Top Nuclear Stories (July 14th-17th)


Attempts to break the back of anti-nuclear stands in Europe and India are at a peak right now. Our international friends are needing our thoughts and support. There is also a new push in Northern California to promote nuclear power in the major media. Polls are shifting if favor of nuclear there as a result of the recent energy crisis. In a recent PEW poll, people who call themselves environmentalists are shifting dramatically in favor of a renewed push for more oil drilling. We have some work to do!

The fear factor is being used to push the public into making the wrong choice. Note that I’ve been putting an increasing number of major news stories about energy, oil and renewables into the mix as these issues are becoming a far more important part of the overall argument at this point.

Top Nuclear Stories Index

Reactors Security Safety Fuel Cycle N-Waste
Policy Weapons DOE

Nuclear Reactor News

reactorNRC: Commission Correspondence – 2008
US NRC Annual Commission Correspondence – 2008

FOCUS Information Agency: Purposeful campaign against nuclear power underway in Bulgaria: Kozloduy NPP director
A purposeful campaign has been underway since three weeks and no matter what they say it is targeted not against Kozloduy NPP, but against nuclear power in Bulgaria and it is against Bulgaria’s interests, Kozloduy NPP Executive Director Ivan Genov said at a press conference, cited by Focus News Agency.

The Press Association: N-plants repair timetable slips
British Energy has said the return to service of its Hartlepool and Heysham 1 reactors may take longer than first thought. The two nuclear power stations have been out of action since last autumn after wire corrosion issues were identified within boiler units.

Man gives testimony to halt relicensing of N.J. nuclear facility | Courier-Post
An opponent of renewing the Oyster Creek Generating Station’s license said Wednesday the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s relicensing and safety compliance procedures are woefully inadequate. Advertisement Richard Webster of the Eastern Environmental Law Center made those remarks in written testimony he provided to a subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Democracy Now! | Amory Lovins: Expanding Nuclear Power Makes Climate Change Worse
There’s one issue that President Bush and presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama all agree on: expanding the use of nuclear power. We speak with Amory Lovins, the co-founder, chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, who has been described as “one of the Western world’s most influential energy thinkers.”

RPT-CEZ unveils plan for new 3,400 MW nuclear plant | Reuters
Czech power group CEZ (CEZPsp.PR: Quote, Profile, Research) unveiled a preliminary plan on Monday to build two new units at its Temelin nuclear power plant in a move that could be the largest investment in the central European state.

NRC launches Yankee probe: Rutland Herald Online
The highest-level staff official at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, aside from the presidentially appointed commission members themselves, arrived in Vermont Monday to head up a special investigation into why serious problems continually plague Vermont Yankee nuclear plant’s cooling towers. William Borchardt, executive director of the NRC, held a meeting with NRC staff in Vermont late Monday afternoon, and will hold a briefing for state officials and representatives of the state’s congressional delegation today.

Hearing set on nuclear report | Green Bay Press-Gazette
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled its annual public hearing to discuss safety performance at Point Beach Nuclear Plant for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Two Creeks Town Hall, 5128 E. Tapawingo Road. In its safety report, the NRC said Point Beach was operated in a manner that met all safety objectives, though it pointed out that an issue with an auxiliary feedwater pump turbine is still under review.

Democracy Now! | Amory Lovins: Expanding Nuclear Power Makes Climate Change Worse
There’s one issue that President Bush and presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama all agree on: expanding the use of nuclear power. We speak with Amory Lovins, the co-founder, chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, who has been described as “one of the Western world’s most influential energy thinkers.”

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.

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 climb 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.

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.

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.

Nuclear Health and Safety News

sat imageNew Leak Discovery: France to Test Groundwater at All Nuclear Plants – Spiegel Online
In a response to calls by activist groups and the discovery that leaks found last week might have happened years ago, France has agreed to examine the groundwater near all its nuclear plants. Though the anti-nuclear groups see this as a positive step, they say it still doesn’t go far enough. | Sick worker advocates want an audit of the auditors
The Alliance for Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups is asking congressional panels to investigate issues that reportedly skewed an investigation by the Dept. of Labor’s Inspector General into the claims process for sick nuclear workers and undid a scheduled interview with a key informant (Ann Block). Here’s a copy of letter sent today by ANWAG.

