• Americans’ Support for Nuclear Power Soars to Highest Level in a Decade

    A Gallup survey released in late April found that 55 percent of U.S. adults support the use of nuclear power. That’s up four percentage points from last year and reflects the highest level of public support for nuclear energy use in electricity since 2012. As the country looks to decarbonize, the popularity of nuclear continues to climb.

  • Sustaining U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Could be Key to Decarbonization

    Nuclear power is the single largest source of carbon-free energy in the United States and currently provides nearly 20 percent of the nation’s electrical demand. New research sought to answer the question: Just how much do our existing nuclear reactors contribute to the mission of meeting the country’s climate goals, both now and if their operating licenses were extended?

  • Benefits of Lead- and Copper-Clean Drinking Water Far Exceed Initial Estimates

    The cost-benefit analysis of the EPA’s Lead and Copper Drinking Water Rule Revision (LCRR) far exceeds the EPA’s public estimates and could help inform improvements to current regulations. (LCRR) costs $335 million to implement while generating $9 billion in health benefits annually, exceeding the EPA’s public statements that the LCRR generates $645 million in annual health benefits.

  • New Tool Optimizes Irrigation

    A new tool for designing and managing irrigation for farms advances the implementation of smart agriculture, an approach that leverages data and modern technologies to boost crop yields while conserving natural resources.

  • Cybersecurity Goes Undercover to Protect Electric-Grid Data

    Researchers, inspired by one of the mysteries of human perception, invented a new way to hide sensitive electric grid information from cyberattack: Within a constantly changing color palette.

  • U.S. Should Begin Laying the Foundation for New and Advanced Nuclear Reactors: Report

    New and advanced types of nuclear reactors could play an important role in helping the U.S. meet its long-term climate goals, but a range of technical, regulatory, economic, and societal challenges must first be overcome.

  • Geothermal Energy: Limitless, Renewable, and Nonpolluting

    Geothermal resources offer a tantalizing opportunity to provide affordable, carbon-neutral electricity. It is virtually limitless, “always on,” and widely available across all fifty states.

  • The Critical Minerals End-Game?

    To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there’s been a dramatic uptake of renewable energy, primarily solar and wind, with a transition to lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. The transition relies on increasing the extraction of critical minerals for their production.

  • Enhancing Advanced Nuclear Reactor Analysis

    Nuclear power is a significant source of steady carbon-neutral electricity, and advanced reactors can add more of it to the U.S. grid, which is vital for the environment and economy. Sandia Lab researchers have developed a standardized screening method to determine the most important radioactive isotopes that could leave an advanced reactor site in the unlikely event of an accident.

  • Shutting Down Nuclear Power Could Increase Air Pollution

    Nearly 20 percent of today’s electricity in the United States comes from nuclear power. The U.S. has the largest nuclear fleet in the world, with 92 reactors scattered around the country. Many of these power plants have run for more than half a century and are approaching the end of their expected lifetimes. If reactors are retired, polluting energy sources that fill the gap could cause more than 5,000 premature deaths, researchers estimate.

  • Deadly Lessons from Fukushima Changed Japan and the World

    The strongest earthquake in Japan’s recorded history triggered a massive tsunami in 2011. Together, the two natural disasters claimed close to 20,000 lives, making the event one of the deadliest in Japan’s history. But the crisis didn’t end there.

  • Colorado River Water Plan Could Trigger Unprecedented Supply Cuts, Ripple Effects on Key Industries

    Decades of drought and overuse have brought the river’s water levels to historic lows. States in the Lower Colorado River Basin — Arizona, California and Nevada — now must choose between one of three options proposed by the federal government. The economic impact of the river’s dwindling water supplies is could be disastrous.

  • Germany: Seeking Solution for Remaining Nuclear Waste

    Nuclear energy in Germany has been history since mid-April. The last three nuclear power plants ended their operations on April 15. Germany’s nuclear power might be gone, but nuclear waste isn’t going anywhere. The search for a location for a final repository remains a challenge.

  • Forced Water-Use Cuts Made California More Waterwise

    After a drought-stricken California lifted a year of mandatory water-use cuts that were effective in 2015 and 2016, urban water use crept back up somewhat, but the overall lasting effect was a more waterwise Golden State.

  • Progress in Alternative Battery Technology

    It is not easy to make batteries cheap, efficient, durable, safe and environmentally friendly at the same time. Researchers have now succeeded in uniting all of these characteristics in zinc metal batteries. Zinc batteries are considered a possible future alternative to the lithium-ion batteries now widely in use. Currently, however, their use often requires toxic salts.