Top Nuclear Stories (July 17th-21st)


The Big International news will come Tuesday with India’s vote of no confidence over the governments push to accept a nuclear energy and weapons treaty with the U.S. The biggest story is Rocky Mountain New’s multiday series on the health impacts of DOE workers and their struggle to get compensation.  The series has lots of intense personal stories with images of workers.  On other news Al Gore has called for a major overhaul of U.S. energy policy to focus on renewables!

To look at news by subject, location or facility check out the Energy News Portal

  Top Nuclear Stories Index

Reactor Security Safety Fuel Cycle N-Waste
Policy Weapons DOE

Nuclear Reactor News

NRC: News Release – NRC Conducting Special Inspection at Hatch Nuclear Plant
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting a special inspection at the Hatch nuclear plant to assess the failure of one of the emergency diesel generators associated with Hatch Unit 1. The Hatch plant is located near the town of Baxley in south Georgia and is operated by Southern Nuclear Operating Company.

FR Doc: NRC: Notice of Consideration of Approval of the Proposed Transfer of the Catawba Nuclear Station, Unit 1,
Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC; North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation; Saluda River Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Catawba Nuclear Station, Unit 1; Notice of Consideration of Approval of the Proposed Transfer of the Catawba Nuclear Station, Unit 1, Renewed Facility Operating License No. NPF-35 and Conforming Amendment, and Opportunity for a Hearing Regarding Transfer of the Saluda River Electric Cooperative, Inc.’S Undivided Ownership Interest in Catawba Nuclear Station, Unit 1, to Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, a Current Owner and Operator and North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, a Current Owner

FR Doc: NRC: North Anna Nuclear Station Unit 3 Combined License Application
Virginia Electric And Power Company, D/B/A Dominion Virginia Power, and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative North Anna Nuclear Station Unit 3 Combined License Application; Correction and Supplement to Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Conduct Scoping Process

north annaNorth Anna nuclear-plant drill set for next week –
State, local and Dominion Virginia Power officials will test their ability next week to handle a nuclear emergency at the utility’s North Anna Power Station. Localities within 50 miles of the Louisa County plant, including Richmond and neighboring counties, will participate in the drill Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Canadian Press: Repeated incidents raise questions about French nuclear safety
First, an overflowing tub at a French nuclear plant spilled uranium into the groundwater. Then a burst pipe leaked uranium at another nuclear site, raising an alert on Friday. The two accidents within two weeks, both at sites run by French nuclear giant Areva, have raised questions about safety and control measures in one of the world’s most nuclear-dependent nations, and given fodder to anti-nuclear activists.

BE’s repair bill for nuclear plants ‘spirals over £50m’ – Business
NUCLEAR power group British Energy yesterday admitted that the cost of repairs at two of its reactors had spiralled beyond initial £50 million estimates. Delays and complications at the Hartlepool and Heysham 1 plants will be “significantly higher”, the company conceded.

The true costs of the nuclear deal (India – US)
If you had asked members of the Left parties only a few months ago whether the United Progressive Alliance government should be toppled on the issue of the US-India nuclear deal, a majority would have said: “No.”

VPR Regional News: Problems at Vermont Yankee shake public confidence
Critics of Vermont Yankee say the most recent problems with the nuclear plant’s cooling tower show a disturbing pattern of poor management and lax state oversight. But state officials say they’re not getting the cooperation they need from the plant’s operators.

Groups call for immediate Yankee shutdown: Times Argus Online
Two nuclear watchdog groups called for the immediate shutdown of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant on Friday, saying the latest failure at the Vernon facility is one too many. Members of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group and the Citizens Action Network said at a Statehouse press conference that they have lost all faith in the ability of state and federal regulators to monitor the nuclear plant.

Nuclear Health and Safety News

NRC:  NRC Proposes $6,500 Fine Against Pa Co for Violations Of NRC Requirements
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $6,500 fine against Precision Calibration and Testing Corporation in York, Pa., for willful violations of NRC requirements.

‘Nuclear incident exercise’ scheduled for Prairie Island –
Dakota, Goodhue and Pierce county residents should not be alarmed by the extra activity at the Prairie Island nuclear plant on Tuesday, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. State emergency responders will be participating in an exercise simulating a nuclear incident, said DPS spokesman Doug Neville. The exercise is designed to test the capabilities of emergency responders during a nuclear incident.

