, TN – The Oak Ridger
Radioactive waste resulting from decades of research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is being prepared for shipment to Utah for long-term storage. Heavily shielded rooms with robotic arms called “hot cells” are now at work sorting and packing the material into 55-gallon drums. Some waste dates to the World War II Manhattan Project.

KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA | More Fallout from Tank Farm Spill
RICHLAND, Wash.- The U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor are being hit again for a radioactive spill in Hanford’s S-Farm in July 2007. DOE and contractor CH2M Hill Hanford Group have agreed on a proposed $30,000 settlement with the EPA.

“Glow train” goes national – Las Vegas Sun
Risks inherent in transporting nuclear waste are documented on The History Channel A documentary that aired on The History Channel last week gave a national audience a glimpse into the concerns that Nevadans have had for years about the potential dangers of shipping high-level nuclear waste across the country on trains that would roll through hundreds of cities and towns.

What happened next to Cumbria’s nuclear dump ‘bribe’? – The Independent
Cumbria last week took the first steps towards volunteering to be the site of Britain’s first underground nuclear dump, in return for a hefty government “bribe”. | Train carrying radioactive material derailed in Atchison
ATCHISON, Kan. | A train with cars containing radioactive material derailed in northwest Kansas on Friday evening, but authorities say no one was in danger. Atchison Fire Chief Michael McDermed says about 25 to 30 cars were involved in the incident in Atchison, but no one was injured. The train had three cars with radioactive material, but they did not appear to be damaged. | Galvano proposes mediation for Tallevast
TALLEVAST — Rep. Bill Galvano wants all parties involved in the Tallevast contamination dispute to talk, unencumbered by legal actions. “This matter has lingered for far too long despite everyone’s efforts to bring it to some sort of resolution,” Galvano wrote in a letter mailed Friday to attorneys representing Tallevast residents and Lockheed Martin Corp., responsible for cleaning up a toxic spill beneath the community.

Oak Ridge processing waste for disposal | |
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — Radioactive waste resulting from decades of research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is being prepared for shipment to Utah for long-term storage. Advertisement Heavily shielded rooms with robotic arms called ‘‘hot cells’’ are now at work sorting and packing the material into 55-gallon drums. Some waste dates to the World War II Manhattan Project.

Rialto’s perchlorate cleanup tab: $26M –
RIALTO – Since perchlorate was discovered in the local water supply in 1997, Rialto has spent $26 million on its effort to get the contamination cleaned up. Perchlorate and other chemicals are flowing through the water from industrial sites used to manufacture rockets and fireworks in the decades following World War II. The military moved munitions to the area after the attack on Pearl Harbor stoked fear about the consequences of leaving weaponry on the coast.

Industry recipe: Diluted N-waste – Salt Lake Tribune
The nation’s nuclear industry has a problem. And it sees a partial fix in Utah, at the mile-square patch of Tooele County that is operated as a radioactive waste landfill by EnergySolutions Inc. Beginning Tuesday, commercial nuclear facilities in 36 states won’t have a disposal for their hottest low-level radioactive waste, known as Class B&C waste. After years of talking about it, South Carolina, starting July 1, will reserve the remaining capacity in its Barnwell County landfill for just three states.

Nation looking to Utah to store radioactive waste – Salt Lake Tribune
The nation’s nuclear industry has a problem. And it sees a partial fix in Utah, at the mile-square patch of Tooele County that is operated as a radioactive waste landfill by EnergySolutions Inc. Beginning Tuesday, commercial nuclear facilities in 36 states won’t have disposal for their hottest low-level radioactive waste, known as Class B&C waste. After years of talking about it, South Carolina will reserve the remaining capacity in its Barnwell County landfill for just three states starting July 1.

ReviewJournal – Senator offers alternative for Yucca project
WASHINGTON — A new nuclear waste strategy that would partner the government with industry to develop privately owned storage sites and recycling factories was announced on Friday. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., unveiled a bill as an alternative to storing 77,000 tons of used nuclear fuel in a long-delayed Yucca Mountain repository. The bill would not end the Yucca project, but could alter its purpose.

Debate rages on radioactive waste dump (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Radiation safety experts say a centralised national dump is needed for Australia’s growing stockpiles of radioactive waste, but some critics argue it is not the safest option.

Radioactive waste could travel through Tenn. on way to N.M. | The Tennessean
Special radioactive waste is proposed to be trucked from Oak Ridge across the country by way of interstates 75 and 24 through Chattanooga, and then through Birmingham, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The shipments could begin by the end of this year, if the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permit them.

