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Alternative Energy / Nuclear Power

  • Iran Optimistic About Nuclear Energy Deal And End To Sanctions

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he intends to reach a deal with West and end years of sanctions despite the objections of a “few” opponents who use their country’s crippled economy to enhance their own power. “Some people may not like to see the sanctions lifted. Their numbers are few, and they want to muddy the water,” Rouhani told an audience on Dec. 15 at the Central Bank in Tehran. He evidently was referring to hard-liners, including leaders of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, who oppose any rapprochement with the West, to maintain their grip on the country's economy. “The overwhelming…

  • China’s Nuclear Power Gamble Is Mind-Boggling

    The numbers that define China’s progress over the last 50 years are staggering. Over 300 million people lifted out of poverty. Over 160 cities with more than 1 million inhabitants. Over 630 million Internet users.. And now, following the recent climate change deal with U.S., China has a massive price tag of $2 trillion to implement climate policy changes. In order to cap carbon emissions and generate 20% of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2030, Bloomberg estimates this would require 1,000 nuclear reactors, 500,000 wind turbines or 50,000 solar farms. “The pledge would require China to produce either 67…

  • Iranian Nuclear Talks To Continue Until July

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna before talks on November 24, 2014. Iran and six world powers have agreed to extend talks on Tehran's nuclear program until July 1, 2015, after failing to seal a deal before a midnight deadline on November 24. Diplomats said that under the terms of limited agreements reached after six days of high-level talks in Vienna, a political accord is to be completed by March 1, with final details contained in annexes to be sealed by July 1. It was the second time the negotiators…

  • Iran’s Murky Nuclear Past May Disrupt Its Future

    In sorting through Iran’s nuclear supplies, P5+1 must decide how to handle illegally gained materials and equipment. How not to steal a deal: Representatives of Permanent Five Security Council members and Germany try to reach deal with Iran (top); one solution is to use Russian-made nuclear reactor under IAEA supervision; Sergey Kirienko, head of Rostatom, (right) and Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Atomic Energy Agency of Iran, sign deals on Bushehr reactor WASHINGTON: As the clock ticks towards the November 24 deadline for concluding a deal with Iran to shut down its weapons-related program, a critical dimension of Iran’s nuclear…

  • End Of Life Costs For Nuclear Power A Real Concern

    Nuclear power stirs considerable controversy but we have broadly been a supporter of the technology in part because of its low emissions and running cost, but the industry had arguably their biggest challenge starkly highlighted this week in the International Energy Agency’s annual report.Related: Three Possible Outcomes Of Iranian Nuclear Talks By 2040, the agency said, almost 200 reactors are due to be shut down with considerable uncertainties over the decommissioning costs. An FT article quotes $100 billion for plant dismantling but the extent to which this is just the beginning is highlighted by a quote from Paul Dorfman of the…

  • Three Possible Outcomes Of Iranian Nuclear Talks

    The likely outcomes of the Iran nuclear deal, the impacts on economic prospects for Iran, and how international investors are likely to position themselves in the coming months. With the November 24th deadline for the conclusion of a permanent agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program fast approaching, it is still unclear if negotiators can clinch a final deal. Others have extensively covered the key issues at stake, whether the P5+1 or Iran has been the party unduly obstinate in the talks, and the resulting impact on regional stability. Whatever the final outcome, however, we know that it will significantly affect the…

  • 8 Countries With Nuclear Power Plants Most At Risk Of Tsunamis

    The tsunami that destroyed a nuclear reactor at Fukushima, Japan, caused a major re-think of nuclear power, which up to the accident in 2011, had been considered a relatively safe, clean form of electricity generation. The tsunami that followed shortly after a 9.0 mega-quake off the east coast of Japan was shocking in its magnitude - killing close to 16,000. But it was soon apparent that another disaster was in the making, when the surging waves inundated pumps used to cool down the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex. The resultant fuel meltdown and leakage of radiation led…

  • Is France’s Love Affair with Nuclear Over?

    French President Francois Hollande has promised to limit the growth of the country’s nuclear power, many older reactors have been targeted for decommissioning, and Greenpeace and other environmental groups have been relentless in their anti-nuclear campaigning. But until now, it seemed unlikely that France would ever truly rethink its love affair with nuclear power. Last week, it did. On Oct. 10, France’s parliament voted to begin moving to undo decades of nuclear growth and to reduce its importance to the country’s energy mix. Over the next 11 years, France will reduce the amount of electricity coming from nuclear by one-quarter…

  • How Fusion Energy Could One Day Disrupt Energy Markets

    Fusion is thirty years away…and always will be. That is an oft-repeated cliché concerning one of the world’s most coveted – and so far unreachable – sources of energy. However, some recent developments in fusion energy technology could one day make that phrase obsolete. Fusion energy is the phenomenon that powers the stars. Unlike conventional nuclear fission, where a uranium atom is split, giving off enormous volumes of energy, nuclear fusion is the process by which two hydrogen atoms are slammed together. This also gives off a vast quantity of energy, and with it, the promise that man can harness…

  • Is Fusion Power Closer Than We Thought?

    The promise of generating energy with nuclear fusion is tantalizing because it would be free of toxic emissions and nuclear waste, and would have a virtually infinite fuel supply. On the downside, though, it is extremely costly compared with fossil fuels like natural gas and coal.Now engineers at the University of Washington (UW) have developed a design for a fusion reactor that could be even less expensive than a coal-fired plant but boast similar generating capacity. The current design is for a reactor too small to generate much electricity, but the team is confident it can be scaled up to…