• China says it has mastered the process of reprocessing nuclear fuel

    One way to extend to energy productivity of nuclear fuel is to reprocess it after it has been used; reprocessing nuclear fuel costs significantly more than using it once and storing it as waste; it is also controversial because extracted plutonium can be used in nuclear weapons; China has just announced that it has mastered the technology for reprocessing fuel from nuclear power plants, potentially boosting the supplies of carbon-free electricity to keep the country’s economy booming

  • Debate over extending operation of aging NY reactor

    The Indian Point Energy Center is located on the banks of the Hudson River just twenty-four miles north of Manhattan; its reactors are aging: the first reactor at the center began operating in 1962 and shut down in 1974; two new reactors were built in 1974 and 1976; the plant operator seeks permission from the U.S. government to extend operations at the plant; many locals oppose the extension, citing what they say are inadequate emergency evacuation plans in the event of a disaster, and the damage the plant cooling system inflicts on aquatic life

  • Declining energy quality root cause of current recession

    A new concept — the Energy Intensity Ratio (EIR) — measures how much profit is obtained by energy consumers relative to energy producers; the higher the EIR, the more economic value consumers (including businesses, governments and people) get from their energy; to get the U.S. economy growing again, Americans will have to increase the U.S. EIR by producing and using energy more efficiently

  • Norway looking to osmotic power generation

    Water-based energy generation conjures up pictures of towering hydro-electric dams, submerged tidal turbines, and bobbing wave-energy converters; the energy embodied in moving water — which all of these technologies exploit — is one way to make electricity from the sea, but it is not the only one; in Scandinavia, a pilot power station is demonstrating that another of the sea’s defining characteristics, saltiness, could also be harnessed to provide electricity

  • Sea-based energy could supply 50% of Europe's needs by 2050

    By 2050 Europe could get up to 50 percent of its electricity needs from renewable marine sources; marine renewable energies include harnessing the power of offshore wind, waves, tides, and ocean currents as well as exploiting salinity and temperature gradients and using algae for biofuel production

  • MIT: No shortage of uranium for nuclear energy, more research needed

    New study challenges the assumption that the world is running out of uranium — and suggests that nuclear power using today’s reactor technology with a once-through fuel cycle can play a significant part in displacing the world’s carbon-emitting fossil-fuel plants, and thus help to reduce the potential for global climate change

  • Scientists call for a global nuclear power renaissance

    Scientists call for a 2-stage campaign to revive nuclear power; the first stage could see countries with existing nuclear infrastructure replacing or extending the life of nuclear power stations, followed by a second phase of global expansion in the industry by the year 2030; the team says their roadmap could fill an energy gap as old nuclear, gas, and coal fired plants around the world are decommissioned, while helping to reduce the planet’s dependency on fossil fuels

  • Obama panel recommends active U.S. backing for clean coal

    A panel appointed by President Obama calls for an active U.S. government role in promoting carbon capture and storage, or CCS, a largely undeveloped technology that aims to prevent carbon emissions blamed for global warming from entering the atmosphere; panel recommends government’s consideration of accepting liability over carbon storage sites for thousands of years to come

  • FutureGen 2.0 clean-coal project awarded $1 Billion in funding

    The Obama administration awarded $1 billion to an Illinois project that aims sharply to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from coal-fired power plants; this was but the latest move in a long-running saga aiming to prove coal’s viability as a source of fuel amid widespread pressure to combat climate change

  • U.K. to build ten new nuclear power plants by 2025

    The United Kingdom will build ten new nuclear power plants by 2025; these plants will supply 25 percent of the country’s energy needs; to move the licensing process quickly, the government has promised “faster and fairer planning decisions”

  • Grid in western U.S. can handle more renewable energy

    A new study says 35 percent of electricity in the western United States could come from solar and wind — without expensive new backup power plants; the findings provide a strong counterargument to the idea that the existing power grid is insufficient to handle increasing amounts of renewable power

  • U.S. military warns of massive oil shortages by 2015

    A new study by the U.S. military warns of serious oil shortages by 2015: surplus oil production will disappear by 2012, and as early as 2015 the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day; the Joint Operating Environment report paints a bleak picture of what can happen on occasions when there is serious economic upheaval: “One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their nations by ruthless conquest,” it warns darkly

  • U.S. gives loan guarantees for new nuclear power reactors in Georgia

    Deal is major step toward restarting the U.S. domestic nuclear industry; the Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized DOE to issue loan guarantees for projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and employ new or significantly-improved technologies

  • U.K.: New nuclear reactors might not stand up to terrorist attacks

    Last September the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission rejected the Westinghouse-Toshiba design for a new reactor because a key component might not withstand events like earthquakes and tornadoes; this week, the U.K.’s nuclear safety watchdog said it might decide to reject the same reactor design because it could be vulnerable to terrorist attacks

  • Boeing, Edison awarded part of $620 million to build smart grid

    The Department of Energy the other day awarded $620 million in funding for building a more efficient and resilient power grid