Domenici: Time to look at temporary nuclear waste storage, recycling – Las Vegas Sun
WASHINGTON — In another sign of Congress’ increasing frustration with the slow pace of the Yucca Mountain project, a longtime nuclear advocate today announced an effort to have the private sector help the Energy Department develop interim nuclear waste storage sites separate from Nevada. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico, has put forward a bill that would allow $1 billion annually from the fund designated for Yucca Mountain to instead go for developing nuclear recycling and interim waste storage sites run by public-private ventures.

News & Star: D-day for decision on The Dump
Details of the planned deadline has emerged as interest increases about who could take over the former arms depot – rebranded Derwent Forest – and lead a potentially lucrative multi-million pound development.

STLtoday – Radioactive landfill cover is criticized
CLAYTON — About a dozen residents opposed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to cover a radioactive landfill near Earth City asked the St. Louis County Council on Tuesday to formally protest the plan. The group says the material at West Lake Landfill should instead be removed because of potential flooding and water contamination.

TVA lets leaks go unreported, must pay fines| The Tennessean
A whistleblower reported that leaky ducts at a TVA coal plant in northeastern Alabama allowed gases to bypass pollution controls. TVA paid $100,000 in fines, but a TVA Inspector General report discloses that “significant” duct leaks also occurred at one of the agency’s Tennessee plants and another plant in Kentucky.

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. Only 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.

County Council to hear landfill radioactive waste issue – St. Louis Business Journal:
The mayors of several North St. Louis cities are being asked to encourage the St. Louis County Council on Tuesday to request that the Environmental Protection Agency excavate radioactive waste, not just cover it up, from the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo., that is upstream from a plant that provides drinking water to some St. Louis residents.

Nuclear Policy News

Gulfnews: Nuclear double standards
The demolition by North Korea of the 60-foot cooling tower of its main reactor complex in Yongbyon on Friday represents an important breakthrough in dismantling its nuclear programme.

Unionist Paul Howes’s nuclear proposal slammed | The Australian
THE leader of Australia’s biggest blue-collar union has been left out on a limb over his push for the development of a nuclear power industry, as senior colleagues yesterday debunked his proposal as fanciful and unnecessary. Paul Howes, national secretary of the right-wing Australian Workers Union, was reported in The Australian yesterday as saying that nuclear power was the only option if the nation was to reduce carbon output and pursue renewable energy.

Nuclear Weapons News

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.”

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.

The Associated Press: Nuclear weapons programs around the world
A look at nuclear weapons programs around the world: CONFIRMED NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITIES: United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, Pakistan, India, North Korea

Atlantic Free Press – The Iran-Divine Strake Connection
To a few individuals in the civilian and defense communities, Divine Strake was more than just an exercise to determine the lowest nuclear calibration needed to destroy a hardened underground bunker in limestone geology. The ‘other’ purpose of Divine Strake, one that I personally never had much belief in, was to conduct a ‘dry run’ on an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Cold War has thawed only slightly
At the conclusion of their April 2008 summit, Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin agreed the Cold War was over and that another Cuban missile crisis would be “unthinkable.” Standing nearby were U.S. and Russian military officers, each holding a briefcase from which their respective president could quickly transmit a launch order that, in about three minutes, would cause hundreds of ballistic missiles armed with thousands of nuclear warheads to begin their 30-minute flights toward Russia or the United States.

No nuclear weapons :: Sarah van Gelder interviews former Secretary of State George Shultz
George Shultz was there when nuclear disarmament slipped through our fingers. Today, he says, action is even more urgent. Sarah van Gelder interviews George Shultz, former Secretary of State.

Truthdig – Reports – The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was
I am a former U.N. weapons inspector. I started my work with the United Nations in September 1991, and between that date and my resignation in August 1998, I participated in over 30 inspections, 14 as chief inspector. The United Nations Special Commission, or UNSCOM, was the organization mandated by the Security Council with the implementation of its resolutions requiring Iraq to be disarmed of its weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities.

Politicians Urge Removal of US Nuclear Weapons From Germany | Deutsche Welle
Politicians in Germany are calling for the US to remove nuclear arms stored in Germany after a report pointed to safety deficits at US atomic weapon sites in Europe.

Department of Energy News

Bomb parts dropped at Y-12; contractor says no threat of nuclear explosion : Knoxville News Sentinel
OAK RIDGE — In separate incidents barely a week apart in April, nuclear warhead parts were dropped at the Y-12 National Security Complex, but a plant spokesman said today there was no threat of a nuclear explosion.A tour of the Hanford reveals the dangers of the birthplace of the bomb –
The nuclear reservation’s beauty masks a deadly desert of radioactive waste, decrepit structures and fouled earth

Other Energy News

How a Shady Citigroup Subsidiary Secretly Makes Billions in the Oil Market | AlterNet
If you want to flush out market manipulation, don’t turn to the sleuths in Congress. They’ve been probing trading of the oil markets for two years and completely missed a company at the center of the action. During that period, a barrel of crude oil has risen from $50 to $140, leaving a wide swath of Americans facing a choice this coming winter of buying food or paying their heating bill.

