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Beyond San Onofre’s closure

Beyond San Onofre’s closure | Energy | Scoop.it
SANTA BARBARA, CA — Nuclear power plants are complex, interdependent systems of systems, and the state and federal bureaucracies that regulate them are labyrinthine.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Nice article about this missing context behind much of San Onofre's closure, by our deputy editor John Mecklin.

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Women and nuclear weapons policy

Women and nuclear weapons policy | Energy | Scoop.it
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Thorium: the wonder fuel that wasn't

Thorium: the wonder fuel that wasn't | Energy | Scoop.it
“Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine Needs Refueling Once a Century,” reads the headline of an October 2013 story in an online trade publication. This fantastic promise is just one part of a modern boomlet in enthusiasm about the energy potential of thorium, a radioactive element that is far more abundant than uranium. Thorium promoters consistently extol its supposed advantages over uranium.
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The rising cost of decommissioning a nuclear power plant

The rising cost of decommissioning a nuclear power plant | Energy | Scoop.it
“The most reliable estimate of the cost of decommissioning [a nuclear power plant] is 10-15 percent of the construction cost, contrary to some highly inflated estimates ...
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Climate, food, and biomass energy

Climate, food, and biomass energy | Energy | Scoop.it
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Excellent start to a new roundtable on the potential of biomass energy to help mitigate climate change, and how that might affect food security and agriculture worldwide. Good read.

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Squirrel Power!

Squirrel Power! | Energy | Scoop.it
A single squirrel can disrupt and frustrate thousands of people at a time, switching off our electrified lives for hours.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Uh-oh.

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Mathijs Booden's comment, September 3, 2013 3:50 PM
It's what nature intended.
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Existential threats, fast and slow

Existential threats, fast and slow | Energy | Scoop.it
In the past month US President Barack Obama has focused the world’s attention on two threats that may not, at first glance, appear to have much in common.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

This is a great opinion piece by Kennette Benedict. Here point: "Today, climate scientists are in a position similar to that of the early atomic scientists" is exactly right.

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Wood battery could be the future of large energy storage : TreeHugger

Wood battery could be the future of large energy storage : TreeHugger | Energy | Scoop.it
A new type of battery developed by researchers at University of Maryland is more environmentally friendly version of a sodium-ion battery.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Very cool.

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Elephant in the room: How OPEC sets oil prices and limits carbon emissions

BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Pretty interesting article discussing the balance of the world's oil supply and how declining OPEC oil has led to default carbon emission caps. "Despite all the frenzy about a North American oil boom, non-OPEC crude oil production is not actually going up, because new production is roughly balancing declines at existing oil fields. Policy makers, analysts, and the news media alike have failed to recognize that, given this production reality, OPEC still controls not only the final total global oil supply but also oil pricing. In fact, the organization has been raising oil prices and reducing demand for oil since 2003, and this demand constriction has also greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions."

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The Case for a War on Coal

The Case for a War on Coal | Energy | Scoop.it
President Obama's climate change speech went pretty far out of its way to explicitly say that what he's trying to do is get the United States to burn less coal, but that didn't stop coal-fired politicians like Sen.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Interesting charts and graphs--vintage Yglesias.

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At Chernobyl, Radioactive Danger Lurks in the Trees: Scientific American

At Chernobyl, Radioactive Danger Lurks in the Trees: Scientific American | Energy | Scoop.it
For 26 years, forests around Chernobyl have been absorbing radioactive elements but a fire would send them skyward again – a concern as summers grow longer, hotter and drier
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

More to consider with nuclear energy

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Saving the ozone layer and the climate

Saving the ozone layer and the climate | Energy | Scoop.it
Although reducing emissions of carbon dioxide is essential if climate change is to be slowed and then halted in the long run, researchers are analyzing a number of alternative pathways for reducing human-related forcing on climate over the next few...
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Nice explanation on why HFCs are actually as bad, if not worse, than carbon dioxide and why international agreement on limiting them is essential. 