Boulder misled on plutonium spill, city says – The Denver Post
A plutonium spill at the Boulder campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology has generated numerous concerns among U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff, an NRC official testified today in Washington. Among them, said Charles Miller, are the amount of radiation individuals were exposed to as a result of the spill; the amount of radioactive materials released into the Boulder sewer system; and procedures at NIST’s Boulder facility, particularly those related to the handling and storage of radioactive material.

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.

Atomic bomb survivor shares her story –
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.

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.

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.

Nuclear Security News

Nuclear Regulators Make Annual Security Report Available to Public | Environmental Protection
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made available to the public an unclassified version of an annual report to Congress outlining the previous year’s security inspection program. The report covers the security inspection program, including force-on-force exercises, for commercial power reactors and certain fuel cycle facilities for calendar year 2007.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

The Associated Press: Bulgaria sends uranium fuel to Russia
Bulgaria has sent its remaining highly enriched uranium to Russia for safeguarding from terrorist or other potential misuse. Nearly 14 pounds of the spent fuel were received Thursday at a Russian nuclear facility, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced. A first shipment of 37.3 pounds of fresh uranium fuel was sent to Russia in December 2003. – Uranium plan keeps N.B. in the dark
The Graham government still doesn’t get it. New Brunswickers have said loud and clear, time and time again, that they do not want uranium exploration and mining in the province. It is now clearer than ever that this government refuses to listen to the people. Premier Graham has demonstrated once again that he is working for the uranium companies.

Bismarck Tribune – Bismarck News – Open uranium pits worry residents
Prospectors want to shovel 300 to 500 scoops of dirt out of the Little Missouri National Grasslands in Slope and Billings counties and examine it for uranium. The same company is talking about building a plant on a railroad siding near Belfield or Bowman to acid treat and burn coal to extract that uranium.

Environmentalists praise Gregoire for raising concerns about Areva plant | Tri-City Herald
A collection of environmental groups is asking its supporters to thank Gov. Chris Gregoire “for standing up for our health, safety and our environment by raising concerns over nuclear wastes from a uranium enrichment plant,” once proposed for Richland. In May, the French company Areva announced that it would build its $2 billion project in Idaho. A subsequent Herald report found the company, through the Tri-City Development Council, had sought Gregoire’s personal involvement in the recruitment effort but instead found what was thought by supporters to be only tepid support – a factor her office was warned would loom large in the company’s decision.

australiaUranium mining permits sought for eastern SA(Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
A mining company says a uranium deposit in the Lake Frome region in the east of South Australia may be Australia’s next mine. Chairman of Curnamona Energy Limited, Bob Johnson, says the Oban deposit was found about 18 months ago and has “quite a bit” of easily-extractable uranium.

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.

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 – – 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.

Nuclear Waste News

Energy: Bill for Britain’s nuclear clean-up increases by another £10bn | The Guardian
The credibility of the nuclear industry was shaken last night after the estimated cost of cleaning up Britain’s atomic waste was raised by a further £10bn. The latest clean-up estimate from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) suggests the commonly accepted figure of £73bn should rise to £83bn. But the agency insisted that £10bn of income from generating and fuel reprocessing plants should also be taken into account.

Lochhead checks on progress of Dounreay clean-up – Press & Journal
A SCOTTISH Government minister yesterday visited Dounreay to witness the dismantling of the plants that once supported Britain’s nuclear research programme. Richard Lochhead, the minister for rural affairs and the environment, spent time at the Caithness site to see for himself how waste from the shutdown and clean-up of Scotland’s biggest nuclear site is being managed.

Govt accused of holding secret meetings over nuclear dump (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
An anti-nuclear campaigner says the Federal Resources Minister is disregarding his own party’s policy on nuclear waste facilities by holding secret talks with Northern Territory traditional owners. Natalie Wasley says Martin Ferguson’s meeting with the Northern Land Council yesterday is a sign he is not going to uphold a pre-election promise to repeal the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act.

