August 27, 2021
New York Times: "From a public health perspective, nuclear power is also much safer than fossil fuels, Joshua S. Goldstein, Staffan A. Qvist and Steven Pinker argued in The Times in 2019. According to one study published this year, air pollution from fossil fuels killed a staggering 8.7 million people in 2018. By contrast, Goldstein, Qvist and Pinker noted that in 60 years of nuclear power, only three accidents have raised public alarm, and just one — Chernobyl — directly caused any deaths."
"What about nuclear waste, which can remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years? Compared with climate change, it’s a much easier environmental problem to solve, they wrote. More than 90 percent of spent fuel can be recycled, and that which can’t could be entombed in repositories deep underground, as is done in Finland."
August 16, 2021
New York Times: "With climate change and long-term drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government on Monday for the first time declared a water shortage at Lake Mead, one of the river’s main reservoirs."
"The declaration triggers cuts in water supply that, for now, mostly will affect Arizona farmers. Beginning next year they will be cut off from much of the water they have relied on for decades. Much smaller reductions are mandated for Nevada and for Mexico across the southern border."
"But larger cuts, affecting far more of the 40 million people in the West who rely on the river for at least part of their water supply, are likely in coming years as a warming climate continues to reduce how much water flows into the Colorado from rain and melting snow."
August 13, 2021
Fareed Zakaria: "We need to reduce emissions sharply, and now. Here’s what we could do right away.
First, stop retiring nuclear power plants and start building new ones. Nuclear power is a zero-emissions fuel that is always on.
Second, we need to get coal — the dirtiest fuel — from 20 percent of our electricity supply down to zero. Where possible, we should replace it with wind, solar or biomass. But the easiest, quickest way will often be to use natural gas, which still produces half the carbon emissions. We should also get the developing world to stop building coal-fired plants, many of them Chinese-sponsored, and instead help them build power plants to run on U.S. natural gas.
Third, electric cars have come of age and can replace internal combustion vehicles, and we should speed this transition by building out thousands of charging stations.
Fourth, industry releases about a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and is hard to decarbonize. (Very high heat is often needed, and some chemical processes unavoidably release carbon dioxide.) So we should require the use of currently available carbon-capture technologies, including a massive expansion of the oldest one we know of: trees.
August 11, 2021
San Luis Obispo Tribune: "Closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant by 2025 effectively kills a plan for Diablo’s desalination plant to supply water to 4,000 homes in south San Luis Obispo County — a project that was widely hailed as a valuable tool for protecting communities during drought and unreliable state water deliveries."
“'The desal project will have to be scrapped,' said San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill, whose district includes Diablo Canyon. 'I think it has got to be taken out of the equation right now.'”
July 18, 2021
World Nuclear News: "Nearly 100 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called on the European Commission 'to follow the science' and include nuclear under the EU's Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. According to a letter sent to Commissioners and published by European nuclear trade body Foratom, the MEPs urge them 'to choose the path that their scientific experts have now advised them to take,' namely to include nuclear power in the EU's Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance."
July 16, 2021
Washington Post: "Maine became the first state in the nation to require companies that create consumer packaging to pay for the costs of recycling it when Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill Tuesday establishing an “extended producer responsibility” program."
July 13, 2021
Nuclear News Wire: "Companion bills that call for amending the Internal Revenue Code to establish a tax credit to help existing merchant nuclear plants continue operations debuted on Capitol Hill last week."