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The Moral Question Of Our Time: Can We Share The Planet?

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 23, 2014 - 50 comments

ITER

A Star in a Bottle. "An audacious plan to create a new energy source could save the planet from catastrophe. But time is running out."
posted by homunculus on Feb 25, 2014 - 52 comments

Japan energy: the sun also rises

Abe's Nuclear Energy Policy and Japan's Future: "Japan has nearly doubled spending on solar power projects to $20 bn and ramped up renewable energy capacity equivalent to six nuclear reactors, pointing the way to a sustainable and cheaper alternative to nuclear energy." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 11, 2013 - 32 comments

I love a sun-powered country, A land of deepening mines, of ragged nuclear plants, of biomass and hydropower

While developed countries are pondering whether they should sign up to The Kyoto 2 Protocol and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5% by 2020, based on 2000 levels which may be of questionable impact, the tiny Pacific territory of Tokelau has ditched its primary source of electricity generation, costly diesel imports, in favour of 100% renewable solar power, becoming the first nation in the world to do so, at a time when the global energy systems of the 21C are struggling towards decarbonisation. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Nov 9, 2012 - 60 comments

Electricity in Japan

In the year and a half since the earthquake and tsunami caused an industry-wide Japanese nuclear shutdown , Japanese consumers and businesses have been urged to conserve energy whenever possible. Although a few reactors are being brought back online temporarily, the Japanese government has pledged to move away from nuclear power sources. Yesterday the Japanese government announced what may be the world's highest solar photovolatic feed-in tariff at 53 cents per kWh generated. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Jun 20, 2012 - 47 comments

"That will be the end"

A month ago, the Japanese TV show "Morning Bird" discussed the current state of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and specifically Unit 4, which is in terrible condition. During an interview with Dr. Hiroaki Koide, Research Associate at the Research Reactor Institute of Kyoto University, who explains the immense difficulty in moving the radioactive fuel rods - a process that will not even start until 2013 - the presenter asks what would happen if even a moderate earthquake struck near the plant before the fuel rods can be moved. Koide replies:
That will be the end.

posted by crayz on Apr 14, 2012 - 107 comments

One Year Later

On the one year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, the Economist magazine now considers Nuclear energy to be "the dream that failed", in an issue with articles covering the history, safety issues, handling of nuclear waste, and costs (with emphasis on China) of nuclear power. [more inside]
posted by vidur on Mar 11, 2012 - 50 comments

Tick, Tick, Boom

The National Ignition Facility (and fusion power) has been in the news lately. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse on Nov 28, 2011 - 38 comments

MotherBoard TV: The Thorium Dream

MotherBoard TV: The Thorium Dream If, like many of the world's leaders, you are eager for a dependable and cheap energy source that doesn't spew toxins and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- and that doesn't result in terrible, billion dollar accidents -- you can end your search now. At least, that's the news from a tight-knit collective of energy blogs, dedicated to a common but relatively unknown metal called thorium. In the right kind of nuclear reactor, they say, thorium could power the world forever -- and without the problems that come with the nuclear energy we use today, from Fukushima-like meltdowns to the difficult by-products of plutonium that leave behind radioactive waste and weapons material. The idea certainly sounds like the stuff of fringe internet conspiracists, but it was actually born in the U.S. government's major atomic lab in the 1960s under the auspices of one of the country's most respected nuclear scientists, and the inventor of today's most common kind of nuclear technology, the light water reactor. - Thorium: World's Greatest Energy Breakthrough? [more inside]
posted by ninjew on Nov 28, 2011 - 58 comments

The Energy Landscape of 2041

Energy: the new thirty years' war; we are heading for a global succeed-or-perish contest among the energy big hitters – but who will be the winners and losers? Michael Klare; (via )
posted by adamvasco on Jun 30, 2011 - 60 comments

Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

On June 7th the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska briefly lost the ability to cool spent fuel rods after a fire at the site. The FAA issued a directive prohibiting aircraft from entering airspace in a two mile radius of the plant. Since last week the plant has been under a "notice of unusual event" because of the Missouri River flooding. Local news reports that the "facility is an island right now". The flight ban remains in effect. [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on Jun 16, 2011 - 121 comments

Confessions of a Nuclear Power Safety Expert

Confessions of a Nuclear Power Safety Expert.
posted by - on Jun 14, 2011 - 76 comments

renewable is doable if governments are think-it-throughable?

As you may know, Japan's prime minister Naoto Kan announced two days ago that plans for new nuclear power plants in Japan are to be scrapped (NYT). Meanwhile, a landmark study from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says renewable energy can power the world (Guardian - article includes many related links). Here's a summary of the IPCC Special Report.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 12, 2011 - 118 comments

Wheels! Threads! Atoms!

War is Boring's Steve Weintz has a two-part article up on mobile nuclear reactors, called Atoms In Motion: Portable Reactors (part two here). The links referenced cover planes, trains, and automobiles (though calling the last one an "automobile" might be stretching the definition a little.)
posted by Harald74 on May 10, 2011 - 8 comments

Maybe nuclear power is your problem, too?

