Nuclear Power news

Offshore wind powers ahead as prices drop 30% below nuclear

Environmental News Network: The cost of offshore wind power in the North Sea is 30% lower than that of new nuclear, writes Kieran Cooke - helped along by low oil and steel prices, reduced maintenance and mass production. By 2030 the sector is expected to supply 7% of Europe's electricity. Output from the Dogger Bank project will be 1.2 GW (gigawatts) - enough to power more than a million homes. Next year, a 150-turbine wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands is due to start operating, and other schemes along the Dutch coast...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Former Japan nuclear regulator lashes out over earthquake standards

TOKYO (Reuters) - A former senior official of Japan's atomic watchdog has lashed out publicly at the agency's response to his concerns over the assessment of earthquake risks to nuclear plants, adding to a controversy over safety five years after the Fukushima disaster.
Read more [Reuters]

Scientists offer solution to protect your emails

Meet the man who believes he’s come up with a foolproof way of keeping your emails safe from the prying eyes of governments and hackers.  The moment for Andy Yen came in 2013 when the story broke of the United States government’s massive surveillance of phone and internet communications, exposed by Edward Snowden. Yen, a particle physicist at CERN, got together with a few of his colleagues at the Geneva nuclear research centre and started brainstorming ways of making email communication safe. Watch Yen explain the idea behind their secure application, ProtonMail, which is hosted entirely in Switzerland. Their solution to safeguard privacy is to use end-to-end encryption. Compared to encryption using a server, end-to-end encryption ensures that the only people who can read a message are the sender and the recipient. Compared with the most widely used type of encryption using a server, end-to-end encryption ensures that the only people who read a ...
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

New York's Governor Would Rather Prop Up the Nuclear Industry Than Invest in Renewable Energy

AlterNet: New York is poised to dump $7.6 billion into dirty, dangerous and aging nuclear power plants as part of a policy that Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling the Clean Energy Standard. Although this policy would provide support for renewable energy by requiring utilities to meet New York’s goal of producing 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, the real money in the plan is sadly reserved for bailing out nuclear plants. The governor wants to keep several aging nuclear plants open to preserve...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Fire Then and Now

Fire is the fundamental human technology, the foundation of everything that came after in human societies. Controlled fire transformed our diet, physiology, psychology, language, social structure, technologies, and our relationship to the rest of nature.

Some archeologists believe that fire management provided the change that distinguished us from other social mammals. Although we are enamoured by the power of modern technologies, an understanding of our relationship with simple fire informs us about genuine solutions to our ecological impasse.

Canadian tarsands: Humans have been burning fuels for a million years. Fire transformed human society, caused early forest depletion and species extinctions, and our energy use today now exceeds Earth's capacity to sustain. © Jiri Rezak.

The discovery and use of fire

Non-human animals are known to use natural fire. Hawks, cheetahs, and other species hunt prey disrupted by fire. Savanna chimpanzees are not intimidated by fire, behave sensibly around it, and will hunt food after a fire passes. Humans likely used fire for millions of years, before they could ignite or control it.

Fire maintenance likely began among Homo erectus communities, who moved from forest to savanna habitats. Fire ignition followed, and may have contributed to a cognitive advance, the use of intermediaries — tinder and kindling — to ignite a slow burning fuel. Evidence of intentional fire exists around a million years ago, in archeological sites from Chesowanja, Kenya to Yunnan Province, China.

Fire use by humans preceded controlled fires, and firemaking required and augmented advanced human mental powers. Fire is the fundamental human technology. Public domain image.

Three hundred thousand years ago, fire-based technologies existed throughout Eurasia, including stone hunting tools warmed to improve working qualities and hafting glues that required fire to prepare. Fire allowed humans to seize caves previously occupied by other large, fierce mammals. Fired pottery existed 20,000 years ago, and metallurgy 5,000 years ago. During this long history of fire use, hominids distinguished themselves from all other large mammals. Meanwhile, fire revolutionized human society.

