NAS panel criticizes basics of U.S. nuclear safety approach

Washington, D.C. – Is the conventional approach to nuclear safety in the U.S. – and most of the world – fundamentally flawed? That’s the clear implication of a recent National Academy Sciences report on the U.S. response to the 2011 catastrophe at Fukushima. Although the report has not gotten much attention in the U.S. media, [...]

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Closed Kewaunee nuke has a buyer, but no seller

Washington, D.C. — Robert G. Abboud, a Chicago-area businessman-politician, wants to buy a well-used Wisconsin nuke. But the owner, Virginia’s Dominion Resources, says it doesn’t want to sell the Kewaunee plant that it shut down in 2012. Abboud is the principal in RGA Labs in Barrington, Ill., an energy engineering consulting firm. He’s a nuclear [...]

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Climate Hype Discredits Journalists and Activists

Washington, D.C., July 15, 2014 – Is Miami sinking under the assault of a climate gone wild? That’s the characterization of an article in Britain’s left-oriented Guardian newspaper. But the piece is generating push back from non-ideological and moderate journalists. And the Guardian’s breathless hype is too often reflective of general media coverage of the [...]

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Gina McCarthy’s Thin Skin on the Origins of the Obama Greenhouse Regs

Washington, D.C., July 12, 2014 – In public, Gina McCarthy, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, comes across as a no-nonsense, rough-and-tumble, tough cookie. But a recent flap over the origins of her agency’s proposed rules for controlling carbon dioxide from existing coal-fired power plants shows her to be defensive and thin-skinned. The revelation of [...]

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Will the Smart Grid Become the Annoying, Vulnerable Grid?

Washington, D.C., July 3, 2014 – Do you want a future in which you have to plug in your username and password on your smart phone to open you refrigerator? Talk about an annoyance. This thought came to me when reading a new report in the June 30 issue of MIT’s Technology Review magazine. Much [...]

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The Ups and Downs of U.S. Nuclear Power

Washington, D.C., June 30, 2014 – There appears to be a cyclical element to the story of nuclear power in the U.S., an ebb-and-flow that repeats itself over time. There’s no lock-step periodicity, but the tides of hyperbole and deflation occur with some regularity. The most recent case of the binge-and-repent cycle in nuclear comes [...]

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Iceland’s Uniqueness Extends to Electricity

June 27, 2014 – Iceland, the westernmost country in Europe, is unique. Its geology is entirely volcanic, as it sits on the meeting place of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. It has a unique language, with a 32-letter alphabet, based on Scandinavian, Saxon, and Celtic roots. Iceland had the first parliamentary system of [...]

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What China and Other Nations Can Learn from U.S. Shale Gas Fracking Experience

This week, the Bonn climate change conference concluded in Germany. During the talks, discussion focused on adaptation and long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals to meet climate targets. These mitigation and adaptation strategies build on international momentum to tackle climate change, such as China’s announcement that by 2016, its first carbon emissions cap will come [...]

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How Much Energy Will the 2014 World Cup Consume?

Along with 3 billion other viewers around the world, I plan to tune in for the month-long World Cup to see whether the 22-year old Neymar can withstand the colossal pressure that has been put upon his shoulders to deliver a win for team Brazil. Every time I turn on my television set, I’m using World Cup-related energy. And [...]

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