nuclear power

Ten Energy Stories to Watch in 2014

What will shake the energy world this year?

In our energy law classes at Cal, we like to start the day by talking about Energy in the News. The media never fails us. Every day, there are multiple energy-related stories of significance touching on resource development, new technologies, policy shifts, jobs, regional politics, prices, international relations, or the environment. Once you start looking …

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More Idiocy from the Wall Street Journal Op-ed Page

A few years ago, a friend of mine suggested starting a blog entitled something like, “Why The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Was Idiotic Today.”  You’d never run out of material for posts! Certainly that was the case today, as Senator Lamar Alexander and Representative Mike Pompeo, both Republicans, make a case against the wind …

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Fukushima Whodunit

In a remarkable and significant new report, Japanese experts have concluded that the Fukushima nuclear accident was a “man”-made disaster – phrased this way perhaps in a gallant effort to allow all women to distance themselves from the decision making process. This dramatic conclusion prompts yet another question: If “man” isn’t responsible, then who is? …

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More Trouble at Fukushima

According to the Washington Post, the situation inside the reactors is grim. Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of melted fuel has breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, …

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A Post Script to Steve’s Post about the Nuclear Renaissance

This just in from the NY Times: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said a June breaker fire at the 478-megawatt Fort Calhoun nuclear plant was of “high safety significance,” increasing work the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) must complete before the troubled unit can restart. The NRC’s preliminary “red” safety violation, the agency’s most serious classification, …

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Betting on the Nuclear Renaissance

For many years, there has been a healthy debate in the United States about the role nuclear power should play in our future energy plans. In the energy law courses that I teach, I have been struck with the consistent support among students for expanding our reliance on nuclear power as part of a comprehensive …

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Inconceivable!

During the Fukushima nuclear crisis, government officials and industry representatives said that the tsunami that struck the reactors was “beyond our imagination,” thus excusing the failure to consider such a risk in the planning process. As it turns out, there had been warnings about this possibility, but the risks were ignored. The reactor was situated …

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The (VERY) Uneasy Case for Nuclear Power

Anyone who is serious about combatting climate change must be serious about considering nuclear power.  Fission generation produces virtually no emissions, and given the difficulties we will have in reducing the world’s carbon footprint, to ignore nuclear power is to my mind irresponsible. But “considering” nuclear power hardly means adopting it.  Nuclear power plants are …

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Two tales of environmental ignorance

Citizens in Tokyo have discovered patches of radiation that are comparable to some of the evacuated areas near Chernobyl, radiation that presumably came from the recent nuclear power plant accident. The EPA has recently reported that the number of waterways in California that exceed water quality standards are 170 percent higher today than in 2006. …

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But Will You Love My Energy Source in the Morning?

In the wake of cataclysmic energy disasters occurring on opposite sides of the globe, some interesting regional and national reflections are currently underway that may–or may not–alter long-term energy futures in the U.S. and abroad. One development this week that drew surprisingly little public attention is that no less a personage than the Prime Minister of …

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