The need for fuel and fire maintenance likely led to a division of labour among early hominids. Human communities grew more stationary around the fire and hearth, transforming vocal communication, language, and eventually story-telling. During a million years of fire management, the Homo genus evolved a waking day of about 16 hours, much longer than most other mammal species, and gained survival advantages that our species enjoys to this day.

Cooking may have been fire’s greatest social impact, since it made more calories available from foods, reduced the energy cost of digestion, and freed that energy for other enterprises, tool-making, art, and social interaction. Every species is constrained by its available energy, and cooking gave humans an energy boost, which led to additional technological innovation. These developments also changed human brains, mating habits, and gender divisions of labor. Among most primates, males and females gather the same food. Once hominids controlled fire, males spent more time on wide range hunting and defense, and females and elders refined social ritual and language around the hearth. Fire contributed to food sharing and longer childhoods, and thus greater learning potential.

However, the costs of fire can be high. Cooking fires make a stationary community more vulnerable to predators or invasion, so security became a more constant labour. Fuel-foraging depleted local brush and trees. Some Neolithic settlements, such as Çatal höyök in modern Turkey, provide evidence of long distance foraging for firewood and of woodland management. Fire allowed metal technologies, which led to early mining, which required more wood-burning, and led to localized mineral depletions and deforestation.

One of humanity’s oldest surviving stories, the Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumer, at least 5,000 years old, begins in a settlement protected by kiln-fired brick walls. The story discusses forest depletion, drying marshes, social oppression, and abuse of power, all linked to the power of controlled fire. We witness here, fundamental dysfunctions that remain with society today.

Fire, extinctions, and ecological overshoot

By 50,000 BC, long before agriculture, Homo sapiens population growth surged, and anthropologists find evidence during this period of animal and plant extinctions, primarily caused by controlled human fire used as a hunting technique.

Around 47,000 BC, humans arrived in Australia, regularly set fire to the landscape to flush prey, and eradicated dozens of large mammals, marsupials, reptiles, and flightless birds. The burning also caused localized climate change by reducing water vapour. Declining cloud cover shifted the monsoon cycle, the Nullarbor grassland became desert scrub, and once abundant Lake Eyre became a salt flat.

When human communities advanced into the Western Hemisphere, about 75% of large mammals (mastodons, mammoths, giant beavers, bears, and tigers) vanished. Similar mass extinctions occurred when humans arrived in Madagascar, Hawaii, and in New Zealand.

How does this knowledge help us now? We can see that humanity did not require industrial fossil fuel technology to cause species collapse and climate disruption. Sheer numbers, stone tools, and a plentiful external energy source were sufficient. University of British Columbia professor Dr. William Rees, developer of "ecological footprint" analysis, explains that certain mammalian traits led our species to overshoot ecosystem resources even prior to industrial technology. Like other large mammals, humans are "K-strategists," ("K" stands for a habitat’s capacity, German Kapazität), which means we have evolved to occupy all accessible habitats and use all available resources.

Evolutionary success has costs and, without restraints, can be fatal. Nature taught us to be aggressive and rapacious, as survival skills, but didn’t teach us how to stop. We have to do that ourselves. To solve our ecological dilemma, humanity has to reverse its expansion. Continued growth for a successful species that has overshot its habitat will lead to collapse.

External energy and Food

When a plant or animal’s energy use relies directly on the sun or food, habitat capacity acts as a restraint on growth, and each species remains in dynamic homeostasis as witnessed in predator-prey cycles or in our own gardens. In 1922, Polish-American biophysicst Alfred Lotka, who developed predator-prey dynamics, published "Contribution to the energetics of evolution", proposing that evolution was driven by the ability to access available energy. Trees grow more leaves so they can transform more energy. The sharp eyes of the hawk help it process more energy, with less energy cost.

All plants and animals other than humans rely solely on energy from the sun or food, internal, which biologists call "endosomatic" energy. The energy humans derive from fire, work animals, fossil fuels, hydro dams, or solar panels, is "exosomatic," energy retrieved from outside our bodies. The aristocracy throughout history have also gained exosomatic energy from slaves and exploitive wages for labour.