Exelon officials tell board about spent fuel storage
Exelon representatives brought the Ogle County Board up to speed July 15 on their plan for storage of spent fuel at the Byron Nuclear Generating Station. Communications director Robert Kartheiser said construction has already begun on a dry cask storage system which he said is necessary to the operation of the nuclear plant.

spent fuel Cold War-era radioactive waste to go through Birmingham on way to salt mine-
Birmingham is on a route for regular shipments of radioactive waste scheduled to begin this fall, with trucks moving from Oak Ridge, Tenn., along Interstates 59, 20 and 459 and on to Carlsbad, N.M. In Carlsbad, the estimated 60 to 120 truckloads a year of waste from Tennessee will be buried a half-mile deep in containers in an old salt mine. The transports to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad are expected to take three years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: Community concerned about the Navy’s plan for radiation cleanup at Hunters Point Shipyard
As the US Navy prepares to deal with its radioactive past at the Hunters Point Shipyard (HPS) — inviting folks to submit comments by July 28 on its proposed cleanup plan for Parcel B — community members are struggling to understand the threat and its implications.

Nuclear Highway: Radioactive On The Road, Manhattan Project Nuclear Waste To Be Taken From Tennessee To New Mexico Via Truck – CBS News
Motorists across the South could soon be sharing the highway with nuclear waste generated decades ago in developing the first atomic bomb. Tons of this so-called “transuranic waste” have been waiting for years to leave what is now the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a final home in New Mexico, where the government has built a permanent vault in salt beds nearly a half-mile deep.

Matheson pushes alternative Yucca Mountain nuke waste shipment plan – Salt Lake Tribune
Dumping the nation’s nuclear waste in the Nevada desert could cost billions more and take even longer than previously anticipated. But the plan to open Yucca by 2020 – three years later than previously estimated – hinges on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approving a license for the facility, for Congress to give its final nod to the arrangement and for enough money to be earmarked to the project.

Matheson introduces bill amending Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 | The Spectrum
U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, along with the Utah and Nevada Congressional delegations, has introduced a bill –HR 4062—that amends the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, according to a press release from Matheson’s office today. Advertisement Matheson’s bill requires commercial nuclear utilities to transfer nuclear waste from spent nuclear fuel pools into dry storage casks; requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to take title of all spent nuclear fuel stored in dry casks on-site and requires such storage to comply the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s safety regulations, the release said.

Yucca Mountain price tag: $90 billion – Vegas News – Las Vegas Sun
The new price tag for building and operating Yucca Mountain is estimated to be $90 billion, the Energy Department said today, providing the first real snapshot of lifespan costs after Congress has repeatedly pleaded for an updated financial picture. The estimate is $19 billion higher than previous rough estimates provided last year for the nation’s nuclear waste dump about a 1 1/2-hour drive outside of Las Vegas.

Hot cells now processing transuranic waste for final disposal – The Oak Ridger
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. — 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 |
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.

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.

Nuclear Policy News : Proliferate! Are Many Small Nuclear Plants the Energy Answer?
Nuclear energy is widely touted as the ultimate big solution to the energy crunch. But now comes an intriguing idea: When it comes to nuclear power, is smaller better? As the much-ballyhooed nuclear renaissance tries to get into gear, there’s growing interest in so-called “small nuclear” reactors. The idea is that small reactors—varying from a few megawatts to a few hundred megawatts—can sidestep some of the difficulties that threaten to derail the full-sized nuclear revival before it begins.

Times-News: Nuclear plant folks deflect questions by blaming the questioner
Correspondent Blair Koch took one for the team last month. At the end of June we asked Koch, who often writes for us but who is not on staff, to cover an Idaho Energy Complex presentation in Glenns Ferry. The IEC is a 1,600-megawatt nuclear power plant that a private firm, Alternate Energy Holdings, hopes to build near Mountain Home. In hindsight, it would have been more humane to ask her to French-kiss a rattler.

newsjournalonline: State regulators approve new nuclear, solar power plants
Saying Florida needs to move forward with new sources of energy, state regulators gave key approvals today to two utilities’ plans to build nuclear — and solar-power plants. The state Public Service Commission unanimously backed a $17 billion project by Progress Energy Florida to build a nuclear plant in Levy County.

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.

AFP: Merkel calls for slower nuclear phase-out in Germany
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.

germanyGermany’s Anti-Nuclear Consensus Crumbling | Germany | Deutsche Welle |
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.

