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

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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Discussion

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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Energy Policy & Environmental Risk

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 29, 2012 at 8:39 AM

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, writer David Ropeik argues that the nature of how humans perceive risk has led to some impractical, and potentially counterproductive, energy and environmental policies. According to research cited by Ropeik, the following factors make people more likely to perceive higher levels of risk: “Human-made risks upset us more than risks which are natural; Risks imposed on us are scarier than those we take by choice; Risks grow scarier the greater the pain and suffering they cause.” These perception factors percolate into our energy and environmental policy, Ropeik argues, sometimes leading to… [more]

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Obama’s FY2013 Budget Heavy on Energy R&D, Renewables, Efficiency

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM

President Obama sent his requested FY2013 budget to Congress Monday, and requested, among other energy-related items, significant increases to energy R&D, renewable energy investments, and energy efficiency programs. From the request: “In light of the tight discretionary spending caps, this increase in funding is significant and a testament to the importance of innovation and clean energy to the country’s economic future.” Among the energy-related budget requests: $27.2 billion to the Department of Energy, a 3.2% hike over FY2012 $5 billion for DOE’s Office of Science $2.3 billion for DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office – a 29% increase –… [more]

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NRC Approves First Nuclear Reactors in more than 30 years

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 10, 2012 at 8:20 AM

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved by a 4-to-1 vote Southern Company’s bid to build two nuclear reactors along the Georgia-South Carolina border. These are the first new reactors to be approved by the NRC in more than 30 years. The reactors will cost a Southern Co. led investment group around $14 billion, and will begin producing power as soon as 2016 or 2017. “Today’s licensing action sounds a clarion call to the world that the United States recognizes the importance of expanding nuclear energy as a key component of a low-carbon energy future that is central to job creation,… [more]

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“Conservative” Nuclear Safety Standards and Measurable Harm

Author(s): Dr. Andrew C. Kadak
President
Kadak Associates, Inc.
Date: January 31, 2012 at 9:31 AM

In March 2011 a giant earthquake and tsunami struck Japan and killed over 20,000 people. These events also seriously damaged 4 nuclear plants at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The subsequent release of radiation led to local, precautionary evacuations since the course of the accident and potential contamination was unknown at the time. According to a June 2011 report by the IAEA International Fact Finding Expert Mission, “To date no health effects have been reported in any person as a result of radiation exposure from the nuclear accident”. This included the operators and others who worked from the beginning… [more]

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The High Cost of Clean Energy Standards without Efficiency

Author(s): Marilyn Brown
Professor of Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: January 17, 2012 at 8:22 AM

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a Clean Energy Standard (CES) requiring that 80 percent of the nation’s electricity come from clean energy resources by 2035. Over the past decade, Congress has debated renewable electricity standards, typically allowing energy efficiency to meet a portion of the target. For example, in 2009, an RES was included in the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009, requiring 15% renewables by 2021, and 27% of this target could be met by energy efficiency. What happened to energy efficiency in the President’s proposal? A well-designed CES policy would enable… [more]

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Discussion

Looking Forward to 2012

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: January 3, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Between the Solyndra scandal, the disaster at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, the deliberation over the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama’s aggressive new CAFE Standards, protests over lighting standards, EPA’s MACT rules, and more, 2011 proved to be a controversial year for energy and energy policy, even without major energy legislation.

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