The average human requires about 2,400 food calories (kilo-calories) per day, about 3,600 megajoules (MJ) each year. In pre-fire hominid societies, each person consumed roughly this much energy from food. Fire provided humans with about 15,000 MJ of extra energy each year, 4-times more external energy than internal energy from food, a 4:1 ratio. About a billion people today still live roughly on this fire-level energy budget. In the poorer nations such as Haiti and Senegal, the average energy consumption is about twice this level, an 8:1 ratio of exosomatic energy.

However, in rich, industrial nations, the use of external energy soars. Europeans use about 40-times as much external energy as they get from food, and the average US, Canadian, or Scandinavian citizen uses about 90-times as much external energy. Among the super-rich, jet-set, multiple-home elite, this energy use can skyrocket to 1000-times as much external energy. We could solve most of our energy problems by limiting frivolous energy waste among the rich.

Most industrial nations spend 12 -16% of their energy budget to grow food. The so-called "green revolution" was really a black revolution, relying on fossil fuels for fertilizer, machinery, transport, and packaging of food. A study by Mario Giampietro and David Pimentel shows that food delivered to the consumer in North America requires ten-times more energy than the food contains. When we add the energy cost of storage, cooking, and waste, industrial food has a negative net energy of over 12:1. Nate Hagens, who teaches "Reality 101" at the University of Minnesota, points out that humanity’s food today is not an energy source, it is "a vast energy sink." In the natural world, spending more energy to get food than the food contains proves unsustainable.

Since 80% of our energy use comes from fossil fuels, we are essentially eating oil. To achieve this level of food production, industrial agriculture has depleted soils, spread toxins, disrupted nutrient cylces, and launched an era of rapid global heating.  In short, humanity has used Earth’s vast energy stores to overshoot their ecological habitat.

Humanity’s destructive consumption of exosomatic energy started with the advent of controlled fire, and that basic fire economy has never disappeared. Firewood use never declined and remains an important source of energy for humans. Coal did not replace wood, but only added to our energy consumption. Oil, gas, and nuclear power did not replace coal and hydropower, but only added to our energy consumption. One might imagine "replacing" oil with renewables, but so far, renewable energy simply adds more energy. Historically, humans only stop using an energy source when it is depleted.

Learning to reduce our energy consumption — not just finding more — remains at the heart of our ecological challenge.

Rex Weyler is an author, journalist and co-founder of Greenpeace International. The opinions here are his own.

World energy consumption by source: Coal did not replace wood burning, but rather added more energy for human consumption. Likewise, oil did not replace coal. Growing to consume more energy is a trait of all species, until a species overshoots its habitat. Human energy use has now increased to an unsustainable scale. Conservation has to a part of any genuine sustainable energy future. Graph by Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World.

Human use of fire:

Clark JD, Harris JWK. 1985 Fire and its roles in early hominid lifeways. Afr. Archaeol. Rev. 3, 3–27, Springer, 1985.

Discovery of Fire by Humans, J. Gowlett: Royal Society

Fischer-Kolwalski, M. and Haberl, H. eds. (2007) Socio-ecological transitions, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. Springer Books.

Energy for Cooking, R.M. Amaraskara: Idea Sri Lanka

Overshoot, energy, and food:

Historic Overshoot, R. Weyler, Deep Green

Alfred J.Lotka, "Contribution to the energetics of evolution"; Proc Natl Acad Sci, 8, May, 1922

Energy content of food: Food and Agriculture Organization. UN

Food energy use increase, P. Canning, et. al: US Dept. of Agri.

Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy: Pimentel, D., Giampietro, M. Carrying Capacity Network, 1994.

Human appropriation of photosynthesis, Vitousek, P.M. et al. Bioscience , 1986.

Constraints on the Expansion of Global Food Supply, Kindell, Pimentel, Ambio, 1994. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

"Eating Fossil Fuels," Dale A. Pfeiffer, Wilderness Publications, 2003

Human energy use: EJOLT, Environmental Justice orgs.

Diet for a Small Planet, Lappé, Frances Moore, 1971. Small Planet Inst.