FR Doc: NIOSH: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, to be included in the Special Exposure Cohort
SUMMARY: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gives notice as required by 42 CFR 83.12(e) of a decision to evaluate a petition to designate a class of employees at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, to be included in the Special Exposure Cohort under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000.

Atomic bomb veterans receive £8k compensation – but no apology – Sunday Mirror
He is the first of the few – a veteran of Britain’s atomic bomb tests finally compensated for 50 years of suffering. But for Ernie Moore the £8,000 he has been awarded is worthless without the apology he has waited half a lifetime for.

Compensation plan forged within cauldron of politics : Special Reports : The Rocky Mountain News
Richard Miller, a longtime union policy analyst, arrived in a formal Capitol Hill conference room in the summer of 2000 eager to share his ideas. He had worked for years trying to help sick nuclear weapons workers. Now that the Clinton administration had dramatically reversed the federal government’s decades-old policy of fighting workers’ claims of job-related illness, it was time to iron out the details of a remedy for past harm.

George Barrie is dying. His wife’s advocacy work may have become a weapon against him : Special Reports : The Rocky Mountain News
The pain drives George Barrie from his bed about 3 a.m. — a nightly occurrence. He leaves his sleeping wife and stumbles to his recliner in the living room. He sits down heavily, shifting his weight, trying to make the pain bearable.

With a 25-pound liver, Janine Anderson was told she isn’t too sick : Special Reports : The Rocky Mountain News
Janine Anderson spent seven years as a secretary at the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation, one of the nation’s premier nuclear weapons development and production complexes. But that safe-sounding office position didn’t protect her from the toxic exposure that has ravaged her body. Her lungs are scarred with deadly beryllium, a key ingredient in atomic bombs. Her immune system is attacking her body, which harbors an array of heavy metals in toxic quantities. Her liver is so enlarged that it is threatening to burst through her abdominal wall.

FR Doc: NRC: Use of the GALE86 Code for Calculation of Routine Radioactive Releases
SUMMARY: The NRC is issuing its Final Interim Staff Guidance (ISG) DC/ COL-ISG-05 (ADAMS Accession No. ML081710264). This interim staff guidance supplements the guidance provided to the staff in Chapter 11, “Radioactive Waste Management,” of NUREG-0800, “Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants,” concerning the review of radioactive releases in gaseous and liquid effluents (GALE) to support design certification (DC) and combined license (COL) applications. This guidance provides a clarification on the use of a newer version of the boiling-water reactor and pressurized-water reactors GALE codes that is not referenced in the current NRC guidance.

FR Doc: NIOSH: Linde Ceramics Plant, Tonawanda, NY, Special Exposure Cohort
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Decision To Evaluate a Petition To Designate a Class of Employees for the Linde Ceramics Plant, Tonawanda, NY, To Be Included in the Special Exposure Cohort

FR Doc: NIOSH: Final Effect of Designation of a Class of Employees for Addition to the Special Exposure Cohort
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Final Effect of Designation of a Class of Employees for Addition to the Special Exposure Cohort

FR Doc: NIOSH: Substitute Alloy Materials Laboratories of Columbia University in New York City Special Exposure Cohort
SUMMARY: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gives notice concerning the final effect of the HHS decision to designate a class of employees at the SAM (Special Alloyed or Substitute Alloy Materials) Laboratories of Columbia University in New York City, New York, as an addition to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000. On May 30, 2008, as provided for under 42 U.S.C. 7384q(b), the Secretary of HHS designated the following class of employees as an addition to the SEC:

FR Doc: NIOSH: Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Washington, as an addition to the Special Exposure Cohort
SUMMARY: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gives notice concerning the final effect of the HHS decision to designate a class of employees at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Washington, as an addition to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000. On May 30, 2008, as provided for under 42 U.S.C. 7384q(b), the Secretary of HHS designated the following class of employees as an addition to the SEC:

FR Doc: NIOSH: (NUMEC) facility in Parks Township, Pennsylvania, as an addition to the Special Exposure Cohort
SUMMARY: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gives notice concerning the final effect of the HHS decision to designate a class of employees at the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) facility in Parks Township, Pennsylvania, as an addition to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000. On May 30, 2008, as provided for under 42 U.S.C. 7384q(b), the Secretary of HHS designated the following class of employees as an addition to the SEC:

