March 23, 2011

NRG Energy Casts Doubt on Reactor Plans

NRG Energy's CEO said the power company's plans to build two big reactors at its South Texas nuclear plant could be delayed, or even canceled, in light of the Japan crisis.

Yucca Mountain Wouldn’t Be Enough for 72K Tons of Spent Nuclear Fuel at U.S. Plants

The nuclear crisis in Japan has laid bare an ever-growing problem — the enormous amounts of still-hot radioactive waste accumulating at commercial nuclear reactors in more than 30 states.

California Judge Calls Time Out for Climate Change Law

Conservatives spent millions trying to derail California's global-warming law. Now it is on hold thanks to liberal activists.

Disruption in Japan Slows Rise in Oil Price

Japan's oil demand has dropped by about a million barrels a day, but analysts warned the reduction was only temporary.

As More Commercial Buildings Go Green, a Few Go 'Net-Zero'

The Department of Energy's website lists eight net-zero-energy commercial buildings up and running in the country. But the real number could be closer to 25, with about 50 more in construction.

Jatropha Biofuel 'Produces Six Times Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Fossil Fuels'

A study of a proposed 50,000 hectare jatropha plantation development in Kenya found that emissions in producing the biofuel would be 2.5 to six times higher than the fossil fuel equivalents.

First Solar Breaks Ground on Its Thin-Film PV Module Manufacturing Plant in Vietnam

Just fifteen miles outside of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam's Dong Nam Industrial Park, First Solar has begun construction on its $300 million, four-line PV module manufacturing plant.

Two Thirds of Global Firms See Climate Adaptation as an Opportunity

According to a major new global survey of 700 top business executives undertaken by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of UK Trade & Investment, almost two thirds of businesses now regard climate change and the need for adaptation measures as a commercial opportunity.

Biofuel Policy is Causing Starvation, Says Nestlé Boss

Soaring food inflation is the result of "immoral" policies in the U.S. which divert crops for use in the production of biofuels instead of food, according to the chairman of one of the world's largest food companies.

Northern Ireland Boosts Renewable Energy Subsidies

The Northern Ireland Assembly approved amendments to the province's renewable energy subsidy scheme, upping payments for energy generated through anaerobic digestion and updating tariffs.

March 22, 2011

Steam Rises from Stricken Japan Plant

Smoke and steam rose from two of the most threatening reactors at Japan's quake-crippled nuclear plant on Tuesday, suggesting the battle to avert a disastrous meltdown was far from won.

Japan Fears Food Contamination as Battle to Cool Nuclear Plant Continues

Abnormal radiation levels in Japan have been reported in tap water, vegetables and milk with concerns that fish may also be affected.


Japan Extended Reactor’s Life, Despite Warning

Regulators approved a 10-year extension for the oldest reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant despite safety warnings.

Australia Weighs Nuclear Push after Japan Crisis

Japan's nuclear crisis threatens to derail a political push by Australia's government to overturn a ban on selling uranium to India, as well as a drive to use nuclear power domestically.

Calif. Senators Call on Utilities to Delay Nuclear Plant Relicensing for New Seismic Studies

State lawmakers called on California utilities to delay efforts to relicense nuclear plants until there are detailed seismic maps to get a picture of the risks posed by earthquakes and tsunamis.

Obama Administration Approves First Post-Spill Deepwater Exploration Plan

The Obama administration on Monday approved the first deepwater oil-and-gas exploration plan since last year's massive oil spill.

Atlantic Oil Spill Threatens Endangered Penguins

Conservationists say an oil slick from a wrecked ship is threatening endangered penguins on a remote British South Atlantic territory.

China Rare Earth Prices Explode as Export Volumes Collapse

China's exports of rare earth metals burst through the $100,000-per-ton mark for the first time in February, up almost ninefold from a year before.

Mauritania, Kuwait, Jordan Water Said Least Secure

Mauritania, Kuwait and Jordan have the least secure water supplies, according to a ranking on Tuesday that says shortages in the Middle East and North Africa might cause political tensions.

Michigan County Welcomes Wind Farm with Open Arms

While wind farms in many communities are contentious and controversial, a major wind development in Gratiot County, Michigan, enjoys nearly unanimous support from residents and county officials.

In Small Wind Versus Solar, It's All About Location

To perform at capacity, small wind turbines need strong, steady wind, while solar panels are more versatile in where they can be used, say experts.

March 21, 2011

New Repairs Delay Work at Crippled Nuclear Plant

A team of workers trying to repair a separate reactor was forced to evacuate Tuesday after smoke was spotted escaping Reactor No. 3, according to the public broadcaster NHK.

Top Nuke Regulator Eyes Two-Part Safety Review, Won’t Rule out Licensing Changes

The NRC said Sunday that the upcoming study of U.S. reactor safety will unfold in two phases to allow a near-term review while awaiting detailed information to emerge from Japan.

In Wake of Crisis in Japan, U.S. Official Suggests Putting Reactors Near Big Cities May Change

Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested Sunday that Japan's nuclear crisis might make it less likely that new nuclear reactors are built near large American cities.

U.S. Coal Miners Set to Profit as Fears Rise Over Nuclear Power

U.S. coal companies are poised to benefit from a move away from nuclear energy because of concerns raised by the severe crisis at reactors in Japan.

Nuclear Wake-Up Call for Merkel in State Vote

Voters handed German Chancellor Merkel a wake-up call Sunday on nuclear power after the Japan crisis as the Greens more than doubled their score in the second of 2011's seven state elections.

Coast Guard Collecting Samples of Substance in Gulf of Mexico After Reports of Oil Sheen

The U.S. Coast Guard says there is some sort of substance on the water in the Gulf of Mexico, and officials are collecting samples to determine what it is.

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