Renewables Can't Save the Planet. Only Nuclear Can

Renewables Can't Save the Planet. Only Nuclear Can

The lesson Vaclav Smil's Energy and Civilization does not draw, but that flows inevitably from his work, is that for modern societies to do less environmental damage, every country must move toward more reliable and denser energy sources. In recent decades, governments have spent billions of dollars subsidizing renewables, with predictably underwhelming results. It’s high time for countries to turn to the safer, cheaper, and cleaner alternative.

Read More

Are we really going to allow global nuclear domination by Russia?

Are we really going to allow global nuclear domination by Russia?

Sometime this fall, a U.S. federal bankruptcy judge in New York will decide the fate of Westinghouse, the venerable nuclear power company that failed financially earlier this year.

When the decision is made, it will determine something far more important: whether the West will play an active role in mitigating the twin threats of nuclear proliferation and climate change, or instead cede the global market for nuclear energy to Russia.

To succeed, a reorganized Westinghouse will need a management team capable of breaking from the past and adopting a different, well-tested nuclear plant design; as well as the long-term, low-interest financing required to compete with the Russians.

Read More

New South Carolina Nuclear Plant Would Cut Coal Use by 86%, New Analysis Finds

New South Carolina Nuclear Plant Would Cut Coal Use by 86%, New Analysis Finds

In 2016, the president of the Sierra Club stated publicly that he opposed replacing nuclear plants with fossil fuels generating attention that green groups had softened their strident anti-nuclear position.

But just a few weeks later, Sierra Club loudly endorsed closing Indian Point and Diablo Canyon nuclear plants in New York and California respectively.

Now, Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth (FOE) are celebrating the temporary halting of construction on a new nuclear plant in South Carolina — V.C. Summer — which they had lobbied strenuously to kill.

A new Environmental Progress analysis finds that if Summer were completed, the share of electricity South Carolina generates from coal would decline by 86 percent — the equivalent of 3.8 million cars.

Read More

Greenpeace’s Dirty War on Clean Energy, Part I: South Korean Version

Greenpeace’s Dirty War on Clean Energy, Part I: South Korean Version

Last fall, a South Korean filmmaker released the trailer for "Pandora," a feature-length disaster movie that opens with a nuclear power plant exploding. After it was accused of secretly financing the film, whose filmmaker claimed cost just a half-million dollars, Greenpeace insisted it had merely funded the screenings, street protests and lawsuits.

Atomic humanists will likely never have the resources of Greenpeace and other anti-humanists. But we don’t need them. We have something far more important on our side: the truth.

Read More

The case for 100 percent renewables rested on a lie. Here's what it teaches us about energy and the environment

The case for 100 percent renewables rested on a lie. Here's what it teaches us about energy and the environment

A study published earlier this week shows that the proposal to power the US on wind, water and solar rests on a single, gigantic lie — and an opportunity for policymakers, informed citizens and journalists to understand how the energy density of fuels largely determines their human and environmental impact. 

Nowhere is the relationship between energy density and environmental impact more clear than in the production of toxic waste.

While we hear a lot about nuclear, a new EP investigation has discovered that solar panels produces 300 times more toxic waste than nuclear plants, and no nation outside of Europe has a plan to prevent them from contaminating water supplies in Asia and Africa.  

Read More

Are we headed for a solar waste crisis?

Are we headed for a solar waste crisis?

How big of a problem is solar waste?

Environmental Progress investigated the problem to see how the problem compared to the much more high-profile issue of nuclear waste. 

We found:

  • Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.

  • If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km). 

Read More

Nope, there’s no perinatal mortality surge from Fukushima fallout

Nope, there’s no perinatal mortality surge from Fukushima fallout

Biostatistician Hagen Scherb, a prominent anti-nuclear researcher at Germany’s prestigious Helmholtz Institute, specializes in statistical analyses that link Chernobyl radiation to vast increases of disease and death in infants and fetuses all over Europe. Now he’s weighing in on the Fukushima accident.

Health threats to children in Fukushima have been a major theme of alarmist claims since the accident. And like the thyroid-cancer scare, they have been thoroughly debunked. Scherb’s new claim is no different.

Read More

Dark Money Behind Food & Water Watch Ad Blitz Attacking Clean Energy in New York

Dark Money Behind Food & Water Watch Ad Blitz Attacking Clean Energy in New York

A $14 million-a-year anti-nuclear outfit called Food and Water Watch refuses to say who is funding its last minute TV ad blitz aimed at killing New York's largest source of clean energy in the state legislature.

The group has expanded its efforts with advertising in New York — one of the most expensive media markets in the country — with the apparent goal of killing the historic legislation passed last year by the New York Public Service Commission, which recognized the importance of nuclear as a source of clean reliable power last year. 

Read More

Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos can save America's largest source of clean power. Here's how.

Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos can save America's largest source of clean power. Here's how.

Amazon's commitment to renewables is at risk of becoming more than mere greenwashing: it could kill 90 percent of Ohio's clean power, destroy 1,400 high-paying jobs, and make the state the most-polluted in the nation.

Now, Ohio community leaders, climate scientists including James Hansen, environmentalists including Whole Earth Catalog Stewart Brand, and prominent high-tech leaders are urging Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, to change Amazon's definition of renewables to include nuclear, and save Ohio's nuclear plants.

Read More

Big Oil is trying to kill clean energy in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Here's who will pay the price.

Big Oil is trying to kill clean energy in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Here's who will pay the price.

Environmental Progress has discovered that American Petroleum Institute — Big Oil — is spending millions to kill clean energy in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

We gave the information to the Wall Street Journal, which published our exposé today.

If the fossil energy lobby wins, the most vulnerable people — children, the elderly, and the ill — will pay the heaviest price.

Read More

New Study Finds Surprising Health Benefits of Nuclear Power

New Study Finds Surprising Health Benefits of Nuclear Power

Experts have long recognized the negative impact of fossil fuel air pollution on public health, and the relative safety of nuclear power. But prior studies have been limited in their ability to directly measure health trade-offs from moving from nuclear to fossil fuels. 

Now, a new study in Nature Energy by a young economist at Carnegie Mellon University, finds that the temporary closure of two nuclear plants in the early 1980s led directly to lower birth weights — a key indicator of poor health outcomes later in life.

The study could play an important role in catalyzing action to keep nuclear plants on-line.

Read More

Why Britain Can Save Nuclear — For Itself, and for the World

Why Britain Can Save Nuclear — For Itself, and for the World

Britain has been one of the shining hopes for a nuclear renaissance. Committed to strong climate action, and concerned over the security of its energy supplies, the island nation has plans to build 12 reactors.

But now, the bankruptcy of Westinghouse has put into question all of those plans.

In a new piece for the British newspaper, The Financial Times, I argue that the crisis brings an opportunity for the UK government to save nuclear power — not just for itself, but also for the world.

The key? Standardize a single, simple design, and build it over and over again. History shows that the experience afforded by standardization is the key to making nuclear cheap.

Read More