Deadly denial: Nuclear weapons workers who risked their safety in the Cold War now must fight for compensation
ABOUT THE SERIES Tens of thousands of America’s former nuclear bomb builders are sick, dying or already dead because of their exposure to radiation and other poisons. You knew that.

doe workers Nuke workers need help not silence : Columns & Blogs : The Rocky Mountain News
They built the nuclear weapons that helped win World War II and the Cold War. When the nation’s future depended on them, they stood firm. Now where is their government when they need its help?  / UK – Paris acts to allay fears of radiation
The French government yesterday ordered an investigation into the water table around all of France’s 58 nuclear reactors in an effort to dispel fears raised by a leak from a treatment plant run by Areva in southern France.

New uranium leak discovered at French nuclear site on Yahoo! News
French nuclear safety authorities said Friday that a broken pipe at a nuclear fuel plant in southeast France had caused a radioactive leak but no damage to the environment. The latest uranium spill at the plant run by nuclear giant Areva in Romans-sur-Isere came amid much public concern over a leak at another facility last week that polluted the local water supply.

PDF: Benefits of Reducing Prenatal Exposure to Coal
Technical document on the childhood benefits of reducing coal usage

KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA | Hundreds of Former Hanford Workers Gather for Meeting on Cancer Payments
Hundreds of former workers stricken by cancer and their families gathered in Richland Thursday in search of more money. The meeting comes after the U.S. Department of Labor extended benefits for former workers.

Nuclear Security News

Report doesn’t urge guards at nuclear plants’ entrances-
Federal regulators, who have done much to beef up security at commercial nuclear power plants in the last seven years, are stopping short of requiring armed guards at the front door. That decision should be left to plant owners, according to a 548-page U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission document that recommends several new security enhancements and would make permanent policies implemented in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

Bechtel: Aerial mapping of abandoned uranium mines on Navajo lands

Mortality among Navajo uranium miners.  — American Journal of Public Health
Another major review on the health and impacts of uranium mining on Dineh (Navajo) People.

NAVAJO URANIUM MINERS IN UTAH, 1951  — American Journal of Public Health
Interviews and documentation of navajo miners

The History of Uranium Mining and the Navajo People — American Journal of Public Health
This PDF Report is an extensive history of the history and impacts of uranium mining on the Navajo People

Abandoned Uranium Mines On The Navajo Nation

Officials assure residents of a thorough review for proposed nuclear-enrichment plant | Star-News | Wilmington, NC
Officials from the federal commission charged with deciding whether a nuclear-enrichment plant is right for New Hanover County assured residents Thursday night that they will conduct a thorough review and consider public opinion.

Nuclear Waste News

WRS | Swiss ‘playground’ for radioactive waste testing
Deep inside the Swiss Alps, scientists from around the world are testing how to dispose of radioactive material. The Grimsel Test Site is a series of tunnels dug deep into the mountains. It’s operated by the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA). The cooperative was started in 1972 by nuclear power plant operators and the Swiss government. World Radio Switzerland’s Alex Helmick reports from the underground laboratory near the Grimsel Pass on the cantonal border of Bern and Valais.

DOE still wants OK on WIPP shipments from LANL – Carlsbad Current-Argus
The Environmental Protection Agency is still seeking more information related to the latest errant drum shipped from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. In June, a drum of transuranic waste with an open non-conformance report was mistakenly shipped from Los Alamos to WIPP and emplaced in the underground repository near Carlsbad.

The Daily Telegram: Lake Superior barrel dumping questions still not answered
Questions about whether military radioactive waste was dumped by the Army Corps of Engineers into Lake Superior near Duluth were left unanswered by the Minnesota Department of Health’s March 2008 consultation on the waste dumped near Duluth-Superior harbor. Indeed, the first concluding recommendation is that the dumping records be thoroughly researched. Health Department officials have admitted they have not yet done so.

Standoff over waste from Italy to drag on – Salt Lake Tribune
It might be another year before a judge decides who has the final say on importing foreign radioactive waste to Utah. EnergySolutions Inc. requested the federal court ruling in hopes of securing the right to import low-level nuclear waste from Italy and other foreign countries over the objections of the state, the public and members of Congress. U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart will preside at a weeklong bench trial in the case next fall, according to recently filed papers. Critics hope Congress will pass a bill to outlaw most foreign waste imports before the judge decides.

