Tag: nuclear power

On today’s episode of Power Hungry, FREOPP Visiting Fellow Robert Bryce talks to Michael Shellenberger, founder of Environmental Progress, about his new book Apocalypse Never. Is nuclear power our best hope for reducing carbon emissions? They discuss that and more!


Michael Shellenberger joins Brian Anderson to discuss America’s nuclear industry, China’s deal with Saudi Arabia to produce uranium “yellowcake” from uranium ore, and Shellenberger’s new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

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The US abolished slavery in 1865 yet online it appears to have happened yesterday. There obviously was a strong moral argument against it but the Industrial Revolution facilitated its abolition. The Left simultaneously attacks anyone who had any connection with slavery and advocates the Green New Deal which would undo the Industrial Revolution. They believe […]

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Counting the Cards in Nevada


President Trump is putting Nevada in play for the 2020 election. The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project has always been a political hot potato and a hole in the ground into which Congress pours money. Senator Dean Heller, like Senator Reid before him, is opposed to the Yucca Mountain project, and there are likely not the votes to force the issue. Now the story in important Las Vegas news outlets is President Trump is on Nevada’s side.

This is very savvy. Presidents, Congress, and bureaucrats have been talking but never actually acting to use Yucca Mountain. Over decades, surely smarter answers have emerged than transporting and concentrating high-level nuclear waste in one location.

When We Retreat from Progress: Nuclear Power Edition


Nuclear Power PlantThere’s a special word — such an important word — right in the final paragraph of the new NBER working paper “The Private and External Costs of Germany’s Nuclear Phase-Out” by Stephen Jarvis, Olivier Deschenes, and Akshaya Jha: “Trade-off.”

Yup, trade-offs exist. And their reality is something that policy activists tend to ignore, but policymakers must eventually confront. No such thing as a free lunch. No something for nothing. Here’s the nuclear power trade-off identified by those researchers:

Policymakers around the world thus face a difficult trade-off. On the one hand, many climate change experts have argued that nuclear power is a necessary part of the shift away from carbon-intensive fossil fuels. Moreover, many voters are willing to incur substantial costs to reduce the risk of climate change. However, many of these same voters are also unwilling to support nuclear power due to fears surrounding nuclear accidents and nuclear waste disposal.

James B. Meigs joins Seth Barron to discuss last month’s power blackout in Manhattan, California’s self-inflicted energy crisis, and potential energy sources for the future.

“As power outages go,” Meigs writes, “the Broadway Blackout of 2019 was pretty modest.” But energy reliability is becoming an issue in states across the country. California’s largest power supplier, Meigs reports, recently announced that it will begin shutting down parts of the grid to help reduce the risk of wildfires.

James B. Meigs joins City Journal senior editor Steven Malanga to discuss the limitations of renewable energy and the need to expand nuclear technology as a source of clean and reliable electricity.

For nearly four decades, environmental activists have opposed nuclear power in favor of “green” energy. But as Meigs writes in the Winter 2019 Issue of City Journal, “nuclear power is finding new pockets of support around the world.”

Small Modular Reactors: Update


Some more news on the SMR front:

Proponents of the project say the beauty of the NuScale design is that the reactors can’t melt down, can’t be hacked and the plant does not have to be shut down to be refueled. The reactors are underground and submerged in an 80-foot pool.

An Interesting Study About Wind Farms


This Harvard Gazette article concludes that the environment impact of large-scale wind farms is not as benign as previously thought.

In two papers — published today in the journals Environmental Research Letters and Joule — Harvard University researchers find that the transition to wind or solar power in the U.S. would require five to 20 times more land than previously thought, and, if such large-scale wind farms were built, would warm average surface temperatures over the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius.

The Road To Singapore, not the 1940 film starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, but the 2018 summit featuring President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Michael Auslin, the Hoover Institution’s Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia, explains the historical significance of this first such meeting between the two nations’ heads of state, what steps might come next, and the ricochet effect across the Pacific Rim.