Energy and Population, Paul J. Werbos, dieoff.com

Impact of Population Growth on Food Supplies and Environment, Pimentel et al., Cornell University

World Energy Consumption, Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World

US Food System, Univ. of Michigan

Fertilzer energy use, Fertilizer Institute


Read more [Greenpeace international]

How secure are your emails?

Meet the man who believes he’s come up with a foolproof way of keeping your emails safe from the prying eyes of governments and hackers. (Carlo Pisani, swissinfo.ch) The moment for Andy Yen came in 2013 when the story broke of the United States government’s massive surveillance of phone and internet communications, exposed by Edward Snowden.Yen, a particle physicist at CERN, got together with a few of his colleagues at the Geneva nuclear research centre and started brainstorming ways of making email communication safe. Watch Yen explain the idea behind their secure application, ProtonMail, which is hosted entirely in Switzerland. Contact the author of this story on twitter @carlopisani
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

Unfounded fear?

BBC: It's more than five years since the earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan caused a huge leak of radioactive material into the world's oceans. Workers battled to prevent the Fukushima nuclear plant going into complete meltdown and radiation levels rose by a factor of tens of millions. However, a new report by Australian scientists has revealed that radiation in the Pacific Ocean is rapidly returning to normal and should be at its previous level by 2020. So what does this say about radiation...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Can nuclear really deliver 25% of global electricity by 2050?

Climate Home: Despite a record-breaking year of global nuclear construction in 2015, a report by the industry recognises that it still faces unresolved problems and uncertainties The nuclear industry is celebrating breaking records that have stood for a quarter of a century - but a new update on its successes still fails to disperse the clouds over its future. Ten new nuclear reactors came on line last year worldwide, and more new reactors are being built than at any time since 1990. According to the...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Focus: Nuke plan diverts billions from climate change

Sandiego Union Tribune: Last month, California’s largest utility unveiled a deal with environmental groups to scrap Diablo Canyon, the state’s last nuclear power plant, by 2025. Regulators may get details later this month. The idea seems absurd, given the state’s campaign to combat climate change. Replacing the nuke’s output -- cheap, zero-carbon power for 1.7 million homes -- can only hurt the planet, as well as cost consumers billions of dollars that could otherwise go toward displacing fossil fuels. So the only...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

The Future of Nuclear Power Is ‘Challenging,’ Says WNA Report

EcoWatch: The nuclear industry is celebrating breaking records that have stood for a quarter of a century--but a new update on its successes still fails to disperse the clouds over its future. Ten new nuclear reactors came on line last year worldwide and more new reactors are being built than at any time since 1990. According to the report by the World Nuclear Association (WNA), there were 66 power reactors under construction across the world last year and another 158 planned. Of those being built, 24 were...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nuclear records paper over flaws

Climate News Network: Nuclear records paper over flaws Guangdong nuclear power plant in China, where the industry is shielded from market forces. Despite a record-breaking year of global nuclear construction in 2015, a report by the industry recognises that it still faces unresolved problems and uncertainties. LONDON, 5 July, 2016 – The nuclear industry is celebrating breaking records that have stood for a quarter of a century - but a new update on its successes still fails to disperse the clouds over its future....
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Pollution guidelines leave a blind spot for assessing the impact of coal and oil

The Conversation: Coal’s impact on the Great Barrier Reef by causing climate change is one of the reasons why environmentalists oppose the development of coal fields and exports in Queensland. But fossil fuels could have a more direct impact on the reef and the waters around it, through chemicals produced during their production and distribution. When coal dust is released in the marine environment it can damage marine ecosystems. Coal contains a number of different chemicals, but it is polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

After NSG rebuff, India falls back on fossil fuels for energy security

Bloomberg: After the failed attempt to join an exclusive group of 48 countries that control the trade in nuclear material and equipment, India is now falling back on its quest for more fossil fuel reserves. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan will visit the US later this month to seek investments and technology from exploration companies for 67 smaller fields with oil and gas discoveries, which will be auctioned for commercial production under a liberal and simple revenue sharing agreement, said an oil ministry...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Fossil fuel use in US is at its lowest percentage in over a century

Ars Technica: With the 4th of July weekend about to begin, the US Energy Information Administration decided to look back to our nation's founding. So it plotted the country's energy use starting from 1776. Most of the result isn't a surprise: biomass had a long run before fossil fuels took over and stayed on top. But recent years have seen the biggest change since nuclear was added to the mix. Biomass spent nearly a century on top of the US energy mix before being displaced by coal, although it never went above...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Japan: Fukushima and the oceans: What do we know, five years on?