Energy$olutions: Nuclear waste firm bolsters Bishop’s bank – Salt Lake Tribune
EnergySolutions has deep pockets. And thanks to the benevolence of the company and a bill pending before Congress, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop does, too. The nuclear waste disposal firm and its executives have donated $28,200 to the Utah congressman’s re-election campaign in the current election cycle, including nearly $25,000 since April. That’s more than 40 percent of the money Bishop has received.

Active threat | Down To Earth magazine:Radioactive waste spills over into fields in Jharkhand
about 4 hectares of agricultural land in Talsa village near Jamshedpur looks jaundiced. The soil has turned light yellow and villagers fear it might have gone barren. On June 17, radioactive waste from a pond of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (ucil) spilled over and deluged the village pond and well.

Referendum bill on nuke waste nixed again – The China Post
nwaste The Taitung County Council rejected a referendum bill yesterday proposed by the co unty government aimed at facilitating the construction of a storage site for low-level solidified radioactive waste in the eastern Taiwanese county. The county government had hoped the bill would be passed into law to pave the way for holding a local referendum on building the nuclear waste storage site.

Cold War-era nuclear waste set to roll through Georgia |
Regular shipments of radioactive waste left over from the Cold War era may begin this fall with trucks moving through northwest Georgia en route to New Mexico. The estimated 60 to 120 truckloads a year of waste from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee will be buried nearly a half-mile deep in an underground salt formation. The transports to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, N.M., are expected to take three years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The shipments are awaiting approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

State to re-assess perchlorate levels using new data on risks to fetuses: Press Enterprise 
Prodded by environmental groups, California health officials said they will re-evaluate the health effects of a rocket fuel chemical, taking into account research that wasn’t completed four years ago when they decided how much is safe in drinking water. The re-examination could lead to stricter rules for the chemical perchlorate, which has contaminated several Inland drinking water supplies.

A nuclear boondoggle – Las Vegas Sun
If it hasn’t been clear that the cost of building a nuclear waste dump 90 miles from Las Vegas at Yucca Mountain far outweighs any benefit, a congressional hearing Tuesday made it crystal clear. Ward Sproat, the Energy Department official overseeing the project, told members of Congress that the startup cost of building and initially operating it will be about $90 billion. That’s a significant increase over the last estimate, which put the cost at $58 billion.

Nuclear Policy News

NRC:  NRC Meeting Aug. 7 in Victoria, TX, to Discuss Review Process for Expected New Reactor Application
Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will conduct a public meeting in Victoria, Texas, on Thursday, Aug. 7, to discuss how the agency will review an expected Combined License (COL) application for two reactors at the Victoria County site, about 13 miles south of Victoria. The prospective applicant, Exelon, has told the NRC it intends to apply later this year for a license to build and operate two Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactors (ESBWR) at the site.

The Hindu: CPI(M) to strengthen protest against nuclear deal
The CPI(M) today said the party will strengthen protests against the Indo-US nuclear deal notwithstanding results of tomorrow’s trust vote in the Lok Sabha. “The Government had destroyed our trust on assurances of discussing the deal before going ahead with it. Now we will strengthen our protests if the Government still remains adamant about pursuing the deal after the trust vote,” CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said.

Support for nuclear energy rises in California
Support for the construction of more nuclear power plants in the US state of California has grown over the past two decades, with half of Californians now in favour of new reactors, according to a recent poll conducted by Field Research Corp.

Canada: Snafus plague nuclear bodies
Ahead of the release of a report on the troubled relationship between Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and its nuclear regulator, documents obtained by Canwest News Service show communications between AECL and the regulator were fraught with problems. The report by an independent consultant is expected to focus heavily those problems.

yucca mtNuclear Power A Thorny Issue For Candidates : NPR
Nuclear power doesn’t usually make for an applause line in a stump speech, but it has come up on the campaign trail. Both Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain see it as a way to combat climate change, though they’ve sometimes chosen their words with care.

