Search Results for nuclear
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Discussion

Court Hits Reset Button on Nuclear Waste Disposal

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) will require the U.S. to reevaluate the environmental impacts of disposal and storage of nuclear waste. The decision vacated the NRC’s Waste Confidence Decision Update and Temporary Storage Rule, which will essentially require the NRC to restart the process of evaluating the safety and potential consequences of producing, accumulating, and storing spent nuclear fuel. Explaining the decision, the Court writes that “the Commission’s evaluation of the risks of spent nuclear fuel is deficient in two ways: First, in concluding that permanent storage will be available ‘when necessary,’ the Commission… [more]

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Political Footballs in Energy and Water Bill

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 4, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The House is planning to vote on the 2013 Energy and Water spending bill, which would authorize $32.1 billion for next year, $87.5 million more than current-year levels, according to The Hill. The bill would increase funding for oil, gas, and coal research, including $25 million for a shale oil research program, and provide $25 million for the controversial Yucca mountain nuclear waste facility program. The exact allocation of funds has yet to be finalized, and the House has introduced and voted to reject many amendments that would have cut spending. One of the largest proposed cuts would have come… [more]

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Changes at the NRC?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 23, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Steve Jaczko, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), announced his resignation this week amidst unflattering reports of his leadership and congressional hearings. Jaczko spent three years as Chairman and more than 7 years on the Commission. He will step down after a successor is confirmed, or after June of 2013, when his term would have ended. His tenure was marked by efforts to address longstanding safety concerns at nuclear reactors across the U.S., although these efforts were viewed with skepticism by those in the industry, according to the New York Times. Jaczko was criticized for ending the government’s consideration… [more]

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With Cheap Natural Gas, Who Needs Anything Else?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 10, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Domestic natural gas production continues to expand, while natural gas spot prices are at historic lows. Many utilities are responding to these changing market dynamics by building gas plants or “fuel-switching” existing power plants from more expensive fuels to gas. As a result, coal generation continues to fall. Due in part to price competition with natural gas, some Congressional “clean energy” subsidies may not be renewed. EIA projections suggest that domestic production will continue to increase, and that natural gas prices faced by electric utilities will remain below $7.00/mBtu, through 2035. [Source: EIA] What does near- to mid-term domestic natural… [more]

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Nuclear Costs Underestimated

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 8, 2012 at 10:26 AM

A recent study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the U.S. government underestimates the cost of decommissioning nuclear power plants. “The Government Accountability Office scrutinized 12 of the nation’s 104 power reactors and found that for 5 of them, the decommissioning cost calculated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was 76 percent or less of what the reactor’s owner thought would be needed.” [New York Times] For example, the NRC estimated the cost of decommissioning the Indian Point 3 reactor in Buchanan, N.Y. at $474.2 million, significantly lower than the reactors owner’s estimate of $836.45 million. Representative Ed… [more]

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AEP CEO Urges Comprehensive U.S. Energy Policy

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 1, 2012 at 7:40 AM

In an April 26th speech to business leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Nick Akins, President and CEO of American Electric Power, urged the U.S. to develop a comprehensive energy policy. Akins explained that a recent “perfect storm of circumstances” – including EPA regulations, diminished reliance on nuclear power, and low natural gas prices – are making natural gas the de facto favored fuel for power generation. This is a concern for Akins, who points out that natural gas prices have been volatile historically, and that relying on a single fuel source for power generation is risky. [Columbia Dispatch]… [more]

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Will Fusion Realize Its Potential?

Author(s): Michael S. Lubell
Professor of Physics
City College of the City University of New York
Date: April 2, 2012 at 6:16 AM

For decades many have considered nuclear fusion to be the brass ring of energy technologies, believing that – were it to be successful and commercially viable – it would offer sustained electricity production with no CO2, particulate pollution, or radioactive waste. Research into safely and consistently harnessing fusion’s potential for civil use has been ongoing since the mid-Twentieth Century. Yet to date no viable commercial applications have been developed. Two prominent fusion research efforts – ITER and the National Ignition Facility (NIF) – are facing potential problems. ITER may be at risk of diminished U.S. funding due to tightening Congressional… [more]

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CBO: Recent Growth in Subsidies for Renewables, Efficiency

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 15, 2012 at 8:12 AM

A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office found that in 2011 federal support for fuel and energy technology development and production was $24 billion. Of this, $20.5 billion, or 85%, was in the form of “tax preferences—such as special deductions, special tax rates, tax credits, and grants in lieu of tax credits”; the remainder was made up by the Department of Energy’s spending programs. Of the total $24 billion provided in 2011, about $16 billion, or 78%, went toward support of renewables, energy efficiency, and alternative vehicles.   According to the report, historically energy-related tax preference support was “primarily… [more]

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Fukushima Crisis One Year Later

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 13, 2012 at 8:09 AM

March 11th, 2012 marked the one-year anniversary of a severe earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan. This natural disaster killed 20,000 people, and led to the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility. The anniversary offered a chance to reflect on the events surrounding the nuclear crisis, and responses to it in Japan and around the world. In a New York Times op-ed, Richard Brodsky sees the Fukushima crisis as an opportunity to reform the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “In order for nuclear power to play a significant role in our energy future, the American public needs… [more]

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Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 Introduced

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, which would require electric utilities to derive increasing percentages of their supply mix from low-CO2 sources. The bill would take effect in 2015, and would require that by 2035 84% of power from large utilities come from low-CO2 sources. Sources eligible under the legislation include: renewables, such as wind and solar, “qualified” renewable biomass and waste-to-energy, hydropower, natural gas, and nuclear. Facilities with CO2 capture and storage, and some combined heat and power facilities, are also eligible. The bill establishes a market-based… [more]

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