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Building large-scale nuclear plants in this country is fraught with peril, given the cost and time to build them. On the other hands, I believe small modular reactors (SMRs) are the future of nuclear power in this country: http://www.localnews8.com/news/idaho-falls/new-nuclear-power-plant-coming-to-idaho-falls/689548938 Preview Open

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The Resurrection of US Nuclear Power


Harry Reid almost single-handedly crippled nuclear power in this country through his efforts to block the licensing of the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. In spite of a the safety evaluation report and the environmental impact statement published by the NRC that stated the repository would be sound for the 1-million-year period of waste isolation required in the regulations, licensing the repository has remained in limbo.

It wasn’t all Harry Reid’s fault. For a number of reasons, the public has been uneasy about nuclear power. To a great extent, this ambivalence has been due to the nuclear industry’s pitiful job of educating the public. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island dominate public perception; people don’t know the difference between nuclear weapons and nuclear power. In addition, the building of plants has become prohibitively expensive, particularly without government involvement.

But, perhaps the tide is turning. On June 28, the House Energy and Commerce Committee brought HR 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amends Act of 2017, out of committee with a 49-4 vote. The Act now goes to the full House.

Trump’s Speech Should Have Been About Nuclear Power, Not the Paris Climate Agreement


Maybe the best reason, such as it is, to support American withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement has nothing to do with the climate. Under President Obama, the United States agreed to a de facto treaty without submitting it to the Senate for ratification. As the editors at National Review rightly note, “In a government of laws, process matters.” Government certainly doesn’t need more unilateralism by its chief executive.

Unfortunately, the actual reasons driving withdrawal had more to do with populist politics, nationalism, partisanship, and unreasonable disbelief in climate science than constitutional conservatism. Oh, and plenty of reflexive anti-Obamaism in there, too.

What I worry about are a) the risks from doing something new to the planet, and b) that these sorts of risks — “arising in complex systems, full of interdependencies, feedback loops, and nonlinear responses” and taking place over a long period of time — are ones policymakers and voters have a tough time grappling with.

Richard Epstein looks at Donald Trump’s recent executive orders on energy and environmental issues, explaining how free-market economics can be reconciled with good environmental stewardship.

​City Journal associate editor Matthew Hennessey and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Robert Bryce discuss the possibilities for the domestic energy industry under Trump, the state of American nuclear power, the Left’s push for all-renewable energy, and more.

City Journal is a magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute.

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Inspired by @susanquinn’s piece about what to write about and today’s Daily Shot section about Iran trying to build a nuclear warship, I thought I would throw together a simple explanation of how a nuclear reactor works. One of my favorite things about the subject is that there are always always always more things to […]

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We’ve seen some very good posts on Ricochet regarding nuclear power and how, in spite of its benefits, we are destroying this industry in our country. In a TED broadcast, Michael Shellenberger provided a reasoned and scientific explanation of the value of nuclear power. He is an environmentalist and his precise beliefs on climate change […]

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On Climate Change and Nuclear Power, Democrats May Not Be the Party of Science


Nuclear PlantEduardo Porter in the New York Times:

And yet even as progressive environmentalists wring their hands at the G.O.P.’s climate change denial, there are biases on the left that stray just as far from the scientific consensus. “The left is turning anti-science,” Marc Andreessen, the creator of Netscape who as a venture capitalist has become one of the most prominent thinkers of Silicon Valley, told me not long ago.

He was reflecting broadly about science and technology. His concerns ranged from liberals’ fear of genetically modified organisms to their mistrust of technology’s displacement of workers in some industries. “San Francisco is an interesting case,” he noted. “The left has become reactionary.”

Want to Drive an Electric Car? Move to France.


Though I gather some of the statistics it cites are disputed, Bjørn Lomborg’s new Prager U video on electric cars is an excellent example of how to think through an issue. In short, don’t be so enamored of first-order benefits that you ignore the second-order costs, and don’t forget to consider whether there might be better uses of one’s resources, even if the net benefits are positive.