While the events in Japan may give the anti-nuclear power fanatics an argument to use against future nuclear power, the fact is all the world’s nuclear power plants are based on very old technology. There are new innovations that solves a lot of the problems nuclear power may have (which have proven to be very few after all this time, it takes catastrophes for the plants to be a problem for the environment).
Thorium may be the answer nuclear power has needed all this time. Thorium based reactors are much smaller, are even portable. Do not have the problems that water based reactors have. And thorium as a fuel is more plentiful than uranium. We have enough in storage already to power the country for decades.
Hopefully this will pan out. New forms of energy storage are always being discussed but have yet to deliver at the levels we need.
Scientists say the revolutionary ‘STAIR’ (St Andrews Air) battery could now pave the way for a new generation of electric cars, laptops and mobile phones.
The cells are charged in a traditional way but as power is used or ‘discharged’ an open mesh section of battery draws in oxygen from the surrounding air.
This oxygen reacts with a porous carbon component inside the battery, which creates more energy and helps to continually ‘charge’ the cell as it is being discharged.
By replacing the traditional chemical constituent, lithium cobalt oxide, with porous carbon and oxygen drawn from the air, the cell is much lighter than current batteries.
And as the cycle of air helps re-charge the battery as it is used, it has a greater storage capacity than other similar-sized cells and can emit power up to 10 times longer.
There’s one simple way they can help turn the economy around and they won’t do it. In fact, the Democrats are costing the US economy trillions of dollars according to a new study.
Restrictions on oil and gas drilling will cost the U.S. economy $2.36 trillion through 2029, according to a study requested by state utility regulators and paid for in part by industry-sponsored groups.
Drilling restrictions in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off the U.S. coastline are blocking access to about nine years’ worth of U.S. oil and gas consumption, according to the report. Among sponsors are the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the industry-funded Gas Technology Institute, of Des Plaines, Illinois.
Former President George W. Bush and Congress ended bans in 2008 on drilling along the U.S. coastline. The Interior Department hasn’t acted to open the newly available areas, including offshore Alaska and on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Congress has kept the Arctic refuge off limits.
Just think what they already cost us. They could have been pumping oil almost 40 years ago when we had the first energy crisis.
The Democrats have been blocking the US from pumping its own oil (or refining it, no new refineries are being built and they’re needed). They’ve tried to shut down coal in this country and blocked natural gas production. They are against America’s energy independence while at the same time calling for it.
It’s clear that they’re not serious. When it comes to the election this year only vote for those politicians who are for drilling. Don’t base it on what they say now, base it on their track record.
Obama is doing something that on the surface sounds like a great idea, pushing nuclear power. Except his alleged support for it is fraught with typical anti-science stupidity this administration is becoming famous for.
Obama singled out nuclear power in his State of the Union address, and his spending plan for the next budget year is expected to include billions of more dollars in federal guarantees for new nuclear reactors. This emphasis reflects both the political difficulties of passing a climate bill in an election year and a shift from his once cautious embrace of nuclear energy.
He’s now calling for a new generation of nuclear power plants.
During the campaign, Obama said he would support nuclear power with caveats. He was concerned about how to deal with radioactive waste and how much federal money was needed to support construction costs. Those concerns remain; some say they’ve gotten worse.
His administration has pledged to close Yucca Mountain, the planned multibillion-dollar burial ground in the Nevada desert for high-level radioactive waste. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has been criticized for his slow rollout of $18.5 billion in loan guarantees to spur investment in new nuclear power plants, and the administration killed a Bush-era proposal to reprocess nuclear fuel.
Yes, he wants to close down the only storage site in the US designed to hold waste. A site that’s over 100 miles from a major city (Las Vegas) and which has been studied to death. The best argument they can use against it is in some hypothetical earthquake the materials could be pushed to the surface from where it would have been buried 100s of feet below the ground. If there was an earthquake like that, nuclear waste would be the least of your concerns. But logic and hysterics are never companions.
The government spent $38 billion dollars building the site after years of feasibility studies, but spendthrift Obama wants to close it while at the same time claiming he is for Nuclear Power.
It’s taken decades for so called greens to come to the conclusion more educated people already knew, that nuclear power is the cleanest man made energy source, more powerful than anything other than fossil fuels. And cleaner than any other. Unlike hydro electric dams or windmills, wildlife isn’t harmed by it.
The 104 nuclear reactors in operation in 31 states provide only 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. But they are responsible for 70 percent of the power from pollution-free sources, including wind, solar and hydroelectric dams.
Now that’s bang for the buck. The high costs of reactors has more to do with fighting off all the NIMBY and “green” lawsuits that come with building one.
The nuclear waste issue is the only major problem and it would be dealt with if we had Yucca Mountain. But Obama wants it closed.
His push for Nuclear power, coupled with green ideologue, Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s slow roll out of loan guarantees for reactors, an attempt to woo Republicans and Independents in an election year. That’s not going to happen over an issue like this. Especially when he is screwing up so badly in so many other ways.
UPDATE: A more detailed version of this article is on Big Journalism now.
60 Minutes did a segment on how Fusion power is becoming a hot topic again. I don’t know if this is true or not. Cold fusion has some serious problems, but if they found a way to make it work, it could solve all our energy problems as well as put to rest all that CO2 BS.
The problem I have with it is its a little too convenient that the story is coming out now. When you have an administration made up of green ideologues who might be willing to throw billions at this research without checking it out first.
But like I said, I hope it’s real this time.
Just in one US oil formation alone, we have:
North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.
A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10, shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency’s 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.
Technically recoverable oil resources are those producible using currently available technology and industry practices. USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources.
New geologic models applied to the Bakken Formation, advances in drilling and production technologies, and recent oil discoveries have resulted in these substantially larger technically recoverable oil volumes. About 105 million barrels of oil were produced from the Bakken Formation by the end of 2007.
And we have all that oil in Alaska they won’t let us tap, and off the coasts of America. Energy independence requires the will and non-ideological cranks in government.