Climate Emergency Fact Sheets
The World has already passed a key tipping point for Arctic ice melting and requisite “negative CO2 emissions” will impact all

India’s 50-MPG Tata Nano: Auto Solution or Pollution?
It’s Tuesday morning and the streets of Bangalore are, as always, jammed with traffic and saturated with smog. A young tech worker and his pregnant wife navigate the dusty roads on a tiny scooter, a 125-cc Hero Honda. Srinivasan Chandra’s hands sweat onto the handlebars as he waits for the light to turn green. The journey from home to office is only 6 miles, but road conditions and rush hour have turned the four-lane highway into a cross between a parking lot and a demolition derby.

Vacuum cleaner king James Dyson plans solar-powered car | Mail Online
James Dyson is working on a solar-powered car to match the success of his bagless vacuum cleaner. Engineers at the entrepreneur’s Wiltshire HQ are developing a lightweight electric motor that could power a family saloon for hundreds of miles.

CLIMATE CHANGE: 100-Percent Renewables Not a Pipe Dream
KINGSTON, Ontario, Jun 25 (IPS) – North America’s abject failure to meet the challenge of climate change has been “un-American”, environmentalist and scientist David Suzuki told delegates Tuesday at the World Wind Energy Conference, the first ever in the region. “We’re facing an ecological crisis, a crisis far, far worse than Pearl Harbour,” Suzuki said. Twenty years ago this week, one of the United States’ leading scientists warned Congress of the imminent danger of climate change and said that waiting decades to take action was too risky. Now James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has published new research indicating that greenhouse gas concentrations have pushed the climate near a dangerous tipping point that will unleash far-reaching changes in the atmosphere and oceans that could take millennia to reverse.

Low Cost Gas Engine Innovation Doubles Fuel Economy : Gas 2.0
Revetec, a little known company from the Gold Coast region of Australia, may be on to something huge: they’ve created an engine that is 50% smaller, 50% lighter, has 50% lower emissions and is cheaper to manufacture than a conventional internal combustion engine of the same horsepower. Oh yeah, did I mention that it doubles the fuel economy too.

Op-Ed Columnist – Paul Krugman – Fuels on the Hill – Op-Ed –
Congress has always had a soft spot for “experts” who tell members what they want to hear, whether it’s supply-side economists declaring that tax cuts increase revenue or climate-change skeptics insisting that global warming is a myth.

Community Solar Power : Green Building Elements
A community in Canada has an unusual form of solar power that can provide over 90% of the annual heating and hot water needs for the homes, despite being situated in a cold Alberta location where winter temperatures can reach -33 degrees C (-27 F). The Drake Landing Solar Community collects solar energy in a heat storage fluid through an array of solar panels on the roof of each home and covering all of the garages at the back of each home. The heated fluid is transferred to a neighborhood energy center, and then into the ground beneath an insulated layer, where the heat is stored in the earth.

Solar Water Heaters Now Mandatory In Hawaii | MetaEfficient
Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. The bill was signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. It requires the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. It prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels more than any other state, with about 90 percent of its energy sources coming from foreign countries, according to state data.

U.S. Advised Iraqi Ministry on Oil Deals –
A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say.

AFRI(OIL)COMWill the next war for oil be in Africa? –
The number of Americans who believe that the war in Iraq was a mistake has surpassed the number who felt the same way about Vietnam during that war. At the same time, a much quieter U.S. military build-up is underway on another continent. The ultimate objective of the two efforts is the same: securing Big Oil’s access to the regions’ oil. The impact in Africa will likely be the same as in Iraq: perpetual occupation, instability, and growing anti-Americanism.

In defense of oil ‘speculators’ – Jun. 27, 2008
NEW YORK (Fortune) — “Make no mistake about it,” U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., said Monday while chairing a meeting of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “Excessive speculation in commodity markets is having a devastating effect at the gas pump that is rippling through our entire economy.”

Solar Energy Development PEIS Information Center: Solar PEIS site
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Department of Energy (DOE); and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Department of the Interior (DOI), are preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate utility-scale solar energy development, to develop and implement Agency-specific programs that would establish environmental policies and mitigation strategies for solar energy projects, and to amend relevant Agency land use plans with the consideration of establishing a new BLM solar energy development program.

U.S. Suspends Solar Power Projects | CleanBeta
The Bureau of Land Management said it will suspend all new solar energy projects on federal land for the next two years until it completes an environmental impact review. As discussed briefly in the preceding post, the BLM holds the country’s most valuable sites in terms of solar energy potential, which are heavily concentrated in the southwest. The federal government owns roughly 650 million acres of land – nearly 30% of its total territory. The vast majority of those lands are located in the Western states and the vast majority of federal lands in the Western states are owned by the Bureau of Land Management. Here’s a state by state breakdown of government land ownership.