FR Doc: NRC: Revision 2 of Regulatory Guide 6.2, “Integrity and Test Specifications for Selected Brachytherapy Sources
Revision 2 of Regulatory Guide 6.2, “Integrity and Test Specifications for Selected Brachytherapy Sources,” was issued with a temporary identification as Draft Regulatory Guide DG-6004. This guide directs the reader to the type of information acceptable to the NRC staff to evaluate the integrity and test specifications for selected brachytherapy sources.

Newsvine – Political drama in India nears its climax
After nearly an year since the terms of the Indo-US nuclear deal were concluded the Indian government will be facing a no-confidence motion on 22nd July. The Indian Prime Minister was forced to prove his government’s majority in the Parliament after the Left parties withdrew their support to the government on 9th July. The Left parties are of the opinion that the deal would undermine India’s freedom to take crucial foreign policy decisions which includes the decision on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

FR Doc: Meetings: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Date: Week of July 21, 2008.
unshine Federal Register Notice Agency Holding the Meetings: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Date: Week of July 21, 2008.

FR Doc: NRC: In the Matter of Mr. Anthony Fortuna; Confirmatory Order
Mr. Anthony Fortuna was formerly employed as a contract electrician by General Electric Company at Southern Nuclear Company’s Hatch Nuclear Plant from February 16 though March 27, 2006. This Confirmatory Order is the result of an agreement reached during an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) session conducted on June 6, 2008.

Daily Herald | Task force to study nuclear power issues in Illinois
A new government task force will study the use of nuclear power in Illinois and investigate whether it should be expanded, lawmakers announced Friday. Safety and security concerns will be among the issues explored by the 11-member Nuclear Power Issues Task Force, which was jointly formed by the state Senate and House.

Sanders wants restitution for ratepayers: Rutland Herald Online
U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., said Friday that Vermont consumers shouldn’t have to pay for Entergy Nuclear’s cooling tower mistakes, and called on the Vermont Public Service Board to review the situation. Last week, Entergy Nuclear was forced to shut down both cooling towers at Vermont Yankee because of a leak in one tower and cracked support beams in the other.

State to create nuclear task force :: News Sun 
State Sen. Michael Bond, D-Grayslake, announced the adoption of a resolution to create a new task force on nuclear power issues in Illinois. Senate Joint Resolution 101 creates the Nuclear Power Issues Task Force to study key concerns related to nuclear power use in Illinois, including the state’s ban on the construction of new nuclear reactors. | Opinion | Liberals’ nuclear plan falls short on job front
The myriad arguments against Ontario’s excessive reliance on nuclear energy aside, let’s examine Premier Dalton McGuinty’s $26 billion nuclear plan from a purely economic point of view. The project will create some 3,500 construction jobs over 10 years, with another 1,000 permanent jobs that will presumably last for the 35-year life of the reactors. That’s the equivalent of 2,142 full-time jobs lasting 35 years each.

Nuclear Weapons News

McClatchy Washington Bureau | World powers give Iran 2 more weeks to accept nuclear freeze
World powers Saturday gave Iran two weeks to accept a freeze on expanding its uranium enrichment work as a step toward full-scale negotiations on its nuclear program’s future, or face new economic sanctions and isolation. The powers told Iran that there would be no further talks on their offer to withhold new sanctions for six weeks in return for Iran not adding new enrichment machines called centrifuges to its plant at Natanz for a similar period.

Information Clearing House – Who can and can’t have nuclear weapons? (video)
Americans should question the assumption that the US has to be the most powerful nation on earth The Nuclear Non Proliferation treaty was signed by non nuclear countries on the assumption that there would be a swift move towards disarmament by those that already had them would begin to disarm and even destroy their nuclear stockpiles.

Department of Energy News


Department of Energy – Events for the next two months
DOE-Sponsored Public Meetings and Workshops

FR Doc: DOE: Advisory Board, Oak Ridge Reservation AGENCY: Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of open meeting and retreat.
SUMMARY: This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Oak Ridge Reservation. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. No. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. | Local News: Pantex work may expand with plan 07/18/08
A top Pantex official told a key House subcommittee Thursday that the plant is ready to accept different types of nuclear weapons work under a proposed plan to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons complex. Greg Meyer, B&W Pantex president and general manager, testified Thursday before a congressional subcommittee reviewing government plans to upgrade weapons plants and laboratories.