ScienceDaily: A major international review of the state of the oceans 5 years after the Fukushima disaster shows that radiation levels are decreasing rapidly except in the harbour area close to the nuclear plant itself where ongoing releases remain a concern. At the same time, the review's lead author expresses concern at the lack of ongoing support to continue the radiation assessment, which he says is vital to understand how the risks are changing. These are the conclusions of a major 5 year review, with...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

As Japan re-embraces nuclear power, safety warnings persist

Reuters: Japan's re-embrace of nuclear power, on display last week with the recertification of two aging reactors, is prompting some critics to warn that Tokyo is neglecting the lessons of Fukushima. In the first such step since the 2011 disaster, Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) on June 20 approved Kansai Electric Power Co's application to extend the life of two reactors beyond 40 years. As it became clear the NRA was going to allow the extensions, a former commissioner broke a silence maintained...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

As Japan re-embraces nuclear power, safety warnings persist

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's re-embrace of nuclear power, on display last week with the recertification of two aging reactors, is prompting some critics to warn that Tokyo is neglecting the lessons of Fukushima.
Read more [Reuters]

Brexit hot air causes climate problems

Climate News Network: The shock waves felt round the world at the UK’s decision in a referendum to leave the European Union will have unexpected consequences for some major projects linked to climate change. Plans for four giant nuclear reactors to be built in England by the French are almost certain to be scrapped because opposition among trade unions in France has hardened since last week’s vote. A second major project - a third runway at Heathrow, London’s busiest airport - was due to be given the go-ahead on...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Visible Pollution Leaking from NY Nuclear Plant

Free Thought Project: US Coast Gaurd officials have cordoned off a portion of Lake Ontario this week, after aerial spotters found a visible "sheen" that is coming from a nuclear power plant in upstate New York. The Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew first noticed the sheen on Sunday. Shortly after, a boat crew from the Oswego station tested the sheen and a "temporary safety zone" was put in place. The Free Thought Project spoke to the Coast Guard Sector Buffalo Command Center on Tuesday and confirmed that the zone was...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Risks, ethics and consent: Australia shouldn’t become world’s nuclear wasteland

Conversation: Last month the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission recommended that the state government develop a business venture to store a large fraction of the world’s high- and intermediate-level nuclear power station wastes in South Australia. It proposes to do this by first building an interim above-ground store, to be followed by permanent underground repository. But the commission’s recommendation is based on several debatable assumptions, including: an economic analysis that purports...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Does California shutdown mean the end of nuclear power? Not so fast

Christian Science Monitor: The debate around the closing of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., signals a broader conversation around power sources that could be crucial to the nation's energy future. When California’s largest electric utility announced last week that it would close the state’s last operational nuclear power plant, supporters were quick to call the moment a potential game changer for America’s energy future. The basic message, after all, is that officials in America’s...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

US, Canada and Mexico pledge 50% of power from clean energy by 2025

Reuters: Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto will commit to a new regional clean power goal at a summit this week in Ottawa, the White House has said. The leaders of the US, Canada and Mexico, meeting on Wednesday at the so-called “Three Amigos” summit, will pledge to have their countries produce 50% of their power by 2025 from hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear plants, carbon capture and storage, as well as from energy efficiency measures. “We believe this is an aggressive goal, but...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nuclear waste is no match for ancient rock

A special type of clay found beneath Swiss soil could solve the dilemma of what to do with the thousands of cubic metres of waste that will remain after Switzerland’s five nuclear power plants shut down. If you join one of the subterranean tours at the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory in St Ursanne, canton Jura, the first thing you will see as you make the 300-metre descent is a dark tunnel lined with seeping, moist rock. Go on a bit further, and suddenly the walls of the tunnel become bone dry. This marks the geological transition between limestone and Opalinus Clay – and for the Mont Terri Project (MTP) scientists, it’s as good as striking gold. Despite being hard to the touch, the dark grey material is classified as a clay mineral due to its geological composition, making it distinct from the soft, mouldable material we usually think of when we think of clay. It was formed in Switzerland 175 million years ago during the Jurassic period, when the land was covered by a ...
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

Nuclear waste is no match for ancient rock

A special type of clay found beneath Swiss soil could solve the dilemma of what to do with the thousands of cubic metres of waste that will remain after Switzerland’s five nuclear power plants shut down. If you join one of the subterranean tours at the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory in St Ursanne, canton Jura, the first thing you will see as you make the 300-metre descent is a dark tunnel lined with seeping, moist rock. Go on a bit further, and suddenly the walls of the tunnel become bone dry. This marks the geological transition between limestone and Opalinus Clay – and for the Mont Terri Project (MTP) scientists, it’s as good as striking gold. Despite being hard to the touch, the dark grey material is classified as a clay mineral due to its geological composition, making it distinct from the soft, mouldable material we usually think of when we think of clay. It was formed in Switzerland 175 million years ago during the Jurassic period, when the land was covered by a ...
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

PG&E Will Close Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, Using Renewables Instead

Formule Poker: PG&E Will Close Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, Using Renewables Instead California's last nuclear power plant will close by 2025 under an accord announced this week, ending three decades of safety debates that helped fuel the national anti-nuclear power movement. - Located near Avila Beach along the central California coast. Under the accord, PG&E has agreed not to seek relicensing for the plant, which supplies 9 percent of the state's power. "Diablo Canyon is safe, secure and reliable", he...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant to be shut down

GadgetSandTechnologh News: Closing the plant should be cheaper than operating the facility through 2044 as planned, meaning the utility probably won't have to increase rates, PG&E said. PG&E plans to retrain workers during the plant's decommissioning process and offer a severance package. The latest twist writes a beginning of the end of the nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon, whose development in the late 1970s and early 1980s inspired an award-winning motion picture, "The China Syndrome", and an entrenched collection of anti-nuclear...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Rosatom's global nuclear ambition cramped by Kremlin politics

PARIS/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The $100 billion overseas order book of Russia's nuclear power plant builder Rosatom -- bigger than all its Western competitors combined -- makes it look like the giant in its field.
Read more [Reuters]

Russia: Rosatom's global nuclear ambition cramped by Kremlin politics

Reuters: The $100 billion overseas order book of Russia's nuclear power plant builder Rosatom -- bigger than all its Western competitors combined -- makes it look like the giant in its field. But if the company -- formed in 2007 from the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry and tasked with turning nuclear power into a major export industry -- is ever to reach its potential as a global industrial giant, it will have to shed Russia's reputation for using energy policy as a means to political ends. Deal after...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

NSG snub may derail India’s bid to end its addiction to fossil fuel

Live Mint: NSG snub may derail India’s bid to end its addiction to fossil fuel The department of atomic energy’s ambitious target of generating 63 gigawatt of nuclear power by 2032 may fall short India's failure to get into the exclusive Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) last week because of Chinese opposition could impede the country's plans to scale up power production from non-fossil fuel sources, say officials and analysts. New Delhi, which put in its application for NSG membership on 12 May, was thwarted...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Diablo Canyon’s green power challenge

Press Democrat: PG&E's decision to close Diablo Canyon by 2025 is likely to mark the end of the nuclear power era in California. For critics of atomic energy, Tuesday's announcement was long overdue and the reactors at the state's last operating nuclear power plant can't be shut down soon enough. Voluntarily decommissioning forestalls a political battle over relicensing the San Luis Obispo County power plant, and evidently it makes economic sense for PG&E. But closing the 31-year-old power plant also could...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nuclear power fades in California as energy grid gets stressed

CNBC: California's stressed-out power grid was handed another blow this week, when the state's last operating electricity-generating nuclear power plant said it plans to go offline in less than a decade. PG&E, owner of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and a major provider of power for northern California, said Tuesday that it plans to shut down the facility when its current operating license expires in 2025, to meet the state's renewable energy policy goals. Though the plant has been in operation since...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Enviros: Diablo Canyon's closure a 'template' for other states

ClimateWire: Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s announcement yesterday that it would shutter California's last nuclear plant and replace the power with energy efficiency and renewable energy was the result of a confluence of progressive state policies, CEO Anthony Earley said. The closure of Diablo Canyon's two nuclear reactors on California's central coast in 2024 and 2025 will likely mean the end of nuclear power in the state, due to an existing state moratorium on new plants until the problem of radioactive waste...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Wave goodbye to California’s last nuclear plant

Grist: California`s biggest electric utility announced a plan on Tuesday to shut down the state`s last remaining nuclear power plant within the next decade. The plant, Diablo Canyon, has been controversial for decades and resurfaced in the news over the last few months as Pacific Gas & Electric approached a deadline to renew, or not, the plant`s operating license. "California`s new energy policies will significantly reduce the need for Diablo Canyon`s electricity output," PG&E said in a statement, pointing...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nuclear new-build not fast enough to curb global warming: Report

Reuters: Nuclear reactors are not being built rapidly enough around the world to meet targets on curbing global warming, a report by the World Nuclear Association, an industry body, said on Tuesday. The association, which represents the global nuclear industry, says 1,000 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity needs to be added by 2050 so nuclear can supply around 25 percent of global electricity. Last year, more nuclear reactors were under construction and came online than at any other time in the past...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

California is on the verge of closing its last nuclear plant. Is that really a good idea?

Vox: California’s half-century dalliance with atomic energy could soon be over. On Tuesday, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced its proposal to close Diablo Canyon, the state’s last remaining nuclear power plant, by 2025. This is just the latest in the utter decimation of America's nuclear fleet. Back in 2013, the United States had 104 reactors supplying one-fifth of its electricity. Since then, five reactors have been retired early and at least seven more are scheduled to close -- all victims of...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Diablo Canyon to shut down when license expires in 2025

Tribune: In a momentous decision with far-reaching consequences, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has announced it will not pursue license renewal for the two reactors at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and will close it in 2025 - ending a tumultuous 31-year relationship with the community and leading to an annual economic loss of about $1 billion locally. The closure is part of an agreement with labor and environmental organizations announced Tuesday in which the utility agrees to increase investment in...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nation losing a nuclear weapon against climate change

Bloomberg: Some environmentalists are thrilled over Tuesday’s announcement of the planned closing of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. They might want to reconsider: Fighting climate change requires more nuclear power, not less. That Diablo Canyon’s two reactors could be allowed to shut down is alarming evidence that too little effort is being made to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The electricity that the Diablo Canyon plant generates, which amounts to about 9 percent of California’s power,...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nuclear powers’ struggles continue as last California plant slated to close

CleanTech Canada: Rooftop solar panels and churning wind turbines are hastening the demise of U.S. nuclear power plants and the safety fears and high operating costs they bring. The latest example is California`s Diablo Canyon twin-reactor facility. California`s largest utility and environmental groups announced a deal June 21 to shutter the last nuclear power plant in the state. The move comes as the operators of the country`s aging nuclear facilities confront rising repair bills at a time when sources of...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

California's Last Nuclear Power Plant To Be Shut Down

National Public Radio: The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant will be shut down by 2025. The plan was announced today by the power utility operating the plant, along with labor and environmental groups. With its two nuclear reactors operating near several fault lines, safety is a big concern for those who have been calling for the plant's closure. "Right out there, we've got tons of highly radioactive waste, sitting," Linda Seeley tells Lauren Sommer of member station KQED, standing at the front security gate that...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Nuclear new-build not fast enough to curb global warming: report

LONDON (Reuters) - Nuclear reactors are not being built rapidly enough around the world to meet targets on curbing global warming, a report by the World Nuclear Association, an industry body, said on Tuesday.
Read more [Reuters]

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