Nuclear Weapons News – US picks compromise over confrontation with Iran
For now, the Bush administration has chosen compromise over confrontation in dealing with Iran’s disputed nuclear program with a dramatic gesture intended to demonstrate commitment to a negotiated solution. In breaking with past policy to send a top diplomat to weekend talks with Iran’s chief nuclear envoy, the administration has in its waning months refined its position on contact with the hardline Iranian regime, much as it did in the ongoing effort to rid North Korea of its atomic weapons, which has shown recent promise.

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
housands 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.

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-Armed Paranoids – by Gordon Prather
Emigrant 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.

Department of Energy Newsdoe

GAO: Security Lapses Continue at Los Alamos – Washington Post Investigations
Security lapses at one of the nation’s three nuclear weapons testing labs, the storied Los Alamos National Laboratory in the New Mexico desert, have continued despite frequent and sometimes heated calls for improvements by congressional leaders, according to a Government Accountability Office report released today.

Other Energy News

GAP: EPA Quietly Releases Climate Change Health Effects Report
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a major study by the US Climate Change Science Program synthesizing current scientific knowledge of climate change-induced threats to human health. This information should be critical to the EPA’s previous “endangerment finding” for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. However, the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, the branch assigned rulemaking responsibility, evidently did not rely on and did not cite the CCSP report.

Nations with vast oil wealth gaining clout – Los Angeles Times
Some autocratic governments are challenging U.S. policies and silencing domestic dissent. But their increased spending raises the risk of inflation, which could erode popular support.

The Associated Press: Texas approves major new wind power project
Texas, headquarters of America’s oil industry, is about to stake a fortune on wind power. In what experts say is the biggest investment in the clean and renewable energy in U.S. history, utility officials in the Lone Star State gave preliminary approval Thursday to a $4.9 billion plan to build new transmission lines to carry wind-generated electricity from gusty West Texas to urban areas like Dallas.

Peak Moment Conversations » 115: Calm Before the Storm
Richard Heinberg, author of “Peak Everything”, reviews the accelerating events since mid-2007, including the credit crunch and fossil fuel price volatility, noting that we’ve missed most of the best opportunities to manage collapse. He asks, “how far down the staircase of complexity will our global civilization have to go until we’re sustainable?

Governors can’t agree on climate change fix – Salt Lake Tribune
Governors from across the country agree that it will take bold leadership to confront the nation’s energy crisis. But they couldn’t come to a consensus position on climate change or nuclear expansion or the future of coal.

windEcology & nature Undernews: Floating Wind Turbines could give alternative Energy a boost
A British company is poised to construct the world’s first floating wind turbine, in a move that could herald a new generation of cheaper, less problematic wind energy. Blue H, a firm registered in the UK but based in Holland, aims to anchor its prototype device 12 miles off the coast of southern Italy later this month.


Gore sets goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2020
Al Gore has made a major speech in Washington this morning, setting out an ambitious goal for the USA to produce all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2020. I thought I’d comment on the technical feasibility of the plan, and the underlying economics of such an endeavour.

The Raw Story | Climate change puts US way of life at risk: EPA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under fire for apparently discounting the impact of climate change, on Thursday said global warming poses real risk to human health and the American way of life.

Peak oil is a done deal | Energy Bulletin
peak oil

I now believe that the hypothesis of a near or medium-term peak in the world’s oil supply is confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt. A shift in emphasis that speaks to reducing our demand for oil and examining alternatives to oil is now required. I will be taking that road in the future, leaving specific concerns about the oil supply behind.

Matt Simmons and the Five Psychological Stages of Grief | Energy Bulletin
This is a wonderful clip. Matt Simmons is the author of ‘Twighlight in the Desert’, is a leading US investment banker, and a long-term advocate of the peak oil argument. When he was asked to go on CNBC’s ‘Fast Money’ to discuss the high oil prices, he clearly stunned the presenters with his forthright analysis of society’s current perilous situation. When asked if $147 a barrel is a ‘wake up call’ he replied “yes, but we’re not having a wake up call, we’re having a witch hunt for who got us here”, a succinct analysis of the current world situation. What was especially fascinating to watch was when he was asked for his prognosis of the near future.

