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Alternative Energy / Nuclear Power

  • 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…

  • The Future of Nuclear – SMRs?

    Nuclear power is not an industry that experiences huge growth rates, and it is infinitely more difficult for investors to find a hidden gem in nuclear energy than it is in oil and gas. There just aren’t any mom and pop nuclear shops out there. Nevertheless, it is a global industry that does around $140 billion in annual business and thus it is important to get a status check on what is going on in the nuclear world from time to time. A Renaissance DelayedThe “nuclear renaissance” was supposed to have kicked into high gear by now, as many predicted…

  • China National Nuclear Power Co. Plans $2.6B IPO

    China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC), a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Power Co., (CNNP) one of China’s three state-owned nuclear power developers, is planning its first IPO, intended to raise at least $2.6 billion. CNNP's Shanghai stock market IPO listing could be the biggest on the mainland since the Agricultural Bank of China debuted in July, 2010. CNNP currently has 12 nuclear power projects, including operating nuclear power plants in Zhejiang and Jiangsu and others under construction or being planned in Fujian, Hainan, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Hunan and Henan. CNNP intends to use the money raised by the IPO to fund…

  • Nigeria Planning Country’s First Nuclear Power Plant

    Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and is currently the world’s 12th largest oil producer, pumping 2.25 million barrels per day. Nigeria in 2012 was also the world's fourth leading exporter of LNG.  According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, “Nigeria has one of the lowest net electricity generation per capita rates in the world. Electricity generation falls short of demand, resulting in load shedding, blackouts, and a reliance on private generators. Nigeria is in the process of privatizing the state-owned Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in hopes that it will lead to greater investment and…

  • Abe Government Moves Towards Upgrading Japan’s Nuclear Facilities

    Three years after the nuclear catastrophe that struck TEPCO's Fukushima complex, the Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzuo Abe is slowly sidling back towards restarting Japan’s idled NPPs. On 25 February Abe announced Japan’s new Basic Energy Plan, which sees nuclear power as an important base load energy source and overturns a promise made by a previous government to phase out the country’s 50 operable nuclear reactors. Abe has been promising to add nuclear power back into Japan’s energy mix since soon after he took office in late 2012. On 11 March 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast…