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Climate Change

Nuclear power is counterproductive to efforts to address climate change effectively and in time. Funding diverted to new nuclear power plants deprives real climate change solutions like solar, wind and geothermal energy of essential resources.

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Friday
Dec102010

Michigan based UNI-SOLAR powers UN climate summit in Cancun with rooftop PV array

Rochester Hills, Michigan based Uni-Solar was tapped to provide electricity for the United Nations COP 16 (16th Council of Parties to the UN Kyoto Climate Treaty) gathering in Cancun, Mexico. Uni-Solar provides a bright contrast to the Fermi nuclear power plant in southeast Michigan, scene of a dramatic radioactive water spill in recent days, and targeted site for a third new reactor -- a G.E.-Hitachi ESBWR.

Friday
Dec102010

Zero Emissions Race reaches Cancun climate summit

On your mark. Get set. GO SOLAR!Electric cars and motorcycles, "racing" from Geneva, Switzerland to Cancun, Mexico and back again, created a "sexy" spectacle of sustainability at the COP 16, the 16th summit of the Council of Parties to the U.N.'s Kyoto Climate Treaty. Solar power is the fuel of choice for the Zero Emissions Race. 

Friday
Dec102010

First solar powered ship to circumnavigate the Earth arrives at Cancun climate conference

Solar catamaran sailing near Monaco, Sept. 26, 2010.David Herron in the Green Transportation Examiner reports that the world's largest and fastest 100% solar powered ship, the TÛRANOR PlanetSolar, has successfully sailed from Monaco, France to Cancun, Mexico to take part in the current U.N. climate summit. After that, it will continue on its way via the Panama Canal to enter the Pacific on its global circumnavigation back to Monaco. Follow the ship's progress at its website. Even though this ship is nonfiction, its name comes from fantasy: in one of the languages in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, TÛRANOR translates as "The Power of the Sun."

Thursday
Dec092010

Addressing the climate crisis with nuclear power would be like using "caviar to fight world hunger"

NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko (left) listens as Energy Secretary Steven Chu (right foreground) discusses a point at a nuclear energy summit organized by the think tank Third Way and the Idaho National Laboratory. To Chu’s left is Nuclear Energy Institute President Marvin Fertel (C) and right of Jackzo is Jack Fuller, Board Chairman of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.As reported by Matt Wald of the New York Times, former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford strikes again, with a most apt metaphor bringing a dose of reality to the so-called Third Way/Idaho National Lab conference on nuclear power's future. Unmentioned in the reporting, however, is the irony of U.S. Senators Voinovich (R-OH) and Carper (D-DE) hosting the event. It was on Voinovich's watch that the Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo came within 3/16ths of an inch of a meltdown; Carper's political power base in Wilmington could suffer 100,000 "peak early fatalities," over 70,000 "peak early injuries," 40,000 "peak cancer deaths," and over $300 billion in property damage if any one of the three Salem/Hope Creek atomic reactors suffered a catastrophic radiation release, according to NRC's 1982 CRAC-2 study ("Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences"). Also unreported was the irony that, as Obama administration officials -- Energy Secretary Steven Chu, White House climate and energy czar Carol Browner, NRC chairman Greg Jaczko -- rubbed shoulders with NEI President Marvin Fertel, GE-Hitachi Board Chair Jack Fuller, etc., the nuclear power industry's army of lobbyists worked Capitol Hill to attach a $7 billion nuclear loan guarantee onto the congressional lame duck session Continuing Resolution to fund government operations. NRC's homepage described the gathering as "28 nuclear leaders from government, industry and finance -- focused on long term policy for nuclear energy," but offered no explanation as to why its Chairman would attend an event seemingly largely devoted to nuclear power's promotion -- NRC is not supposed to promote nuclear power, but rather to regulate it in the interests of public health and safety and environmental protection.

Wednesday
Dec012010

China's world leadership on clean energy investment a "Sputnik moment" for U.S.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has described China's world leadership on clean energy development as a "Sputnik moment" for the United States. Chu said "America still has the opportunity to lead in a world that will need essentially a new industrial revolution to give us the energy we want inexpensively but carbon-free...[b]ut I think time is running out." Of course, nuclear power is anything but inexpensive or quick to deploy -- and just as important as a carbon-free energy future, is a nuclear-free one.