Gore Calls for U.S. to Use Renewable Energy by 2018 –
Former Vice President Al Gore said on Thursday that Americans must abandon fossil fuels within a decade and rely on the sun, the winds and other environmentally friendly sources of electric power, or risk losing their national security as well as their creature comforts.

Chomsky: Bush & Cheney Always Saw Iraq as a Sweetheart Oil Deal | AlterNet
The deal just taking shape between Iraq’s Oil Ministry and four Western oil companies raises critical questions about the nature of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq — questions that should certainly be addressed by presidential candidates and seriously discussed in the United States, and of course in occupied Iraq, where it appears that the population has little if any role in determining the future of its country.

Waste-to-Resources: the ultimate sustainable industry? | celsias
There have been major strides in producing everything from sandals to military hardware in more eco-friendly ways. Likewise, the reduction of waste has also been improved, through both new technology and behavioral changes. But perhaps the most intriguing sector of the “sustainability industry” is the one populated by companies and organizations capturing waste and converting it into useful, carbon-neutral resources.

Sopogy thinks small to make megawatts of solar power | – CNET
If giant solar thermal power plants spread across the desert are like a mainframe, Sopogy is making the equivalent of a personal computer. The Hawaii-based company on Tuesday at the Intersolar 2008 conference will show off the latest version of its MicroCSP–essentially a shrunk-down version of concentrating solar power (CSP) equipment used in power plants.

Farmers fight plans for new oil refinery –
Farmland stretches as far as the eye can see — row upon row of corn stalks waving in the breeze. It’s an unlikely place to watch America debate its energy crisis but a battle is raging in this corner of South Dakota over what could be the nation’s first new oil refinery in 30 years. Farmer Dale Harkness wants future generations to enjoy the land in Elk Point, South Dakota, as it is now. Farmer Dale Harkness wants future generations to enjoy the land in Elk Point, South Dakota, as it is now. Click to view previous image 1 of 3 Click to view next image Plans were kept secret for months but residents of Union County have now voted in favor of rezoning land for a $10-billion refinery capable of converting 400,000 barrels of Canadian oil into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel every day.

From Big Auto to Biogas: Michigan’s Switch to Green | celsias
After the logging days and before outsourcing and current fuel costs, several cities in the state of Michigan enjoyed a prosperous hay-day of industrial ingenuity.

Inhabitat:Dancefloor generates electricity at London’s first eco-disco!
Previously seen in the Sustainable Dance Club in Rotterdam, this is Britains first exposure to such technology. The rest of the power needed will come from a wind turbine and solar energy system, with any surplus used to power private homes in the area. The club will also be installing the latest air flush, waterless urinals, low flush toilets and automatic taps to ensure maximum water saving plus less greedy air conditioning units.

Kudlow’s Money Politic$ on National Review Online
In a dramatic move yesterday President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore drilling. Today, at a news conference, Bush repeated his new position, and slammed the Democratic Congress for not removing the congressional moratorium on the Outer Continental Shelf and elsewhere. Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136. Now isn’t this interesting?

The Oil Drum | Multiple Birds One Silver BB: A synergistic set of solutions to multiple issues focused on Electrified Railroads
The consensus on The Oil Drum is that there is no single “Silver Bullet” to deal with our related energy, oil and climate change problems, Rather a series of “Silver BBs” will be needed. This essay is about a cost effective, medium term, multi-faceted, synergistic Silver BB arguably our best one.

US military energy consumption- facts and figures | Energy Bulletin
As the saying goes, facts are many but the truth is one. The truth is that the U.S. military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world. But as a wise man once said, don’t confuse facts with reality. The reality is that even U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) does not know precisely where and how much energy it consumes. This is my Fact Zero. Below I give some facts and figures on U.S. military oil consumption based mostly on official statistics.[1] If you want to reproduce them make sure you read every footnote even if you need to put on your glasses. Also read the footnotes in this article.