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BulletinOfTheAtomic's curator insight, June 25, 2013 1:44 PM

Excellent, readable explanation of how HFCs are as damaging as carbon dioxide. Great info.

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Reagan’s optical illusions

Reagan’s optical illusions | Energy | Scoop.it
I’ve long been skeptical that much thinking gets done in conservative think tanks. A recent visit to the Heritage Foundation in downtown Washington DC did little to disabuse me of this notion.
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Chernobyl’s sarcophagus, redux

Chernobyl’s sarcophagus, redux | Energy | Scoop.it
On April 26, 1986, technicians at Unit 4 in Chernobyl, Ukraine, were conducting a test of their RBMK nuclear reactor when they inadvertently started a runaway reaction. Excess, superheated steam built up, the core was blasted open, and a huge plume of radioactive material wafted into the sky. The heat was so intense that it caused the nuclear fuel still in the plant to liquefy, where it mixed with other materials, such as concrete, and formed a lava-like material that flowed into the spaces below.
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Climate, food, and biomass energy

Climate, food, and biomass energy | Energy | Scoop.it
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

The second installment in our excellent roundtable on biomass energy has just been posted. It's an exploration of what biofuels can do; couple with carbon capture and storage, it could save us.

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BulletinOfTheAtomic's curator insight, September 26, 2013 11:01 AM

The second installment in our excellent roundtable on biomass energy has just been posted. It's an exploration of what biofuels can do; couple with carbon capture and storage, it could save us.

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Fixing Fukushima’s water problem

Fixing Fukushima’s water problem | Energy | Scoop.it
All energy sources have benefits, costs, and risks. Nuclear reactors, among the largest power plants on Earth, do not produce greenhouse gas emissions, and nuclear energy has an overall low public-risk curve.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Excellent, thorough article by Lake Barrett, retired nuclear engineer and former director of the NRC's Three Mile Island Cleanup Site Office.

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Government must take over Fukushima nuclear cleanup

Government must take over Fukushima nuclear cleanup | Energy | Scoop.it
Recent weeks have seen increasingly concerned calls, from within and without Japan, for the Japanese government to take a direct role in managing the multifaceted crisis at the Fukushima No. ...
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Beyond San Onofre’s closure

Beyond San Onofre’s closure | Energy | Scoop.it
SANTA BARBARA, CA — Nuclear power plants are complex, interdependent systems of systems, and the state and federal bureaucracies that regulate them are labyrinthine.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Nice article about this missing context behind much of San Onofre's closure, by our deputy editor John Mecklin.

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The Oil Drum | Additional Iranian Oil Sanctions May Be Counterproductive

The Oil Drum | Additional Iranian Oil Sanctions May Be Counterproductive | Energy | Scoop.it
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Good piece at The Oil Drum discussing how Iranian Oil Sanctions may be counterproductive.

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A case for unilateral US nuclear warhead reductions

A case for unilateral US nuclear warhead reductions | Energy | Scoop.it
The call for nuclear disarmament that President Barack Obama made in his Berlin speech on June 19 was somewhat underwhelming.
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Podvig finds Obama's call for nuclear disarmament "underwhelming" and outlines the options from here. Nice read.

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The fall of German nuclear power

The fall of German nuclear power | Energy | Scoop.it
BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

Terrific slideshow/history of German nuclear energy and the protests that started long before Fukushima and even Chernobyl. Fascinating photos.

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Nuclear aging: Not so graceful

Nuclear aging: Not so graceful | Energy | Scoop.it

The abandonment of aging nuclear reactors—most prominently reactors that need repairs, as is the case at San Onofre in California and Crystal River in Florida, but also at some plants that have simply become uneconomic to operate,...has huge implications for resource-acquisition decisions."

BulletinOfTheAtomic's insight:

This is an excellent article explaining some of the problems with nuclear energy (even the new technology) that is largely ignored by pro-nuclear advocates. Some environmentalists are now supporting nuclear power as a way to combat climate change (see Pandora's Promise), but the information presented in this article should not be ignored.

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