The German weekly newspaper Die Zeit shows Americans (and a few Canadians) what a Fukushima-sized evacuation zone might mean to them.
posted by rhombus on Apr 12, 2011 - 197 comments

"This house believes that the world would be better off without nuclear power."

The Economist is holding an online debate on nuclear power. These debates provide a great opportunity to get an overview of the different perspectives on an issue. If f you are so inclined, you can share your own views on the topic too. Today's discussions focus on a contribution by Amory Lovins.
posted by philipy on Apr 11, 2011 - 68 comments

Japanpost-earthquake nuclear crisis keeps going

Fukushima Dai-ichi status and potential outcomes The Oil Drum has begun posting daily threads about the Japanese nuclear plant event. As during the last energy crisis, the comments there tend to have a good signal-to-noise ratio.
posted by mediareport on Mar 17, 2011 - 1789 comments

ending corporate welfare

Get the Energy Sector off the Dole - Why ending all government subsidies for fuel production will lead to a cleaner energy future—and why Obama has a rare chance to make it happen.
posted by kliuless on Jan 12, 2011 - 42 comments

Nukes, schmukes

How Business Can Lead us Beyond Fossil Fuels: a Techonomy presentation by Amory Lovins, followed by comments from Chevron CTO John McDonald and audience questions.
posted by flabdablet on Sep 5, 2010 - 18 comments

Worse than Three Mile Island?

Over fifty years after Los Angeles' first nuclear meltdown, the State of California is finally getting around to decontaminating the radioactive fallout.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Sep 3, 2010 - 35 comments

Laser Nuclear Fusion in a few months

The "Laser Inertial Fusion Engine" (LIFE) is being developed at the National Ignition Facility. Stewart Brand blogs about its potential here and this video (.mov 128MB) is stunning. How LIFE works. Successful early test shots suggest that the NIF will achieve first nuclear fusion ignition within the next few months (+10 years to commercial).
posted by stbalbach on Jun 17, 2010 - 44 comments

Innovating to zero

Talking About Energy at TED "Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for 'miracles' to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050." Others, however, reckon no breakthroughs are needed.
posted by kliuless on Feb 18, 2010 - 31 comments

The (nuclear) path not taken

Nuclear engineers are never taught about the other kind of nuclear reaction. But a working prototype was built over 40 years ago. "The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A rookie NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sorensen was researching nuclear-powered propulsion, and the book’s title — Fluid Fuel Reactors — jumped out at him. He picked it up and thumbed through it. Hours later, he was still reading, enchanted by the ideas but struggling with the arcane writing. “I took it home that night, but I didn’t understand all the nuclear terminology,” Sorensen says. He pored over it in the coming months, ultimately deciding that he held in his hands the key to the world’s energy future." [more inside]
posted by Araucaria on Dec 21, 2009 - 77 comments

Yesterday's Energy of Tomorrow...and more

Peak Oil, 1925. In 2000, 20% of new buildings will be solar equipped. By the late 1990s, 90% of the world's energy will be nuclear-generated. These and other erroneous projections are being collected as part of the Forecast Project on the website Inventing Green: The Lost History of Alternative Energy in America.
posted by Miko on Jul 27, 2009 - 65 comments

US Energy Flows

Lawrence Livermore National Lab produces fascinating charts of energy flow in the US (more). More energy use statisitics can be found at the Energy Information Administration.
posted by pombe on Feb 16, 2007 - 30 comments

Nuclear waste UK rail hazard?

A timetable of UK trains carrying nuclear waste. (PDF file). The related Greenpeace UK article. UK nuclear waste train route graphic. Mirror tabloid hack plants fake bomb on nuclear waste train. "The gate was open, there were no security guards. I walked up to the train and planted my bomb". The Guardian's take on the story.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 30, 2006 - 16 comments

Another Route to Fusion

Take enough electricity to power 100 houses for two minutes and use it to generate enough elecrticity to power one 40-watt lightbulb for one ten-thousandth of a second. What do you have? Nuclear Fusion.
posted by alms on Apr 7, 2003 - 17 comments

"Nothing like this will be built again"

"Nothing like this will be built again" is the summary, by sf author Charles Stross, of his tour of the Torness nuclear power station in East Scotland.
His enthusiastic descriptions of the extreme coolness of the technology, the combination of near Victorian style brass plumbing and advanced nuclear engineering, go some way to demystify and humanise what I always regarded as one of the more terrifying pieces of architecture I had ever seen when I lived in the area.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Jan 24, 2003 - 15 comments

Bush's energy plan.

Bush's energy plan. We knew it was coming. Arguing the United States "faces the most serious energy shortage since the oil embargoes of the 1970's," Bush proposes the expansion of drilling, a new commitment to nuclear power, and a review of vehicle mileage standards. If you really want to dig--er, I mean drill--into it, the proposal is available on the White House website.
posted by mrbula on May 17, 2001 - 36 comments

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