Other Energy News

Solar Cooling Becomes A New Air-conditioning System
Scientists from the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) have developed an environmentally friendly cooling technology that does not harm the ozone layer. This is achieved by using solar energy and therefore reducing the use of greenhouse gases.Netroots on climate and energy | Gristmill: video’s of national networking conference

Intersolar: Germany’s 40MW Solar PV Project More Than Halfway Done« Earth2Tech
And you thought the U.S. was getting big solar photovoltaic projects (like the one being built by SunPower for FPL, or SunEdison for Duke). But those will deliver just a little more than half of what a Godzilla-like solar PV project in Germany will soon provide. The managing director of solar builder Juwi Solar, Michael Martin, said Juwi has already built over half — or 26 MW — of what, at 40 MW, he claims will be the world’s largest solar PV project, which could be completed as soon as the end of the year.

PDF: Windpower and the UK Resource
This is an internal UK government report documenting the growing windpower potential within the country

German govt has approved enough wind parks to replace nuclear power plants – Topix
he German government has approved plans to build 24 offshore wind parks with a capacity of up to 24,000 megawatts, enough to replace all 17 German nuclear power plants, Focus magazine said, citing the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH). In an excerpt of an article to be published on Monday, the magazine also said the BSH, which is the federal authority responsible for the approval of offshore activities, has received filings for an additional 50 projects.

The peak oil crisis: The blackouts spread | Energy Bulletin
Of the 266 distinct nations or entities on the world today, nearly 100 are now reporting continuing energy shortages, mostly in the form of inadequate electricity supply, but in a growing number of cases, shortages of liquid fuels and natural gas. The actual number of countries affected is probably well over 100 but there are dozens of isolated island-states scattered around the world that are rarely heard from and are almost certainly suffering in silence while waiting for the next oil tanker to come in.

Solar Industry Growth Prediction: US Largest Market by 2011 : TreeHugger
Despite an unstable regulatory environment—renewable energy tax incentives are stalled in the senate, BLM policy has been inconsistent— the United States will surpass Germany to be the largest market for solar power in the world by 2011, according to a report by JP Morgan, cited in Greentech Media. By 2011, the US will have an installed capacity of 1.6 gigawatts (with 920 MW in California alone), surpassing Germany’s expected capacity of 1.35 gigawatts. The third largest market by this time will be South Korea with 957 megawatts of capacity.

Scientists achieve chemical breakthrough that converts sawdust into biofuel – Thaindian News
A team of Chinese scientists has made a chemical breakthrough that efficiently turns the lignin in waste products such as sawdust into the chemical precursors of ethanol and biodiesel.

BBC NEWS | Africa | Nigerian ‘blood oil’ crew paraded
The Filipino crew of a boat laden with suspected stolen oil seized in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region has been shown to journalists. The military “paraded” them in front of local media in Warri, but they denied stealing crude oil.

WorldChanging: The Right Wind Turbine for You
As gas prices climb and electricity prices follow, people looking for alternatives are turning to the wind. The popularity of wind energy is growing, but the turbines themselves are shrinking in size and cost, making affordable, personal wind power a reality.

What’s the Greenest Building of Them All? | celsias
What aims to be the greenest building in Europe has just been un-earthed and is expected to be complete at the end of next year. And using the snafus of the greenest building of 20 years ago, they may well have all the bases covered regarding efficiency and environmentalism.

Solar Umbrella House: Awesome Green Design Completely Lit And Powered By The Sun!
Solar Umbrella House is quite simple the most tranquil green house that one would ever come across and it is a refreshingly new sustainable house design that does not look outrageously lavish, but is simple, serene and filled with captivating magic of solar power. I have always believed that simple stuff with sheer elegance are bigger winners compared to designs filled with pompous glitz that shout out loud. The Solar Umbrella Home is a house that is completely powered and lit by the energy of the sun. In this case when I say completely, I mean the whole 100% and nothing less at all!

California Introduces Statewide Green Building Code : TreeHugger
In what was described as the United States’ first statewide “green” building rules, the California Building Standards Commission said the code would help reduce the carbon footprint of every new structure in the state.

china windChina’s Wind Power Set to Hit 100 Gigawatts | EcoGeek
China needs a lot of energy to power its economy and the country’s reliance on coal has led to major problems with unsafe work conditions and pollution. By 2006, China’s energy requirements had become the second highest in the world, doubling its needs from the past decade.