Beyond the Phony Debate: Government Science and the Climate Crisis (posting from Climate Science Watch)
We have been, for quite some time, up against a corporate-funded, what I have called global warming denial machine, or disinformation campaign, whose fundamental aim has been to create an exaggerated sense of scientific uncertainty about human-driven global warming and its consequences. – Pelosi: Drilling in protected areas a hoax
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday shut the door on expanding oil and gas drilling beyond areas that have already been approved for energy exploration, drawing a clear distinction from her counterparts in charge of the Senate. “This call for drilling in areas that are protected is a hoax, it’s an absolute hoax on the part of the Republicans and this administration” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference. “It’s a decoy to punt your attention away from the fact that their policies have produced $4-a-gallon gasoline.”

UK Invests Big Money In Bikes : TreeHugger
While certain American politicians complain about a million bucks being included in the country’s energy plan to promote bikes, in the UK they are investing £140 million (about US$ 280 million) to create dedicated bike lanes, provide bike parking, safety training, on-street bike rental networks and a campaign to promote bicycling in 12 Cycling Demonstration Towns.

Technology Review: Does Car-Mounted Solar Make Sense?
Last week, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei caused a buzz by reporting that a redesigned Toyota Prius, to be released next year, will come equipped with solar panels. Toyota spokespeople will neither confirm nor deny the report, but several companies already offer solar roof kits for the Prius, and researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in Golden, CO, have been testing one on a Prius modified to plug into the electrical grid.

Technology Review: Energy from Waves
The ocean’s waves have enough energy to provide two trillion watts of electricity, according to the Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Extracting that enormous resource of power, however, has proved to be a herculean challenge.

YouTube – Oil at $150 Next Week?

Penn State Live – Researchers generate hydrogen without the carbon footprint
University Park, Pa. — A greener, less expensive method to produce hydrogen for fuel may eventually be possible with the help of water, solar energy and nanotube diodes that use the entire spectrum of the sun’s energy, according to Penn State researchers. “Other researchers have developed ways to produce hydrogen with mind-boggling efficiency, but their approaches are very high cost,” says Craig A. Grimes, professor of electrical engineering. “We are working toward something that is cost effective.”

Bush calls on Congress to lift oil drilling ban – Oil & energy-
Putting pressure on congressional Democrats to back more exploration for oil, President Bush on Monday promised to lift an executive ban on offshore drilling that his stood since his father was president.

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

Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

Nuclear power still risky, expensive —
I was dismayed to see Walt Handelsman’s editorial cartoon (July 14) that implied that citizen activists now embrace nuclear power. The truth is that Americans want better energy options. Poll after poll shows that citizens are concerned about global warming pollution and the health impacts of smog and soot from coal-fired power plants.

Modesto Bee | WAYNE MADSEN: Nuclear power not eco-friendly enough to resurrect
America’s twin crises of sky-rocketing energy costs and catastrophic climate change effects shouldn’t be a convenient excuse to push nuclear power as a viable replacement for coal, oil and natural gas power-generating plants. The nuclear disaster at the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 and the near-disaster at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979 are reasons enough to strike nuclear power from the list of acceptable non-fossil and carbon energy sources. The nuclear power

Progressive Politics Examiner – Is Nuclear Power A Lousy Investment? –
I’ve written a number of posts here about the call for offshore and ANWR oil drilling, the resultant cost neutrality and time constraints of that drilling, and alternative energy development. Invariably, a number of commenters stress the need for nuclear power as a power generator. President Bush, in his news conference yesterday, called for the development of nuclear power for the U.S.

Truthdig – Reports – Dont Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid
While the presidential candidates trade barbs and accuse each other of flip-flopping, they agree with President Bush on their enthusiastic support for nuclear power. Sen. John McCain has called for 100 new nuclear power plants. Sen. Barack Obama, in a July 2007 Democratic candidate debate, answered a pro-nuclear power audience member, “I actually think that we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix.” Among Obama’s top contributors are executives of Exelon Corp., a leading nuclear power operator in the nation. Just this week, Exelon released a new plan, called “Exelon 2020: A Low-Carbon Roadmap.” The nuclear power industry sees global warming as a golden opportunity to sell its insanely expensive and dangerous power plants.

ricio Is nuclear power essential to addressing climate change and energy independence? – NewTalk
Calling climate change one of the greatest challenges ever faced by the human race, some former opponents of nuclear power have recently become its advocates, if cautious advocates. Our purpose here is not to debate climate change, but rather “Is nuclear power essential to addressing climate change and energy independence?”

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