Posts Tagged: nuclear energy

Go to the WSJ for your 24-7 nuclear power coverage

Maybe the Wall Street Journal is trying to set some kind of record.  A couple of days ago it ran four stories about nuclear power, covering issues like earthquake safety at nuke plants, the potential for danger from powerful floods at a Nebraska facility, a push by Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko to move quickly to institute new safety standards, and debates and discussions within the Nuclear Regulatory Council about reforms in U.S. nuclear safety practice following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan. (more…)

Will California reach down deeper for renewable energy sources?

Tidal Farm

Less than five months after California voters strongly rejected a Republican effort to neuter the state’s commitment to renewable energy, the California legislature doubled down yesterday, advancing a bill to the governor’s desk requiring a sharp increase in the use of renewable energy. (more…)

Chicago nuclear company feels effects of Japan earthquake

Steve Daniels of Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to impose new rules and requirements on the Chicago-based Exelon nuclear power plant company after Japan’s nuclear crisis. “A quarter of the nuclear power Exelon generates comes from 30-plus-year-old reactors,” Daniels writes, which “like the Japanese plant damaged by a devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, were built by General Electric Co. and are of the same type and vintage.” Exelon is the largest nuclear plant operator in the U.S. and, prior to the crisis in Japan, had planned a $3.8 billion capacity expansion.

On West Coast, states of denial from nuclear threat in Japan

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is assuring anxious Americans on the West Coast that any radiation released during emergencies at several Japanese reactors will dissipate over the Pacific, according to a story by David Freeman of CBS News.

Honey, have you seen my lead boxers?

The story, accompanied by dire warnings and gruesome graphics, however, appears more designed to inflame than reassure. It cites an expert from Physicians for Social Responsibility warning that the reactors could release more radiation than 1,000 Hiroshima sized bombs. (more…)

The Nuclear Option

The Washington Post’s Steven Mufson has a report on states allowing utilities to charge customers for the construction of nuclear power plants. This is happening because the federal government will only provide part of the funding for these new plants — it’s too much federal money for utilities to decide the project isn’t worth it but not enough to prevent utilities from coming hat in hand to state legislatures. For example, the Energy Dept. announced last month that it would provide $8 billion for a nuclear power plant in Georgia. But that plant costs $14 billion to build, there are so far no interested private investors — and suddenly states like Georgia and utility companies in charge of constructing the plant must invent new funding streams.

Maybe in some cases charging consumers to finance a nuclear regulator is  a good idea for both the local economy and long-term energy generation. But it obviously shows the lack of confidence people outside of Washington, D.C. have in nuclear power if no one outside the Energy Dept. is willing to invest. It’s unclear how nuclear energy will fit into a new national energy policy if/when the federal government passes a law to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

Are Environmentalists Upset With Obama…Or Are They Upset With the Senate?

The New York Times’ John Broder reports that environmentalists have grown upset with Barack Obama:

Mr. Obama moved quickly in his first months in office, producing a landmark deal on automobile emissions, an Environmental Protection Agency finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare, a virtual moratorium on oil drilling on public lands and House passage of a cap-and-trade bill.

Since then, in part because of the intense focus on the health care debate last year, action on environmental issues has slowed. The Senate has not yet begun debate on a comprehensive global warming bill, the Interior Department is writing new rules to open some public lands and waters to oil drilling and the E.P.A. is moving cautiously to apply the endangerment finding.

I’m not sure if this is imprecise writing from Broder or imprecise thinking from environmentalists, but it’s not Obama’s fault that the Senate hasn’t started debate on a global warming bill. It’s the Senate’s fault. (more…)