An energy model for all to see – Maple Grove, M

Al Gore: A Generational Challenge to Repower America | We Can Solve It
There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more – if more should be required – the future of human civilization is at stake.

Newsvine – Energy tsunami coming, ex-policymakers warn
A bipartisan group of 27 elder statesmen is sending an open letter to both presidential candidates and every member of Congress saying the country faces “a long-term energy crisis” that threatens the security and prosperity of future generations if swift action isn’t taken.

The New Geopolitics of Energy
While the day-to-day focus of US military planning remains Iraq and Afghanistan, American strategists are increasingly looking beyond these two conflicts to envision the global combat environment of the emerging period–and the world they see is one where the struggle over vital resources, rather than ideology or balance-of-power politics, dominates the martial landscape. Believing that the United States must reconfigure its doctrines and forces in order to prevail in such an environment, senior officials have taken steps to enhance strategic planning and combat capabilities. Although little of this has reached the public domain, there have been a number of key indicators.

Wind, solar energy more affordable, efficient than nuclear, activists say –
A proposed third nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs won’t be needed if Maryland invests in alternative energy sources and reduces consumption, according to a public interest group. “Clean energy can provide Maryland with a more reliable, more affordable supply of electricity,” said Johanna Neumann, state director of Maryland Public Interest Research Group, which released a report Thursday making a case for clean energy alternatives.

For the first time in history the human family as a single entity is faced with multiple global crises, each of which has far-reaching implications for the future of our species. These crises are not just the consequences of specific events or even systemic flaws in say the global economic architecture. They are related to fundamental values and deeply entrenched worldviews. The solutions to these crises may require an unprecedented paradigm shift — a radical shift in the way in which we look at ourselves, at others, and at the planet that we inhabit.

Islanders without kerosene – Fiji Times Online
VILLAGERS of Dravuwalu on Totoya in Lau have been without kerosene for the past three months as a result of irregular shipping services. Sikiti Cakacaka told The Fiji Times from Totoya it has been hard to cope without fuel, food or medical supplies.

Giant’s Electric-Assist Bicycle: A Review: Scientific American Blog
have a biking nemesis: During my regular rides around the six-mile outer loop of New York’s Central Park, the big hill at the north (uptown) end of the park invariably sucks the very life out of my aging legs. Yesterday, however, pedaling up the big incline was another story altogether. It was as easy as climbing a small rise. My new-found prowess had nothing to do with any improved fitness, of course; it was the bike I was riding, the Twist Freedom DX from Taiwan’s Giant Bicycle, Inc., which augments every pedal stroke with a finely timed electric boost.

Peak Moment Television
Perspectives and initiatives for local self-reliant living in the face of energy, climate, and economic uncertainty. In response to awakened Peak Oil awareness, Yuba Gals began producing the weekly 28-minute Peak Moment Conversations.In January 2006. They are hosted and produced by Janaia; directed and edited by Robyn.

SeaGen tidal power marine turbine plugs into electricity grid |
An underwater turbine that generates electricity from tidal streams was plugged into the UK’s national grid today. It marks the first time a commercial-scale underwater turbine has fed power into the network and the start of a new source of renewable energy for the UK.

Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

Industry’s spotty safety record makes it a questionable solution |
America’s twin crises of sky-rocketing energy costs and cat- astrophic 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.

Don’t go nuclear – Salt Lake Tribune
Let’s get serious about the risks of nuclear power. Utahns are quite familiar with the problems of nuclear waste. But now we are confronted with a proposal to build a nuclear power plant in our state. Not so fast. A Government Accountability Office report this month found that after three decades, nuclear power plants have yet to comply with fire-safety rules. Fires at nuclear power plants are potentially disastrous. This lax regulation is frightening.

Nuclear showdown: The cheapest option – FP Comment
Terence Corcoran in his editorial (Is there a case for nuclear power, July 3) has made a number of errors and exaggerations in his column. He claims that the problems with nuclear power include terrorism, nuclear fuel waste and nuclear safety. His real argument is about costs.

Cheapest –except for the others
The Canadian nuclear industry is enthusiastic about its prospects and, as Colin Hunt demonstrates, enthusiastic in pointing out the flaws in the arguments of critics who might not share that enthusiasm. In his words, the various points raised in my recent column on nuclear power contain “errors” and “exaggerations” and “foolish statements.”

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