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Alternative Energy / Nuclear Power

  • Three Things To Know About The India-Australia Uranium Deal

    On Friday August 5, India and Australia concluded an important energy deal that will seek to address looming issues facing both countries. The formalization of the agreement marks the conclusion of bilateral talks dating back two years and will offer enormous benefits to both India and Australia.1. India is actively seeking to address energy shortfallsIndia has a stated goal of raising its nuclear energy capacity to 63,000 MW by 2032 by adding $85 billion worth of reactors. Nuclear power, while controversial in some areas, is critical to India’s economic growth plan as it works to reduce paralyzing power shortages hindering…

  • Could Iran Be Trading Oil With Russia For Nuclear Support?

    With the help of a few former Soviet neighbors, Iran is set to revitalize their crude oil exports after the profound effect of past sanctions.Not only has Russia offered to provide goods and services in return for Iranian oil, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have proposed reinstating oil swap deals. Oil swaps in general are not new, as they are often used to optimize logistical obstacles. In Iran’s case, it is the supply of crude oil to their refineries in the north from countries closer than Iran’s own oil fields in the south. An oil-for-goods arrangement has also occurred in the past,…

  • Saudi Arabia Aims For Nuclear Power Within 20 Years

    To help address its energy needs, last week Saudi Arabia announced plans to incentivize both private and public investments in energy sources other than oil. Within 20 years, the Saudi Royal Family aims to invest $80 billion and $240 billion so that nuclear and solar, respectively, will each provide 15 percent of the Kingdom’s power needs. The transition is intended to happen quickly, with the first nuclear reactor expected to come online in only eight years. Beyond minimizing carbon emissions, the nation's energy efforts are an instance of an energy symbiosis, whereby energy production techniques are uniquely suited to consumption…

  • Shuttered Nuclear Plants Means U.S. Will Miss Climate Targets

    The floundering U.S. nuclear industry just got a bit of good news: Utah is considering building two new nuclear reactors. Blue Castle Holdings Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Westinghouse that could eventually lead to the construction of two AP1000 nuclear reactors. The two reactors have an estimated cost of $10 billion and an estimated operational date of 2024. If constructed, Blue Castle says the reactors will increase Utah’s electricity generation capacity by 50 percent, which would replace the power lost with the retirement of a few coal plants in the state. The announcement is important because building…

  • As Radioactive Water Accumulates, TEPCO Eyes Pacific Ocean As Dumping Ground

    Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the embattled owner of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors, has said it is running out of space to store water contaminated with radioactive materials and is proposing to treat the water and dump it in the Pacific Ocean.Up until now, TEPCO has been storing radioactive water in giant storage tanks on the site of its Fukushima reactor. But groundwater continually flowing into the reactor site becomes contaminated as it does so. Containing and storing an ever-increasing volume of contaminated water is a bit like running on a treadmill – new groundwater becomes contaminated just as TEPCO…

  • Nuclear Waste Not Want Not

    This article started out as a piece about the 10 countries that generate the most nuclear waste annually. Unfortunately, the most recent data is from 1997 (Ukraine, United Kingdom, France, United States, Canada, Germany, India, Lithuania, Italy and Bulgaria).Approaching the question from the other end -- which countries generate the most nuclear power? – might get us closer to an answer. Business Insider analyzed data from the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency and came up with a top 10 list: United States, France, Russia, South Korea, Germany, China, Canada, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Sweden. But those nuclear power powerhouses…

  • Will Floating Power Plants Tame The Nuclear NIMBYs?

    Three years ago, the safety of nuclear reactors, a staple and stable source of base load power for many industrialized countries, was suddenly thrown into question, after a 15-metre wall of sea water inundated three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, causing them to overheat.The reactors were built to withstand earthquakes but not the height of the surging waves. Backup power was available to run the cooling pumps, but when the tsunami flooded the site, the pumps lost power and thus, the ability to circulate water and cool the reactor cores. The resultant fuel meltdown and…

  • Why France Isn't Intimidated By Nuclear Waste

    In decades to come, scholars may well puzzle on America’s attitude to nuclear energy. We love our nuclear defense capacity: its weapons, its submarines, and its aircraft carriers. But we have a kind of national anxiety about the use of the same science, under the most controlled conditions, to make scads of electricity.Equally perplexing is our duality of opinion about nuclear waste. At every turn, those who dislike nuclear power -- often with pathological disaffection -- raise the issue of nuclear waste as a reason to give up on nuclear power. However, they do not have the temerity to suggest…

  • Environmentalists And Nuclear: Not Such Strange Bedfellows

    U.S. President Barack Obama is set to deliver a landmark speech on the regulation of greenhouse gases from existing power plants on June 2 that has the potential to completely alter the trajectory of America’s energy future. It will also highlight the enormous amount of common ground that exists between two constituencies who are often at odds: the nuclear power industry and environmentalists.The U.S. environmental movement has opposed nuclear power for decades. It was the issue that first galvanized people around an environmental issue, when so many Americans protested the construction of many of the nation’s nuclear power plants in…

  • Azerbaijan’s Plans for Nuclear Power Raise Concerns

    At first glance, it doesn’t add up; why is Azerbaijan, a country brimming with oil and gas, interested in developing nuclear power capacity?It’s a question befuddling local experts and environmental activists in Baku. But the questions don’t stop there. Under a May 8 executive order, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has given responsibility for the nuclear project not to the Ministry of Energy or the Ministry of Industry and Economy, but to the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, specifically, to a National Center for Nuclear Research that is answerable to the ministry.The executive order stressed that Azerbaijan’s nuclear capabilities would…