Search Results for nuclear
65 item(s) were returned.
Discussion

Nuclear Power’s Role in Responding to Climate Change

Author(s): Dr. Andrew C. Kadak
President
Kadak Associates, Inc.
Date: June 19, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Without significant gains in storage technology, electric generation from solar and wind will not meet the world’s energy needs. Nuclear power, however, can deliver electric power in a sufficiently safe, economical and secure manner to supplement supply from other carbon-free sources. Despite this, there remain major objections to the safety, cost, waste management and proliferation risk of nuclear power, which I’ll seek to address here. Safety There have been three serious accidents that challenged the safety record of nuclear power: the Three Mile Island (TMI), Chernobyl, and the tsunami-induced Fukushima accident. In all these accidents there were no immediate public… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

Changing Times for Electric Utilities

Author(s): John Finnigan
Senior Regulatory Attorney
Environmental Defense Fund
Date: March 24, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Two seemingly unrelated announcements drew much attention in the electric utility industry recently. First, the Edison Electric Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council jointly recommended changing how utilities should be regulated. Second, Duke Energy announced it will sell 13 Midwest merchant power plants. These announcements are actually related, and arise because the traditional utility business model is crumbling, due to several factors: Load growth has declined, due to a slowing economy and greater use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Utilities are no longer able to obtain economies of scale by building ever-larger plants. New regulations have resulted in… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

Metrics for Comparing Alternative Liquid Fuels

Author(s): Dr. Bruce Dale
University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering
Date: February 20, 2014 at 7:04 AM

It is clear that the Age of Oil is winding down. Worldwide, the rate of discovery of new oil reserves peaked in the 1960s and in the US our peak rate of oil discovery occurred in the early 1930s. In recent years the world has used about three barrels of oil for every barrel of new oil reserves discovered. Thus we are living largely on past oil discoveries. There is still a lot of oil in the world, and we will still be using a lot of oil decades from now. But it will be increasingly expensive both economically and… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

Is Our Understanding of Fukushima Backwards?

Author(s): Herschel Specter
President
Micro-Utilities, Inc.
Date: January 29, 2014 at 11:43 AM

The meltdowns at three nuclear plants at Fukushima, Japan almost three years ago were an economic disaster, but were these plants inherently unsafe? Did the Fukushima designs provide adequate safety during extreme circumstances? The magnitude 9 earthquake that hit Japan in 2011 was its largest ever. However it was the enormous tsunamis that led to meltdowns. At Fukushima the spent fuel pools never leaked water in spite of the earthquake, its aftershocks, and tsunamis. Even Fukushima’s emergency power systems initially survived the earthquake, only to be soon destroyed by the tsunamis. The nuclear plants at Fukushima were in an extreme… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

Our Nuclear Waste Disposal Problem

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: December 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Since the development of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository was terminated in 2011, no long-term plan for storing spent nuclear fuel accumulating at nuclear power plants has been developed. As a result, utilities have been forced to store spent nuclear fuel “on site,” where storage space grows tight and is increasingly expensive to manage. The federal government is required by law to provide (since 1998) offsite storage for spent nuclear fuel, but has yet to do so. Furthermore, until last month’s ruling by a federal appeals court, the Department of Energy (DOE) had been collecting a fee from nuclear… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

Can You Be An Environmentalist and Pro-Nuclear?

Author(s): David Hammer
J.C. Ward Jr. Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering
Cornell University
Date: June 20, 2013 at 7:03 AM

The premise of Robert Stone’s newly released documentary, Pandora’s Promise, is that despite the scary features of nuclear radiation, nuclear power is the best chance we have to avoid the catastrophe projected from burning fossil fuels to power the growing world economy. The documentary’s approach is rather unique – former anti-nuclear environmentalists describe how and why they became pro-nuclear, in spite of even the recent major Fukushima Daiichi reactor disaster. It is important to add that Director Robert Stone is not arguing that standard “light water reactors” (LWRs) should be pursued, but rather newer designs, such as inherently safe breeder… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

The DOE Under Ernest Moniz

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 16, 2013 at 9:38 AM

The new Secretary of Energy and MIT physicist, Ernest Moniz, has often cited nuclear power as an important means of developing a low-carbon future for America. Moniz has also advocated the use of natural gas for its economic, environmental and energy security benefits, as outlined in a report he authored while at MIT, “The Future of Natural Gas.” So what can we expect from the next Secretary of Energy? Throughout his confirmation process, which has taken place over the past six weeks, Secretary Moniz reiterated the need for an “all-of-the-above” strategy, while expressing his belief that the government is underinvesting… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

Will the Bonanza of Cheap Natural Gas Postpone the Transition to a Clean Energy Future?

Author(s): Marilyn Brown
Professor of Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: March 27, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Thanks to breakthroughs in seismic imaging, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the US in 2012 reduced its reliance on much dirtier coal by shifting to gas-fired power plants. This trend is expected to continue, spurred by low gas prices and increased regulation on coal. The move to shale gas is being heralded as a key to economic prosperity and a clean energy future. But there are other options for displacing baseload electricity from retired coal plants, the principals being nuclear, renewables and energy efficiency. Will the gas bonanza enable or postpone the transition to these cleaner options? While natural gas… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

Aligning Federal Policy with America’s Energy Priorities: A Blueprint

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 11, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Last week Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, published a blueprint for energy policy, titled “Energy 20/20: A Vision for America’s Energy Future.” The blueprint offers ideas to “align federal policy with… our national interest to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure.” Among the main ideas in Sen. Murkowski’s blueprint are: Establishing a national goal to become independent of OPEC imports by 2020 by increasing domestic oil, biofuel and synthetic fuel production. Approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and… [more]

View Discussion
Discussion

Panel Discussion Word of the Day: Opportunity

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: December 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Update: See a video recording of the event here OurEneryPolicy.org’s high-level panel discussion, moderated by Chief National Correspondent for the Fox News Channel Jim Angle, and featuring James Connaughton, General James L. Jones, and Timothy Wirth, had an overall tone of optimism for energy policy for next four years and beyond. Here are some event highlights: The panelists saw hydraulic fracturing as presenting an economic, energy security, and emissions reduction opportunity, but agreed that smaller “mom and pop” operations engaging in substandard industry practices could turn public opinion against fracking. However, there is an opportunity for industry leaders, such as… [more]

View Discussion