Archive for the tag “nuclear energy”

The cost of Modis US Visit: Rs. 2.8 lakh cr for a dying technology and obsolete reactors

Prabir Purkayastha writes: The US, after a brief flirtation with nuclear energy, has pretty much decided not to invest any further in this technology. India is helping to revive a patient – the US nuclear industry – which has one foot already in the grave, at a cost of a whopping Rs. 2.8 lakh crore!
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Why is India importing US nuclear reactors that even the US doesn’t want?

Nityanand Jayaraman writes: A new report warns that India’s plans to import 12 nuclear reactors from ailing American  equipment suppliers is financially fraught and irrelevant for India’s electricity needs. If built, the reactors will cost anywhere between Rs 6.3 lakh crore and Rs 11 lakh crore, thereby translating to unaffordable and obscenely high electricity tariffs.

The deals have more to do with the financial well-being of US equipment suppliers than with the aspirations of Indias electricity consumers.
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News update

OMG… Greenland’s ice sheets are melting fast
The Guardian UK
An urgent attempt to study the rate at which Greenland’s mighty ice sheets are melting has been launched by Nasa. The aim of the six-year project, called Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG), is to understand how fast the world’s warming seas are now eroding the edges of the island’s vast icecaps. Warming air temperatures are already causing considerable glacier loss there, but the factors involving the sea that laps the bases of its great ice masses, and which is also heating up, are less well understood.

Snatching Defeat
Albert Bates, The Great Change
Last week we concluded our post on climate change with a quote from James Hansen, the matter is urgent and calls for emergency cooperation among nations. All this year we have been leading up to our collective fin de seicle moment in December, the grand denouement of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol in Paris. At this late date, we are frankly pessimistic for the outcome there.

Undamming Rivers: A Chance For New Clean Energy Source
John Waldman & Karin Limburg, Yale Environment 360
Many hydroelectric dams produce modest amounts of power yet do enormous damage to rivers and fish populations. Why not take down these aging structures, build solar farms in the drained reservoirs, and restore the natural ecology of the rivers?

The Devil in Obama’s New Emissions Target for the US Lies in Base Year Details
Vasudevan Mukunth, The Wire
The US’s carbon dioxide emissions peaked in 2005, at 5,828.63 million metric tons. This convenient choice of a base year allows the US a leeway that’s 18.64% higher than its 1990 emissions – 1990 being the year that the Kyoto Protocol uses as a base. The absence of any rules on what can or can’t constitute base years is leveraged by many countries. In Europe, for example, the base year is 1990 because that’s when emissions peaked followed by a steady decline in industrial activity as well as a growing adoption of renewable energy options.

Japan restarts first nuclear reactor since Fukushima disaster
The Guardian UK
Japan has begun a controversial return to nuclear power generation with the restart of a reactor in the country’s south-west, four and a half years after its faith in atomic energy was shattered by the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi. Kyushu Electric Power, the operator of the Sendai plant, said it had restarted one of the facility’s two reactors on Tuesday morning, in defiance of strong local opposition. The move marks the first time Japan has generated nuclear power since a post-Fukushima shutdown of all its 44 operable reactors two years ago.

Space mining is closer than you think, and the prospects are great
Andrew Dempster, The Conversation
Recently, the American cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson gushed about the prospects of mining in space, and the benefits that might afford humanity. Is this really plausible? What can we mine in space? And will it really deliver world peace, or just another realm for competition and conflict? Perhaps a look at the immediate past and near future may help us answer some of these questions.

Sustainable development is failing but there are alternatives to capitalism
Ashish Kothari, Federico Demaria and Alberto Acosta, The Guardian UK
In the face of worsening ecological and economic crises and continuing social deprivation, the last two decades have seen two broad trends emerge among those seeking sustainability, equality and justice. First there are the green economy and sustainable development approaches that dominate the upcoming Paris climate summit and the post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs). To date, such measures have failed to deliver a harmonisation of economic growth, social welfare and environmental protection. Political ecology paradigms, on the other hand, call for more fundamental changes, challenging the predominance of growth-oriented development based on fossil fuels, neoliberal capitalism and related forms of so-called representative democracy.

News update

How Climate Change is Going To Affect India
By Nidhi Jamwal, Yahoo India
A new set of reports by UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change point to the rising incidence of freak weather occurrences, and the very real impact of these on our lives. Of course we’ve all heard of global warming, but here’s how it affects us directly in India, and here’s why you should care.

IPCC reports diluted under political pressure to protect fossil fuel interests
By Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian
Increasing evidence is emerging that the policy summaries on climate impacts and mitigation by the UN Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were significantly diluted under political pressure from some of the worlds biggest greenhouse gas emitters, including Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil and the United States.

Is Climate Change a Crime Against Humanity?
By Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com
Thanks to a grim report in 2013 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we know that there is now a 95%-100% likelihood that “human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming [of the planet] since the mid-20th century.” We know as well that the warming of the planet thanks to the fossil fuel system we live by and the greenhouse gases it deposits in the atmosphere is already doing real damage to our world.

US Gov’t Slashes California Oil Estimate by Over 95%
By Post Carbon Institute
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has drastically reduced its estimate of recoverable oil in California’s Monterey shale formation from 13.7 billion barrels to just 0.6 billion barrels—a reduction of over 95%. The downgrade puts a question mark over hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and other forms of well stimulation-enabled oil development, which has been touted as the harbingers of a new oil boom.

Addicted to oil
By Dawn Stover, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Instead of looking to scientists, politicians, and economists for ideas about how to address the climate crisis, maybe it’s time to turn to mental health professionals. They’re the experts on why people engage in self-destructive behaviors, and on what can help addicts break these bad habits.

Historic Sino-Russia Deal Bypasses US Dollar
By Farooque Chowdhury, Countercurrents.org
In a symbolic, but historic blow to the hegemony of US dollar, China and Russia have concluded an agreement with far-reaching significance. The deal bypasses US dollar in part of the two emerging powers’ trade. According to the agreement, two financial institutions of the two countries will pay each other in domestic currencies. However, major western news agencies and media outlets have ignored the news.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Parsing 2014
By Tom Whipple, Falls Church News-Press
Within the next few years, we are likely to see drops in conventional production as the pace for exploring and developing new oil fields contracts. On top of the geologic problems, the political situation in several oil producing countries seem likely to get worse before the year is out. We have already lost substantial oil production from Syria, Egypt, Yemen, South Sudan, and Iran.

Nuclear energy not economically viable
From Forbes.com
Nuclear power is no longer an economically viable source of new energy in the United States, the freshly-retired CEO of Exelon, America’s largest producer of nuclear power, has said. And it won’t become economically viable, he said, for the foreseeable future.

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