BTS | Table 4-6: Energy Consumption by Mode of Transportation

10-Easy-Ways-to-Save-Over-a-Grand-on-Gas: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

6 Myths About Oil Speculators: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance
So now we know who’s really responsible for $4 gas. Finger-pointers from Washington, the International Monetary Fund, and even Saudi Arabia no longer seem to buy the idea that the demand for oil around the world is simply growing faster than the supply, driving prices to record highs close to $140 per barrel. There must be a more nefarious reason, it seems. So now entering this drama is a villain everybody can hate: The Evil Speculator.

Bill Moyers Journal: Bill Moyers & Michael Winship: It Was Oil, All Along
Oh, no, they told us, Iraq isn’t a war about oil. That’s cynical and simplistic, they said. It’s about terror and al Qaeda and toppling a dictator and spreading democracy and protecting ourselves from weapons of mass destruction. But one by one, these concocted rationales went up in smoke, fire, and ashes. And now the bottom turns out to be….the bottom line. It is about oil.

Foreign Policy In Focus | The Military-Petroleum Complex
In November 2002, before the invasion of Iraq, then secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld told Steve Kroft of CBS that U.S. saber-rattling toward Iraq had “nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil.” In 2003, Rumsfeld called the assertion that the United States had invaded Iraq to get at its oil “utter nonsense.” (“We don’t take our forces and go around the world and try to take other people’s . . . resources, their oil. That’s just not what the United States does.”) In 2005, speaking to American troops in Fallujah, Rumsfeld reiterated the point: “The United States, as you all know better than any, did not come to Iraq for oil.” Strong denials for sure, but were they true?

Bush and McCain Happily Presiding Over Massive Transfer of Wealth to Oil Companies || AlterNet
The Bush/McCain gas price escalation is an Enron rerun. It is Chapter 2 of the scam that Bush crony “Kenny Boy” Lay used in 1999-2001 to steal $100 billion from California ratepayers.

Fuel Prices Shift Math for Life in Far Suburbs –
ELIZABETH, Colo. — Suddenly, the economics of American suburban life are under assault as skyrocketing energy prices inflate the costs of reaching, heating and cooling homes on the distant edges of metropolitan areas.

The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : Green buildings
A recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) finds fault with the property industry for being too slow in addressing its increasing environmental footprint. The energy consumption of the buildings and that caused by their location in relation to transport account for more than half of all global CO2 emissions.

The Sietch Blog » Solar Powered Solar Power
Something that has long been a dream of mine looks like it will be a reality soon. I have always wanted to see a solar powered solar panel factory, or a wind powered wind turbine factory. Basically you use a little fossil fuels to get started, then the first however many turbines/panels off the line power the factory, from then on in it’s all carbon neutral.

news journal: FPL plans world’s largest solar plant
MIAMI — FPL plans to build three photo-voltaic solar energy plants in Florida in the coming year, including one at Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County. The three plants will provide up to 110 megawatts of energy, enough to meet the needs of about 35,000 customers, said Lew Hay, FPL’s chief executive officer. A planned 75-megawatt solar center in Martin County would become the largest of its kind in the world, he said.

Santa Barbara fumes over McCain drilling plan – Los Angeles Times
SANTA BARBARA — John McCain came to California promoting an array of ideas to spur the market for clean cars and otherwise reduce carbon emissions. But in this coastal city, the site of a disastrous oil spill in 1969, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was dogged by critics at nearly every turn for his recent embrace of offshore drilling.

Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

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.

The time has come for nuclear power with recycling | | The Tennessean
Energy experts largely agree that nuclear power is the most environmentally benign and cost-effective method available for generating large amounts of base-load electricity. Nuclear power can help alleviate global climate change due to greenhouse-gas emissions and also help reduce our dependence on imported oil.

Kate Hudson: The anti-nuclear movement can achieve change ||
Today we heard that the US has secretly withdrawn its 110 free-fall nuclear bombs from an RAF base at Lakenheath in Suffolk. The US has had nuclear bombs in Britain, under the guise of Nato, since the 1950s – outside any accountability or democratic control from the British government or parliament. They have been the focus of protest since they first arrived and similar stocks in western European countries have also been the subject increasing protest.

Chris Ames: Nuclear scare stories |
Recent reports that blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon could have been sold to “some of the most treacherous regimes in the world” are pretty frightening. But is there less to the story than meets the eye? It seems the only thing really new is the suggestion that the designs are for a bomb small enough to suit Iran’s requirements – so is the story more about politics than proliferation?

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