Nuclear Fusion Could Revolutionize Energy Production

Advances in nuclear fusion could prove to be a powerful source of energy with very few negative environmental consequences. In a historic scientific achievement, a nuclear fusion reaction has generated more energy than put into it. Nuclear fusion is the melding of atomic nuclei that happens inside stars. Employing the power of the stars could radically change our energy equation and expedite the demise of fossil fuels. Fusion power is the energy generated by nuclear fusion processes. In fusion reactions, two light atomic nuclei fuse to form a heavier nucleus (in contrast with fission power). In doing so they release...

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The Decommissioning of Nuclear Plants is Increasing Fossil Fuel Use

In a bizarre turn of events, the tragic disaster in Fukushima Japan is contributing to the climate crisis. The anti-nuclear movement that arose after the meltdown of a Japanese reactor has forced a number of governments to phase out atomic energy. In response to the decommissioning of nuclear plants, many nations are turning to fossil fuels to meet their energy shortfalls. This is increasing carbon emissions and helping to lay the foundation for runaway climate change.    ___________________________________ The explosion of the Fukushima reactor in 2011 prompted many nations to abandon nuclear power and turn to fossil fuels to meet...

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French Energy Leadership: Nuclear, Fossil Fuels and GHGs

France will reduce its dependence on nuclear energy while decreasing its use of fossil fuels and slashing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is in stark contrast to nations like Japan, Germany, and Italy which are increasing fossil fuel use to make up for the decommissioning of nuclear plants.  France plans to ramp up wind and other renewable sources of energy to replace nuclear. When he was elected in 2012, French President François Hollande promised to reduce the country’s use of nuclear energy from 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025. This vision was reiterated in April, by the new...

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New Pipeline Project Partners Fracking with the Tar Sands

While most environmentally concerned people are aware of the Keystone XL pipeline most have not heard of Cochin Reversal pipeline project that was quietly approved by the Obama administration just prior to Thanksgiving. The 1,900-mile pipeline project will carry gas condensate (ultra-light oil) from an Illinois terminal northwest to Alberta, where it will be used to thin tar-sands oil so it can travel through pipelines. The Canadian government's efforts to expand Alberta's tar sands have created a growing market for US producers of natural gas liquids, particularly those mined by fracking operations. The $260 million project is an expansion of...

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Ford’s Solar Powered Charging Stations

Ford Motor Company is using SunPower Corp.’s panels for its solar electric vehicle charging system. The charging stations will fuel Ford's new EVs (Focus Electric and C-Max Energi). The system employs rooftop solar panels which feeds power to an electric vehicle charger. Under Ford’s “Drive Green for Life” program customers can get the 2.5-kilowatt solar-powered charging station for under $10,000. The price includes federal tax credits but not state or local rebates. Loans and leases to offset the cost of the solar roof are also available. The solar roof comes with a residential monitoring device that tracks the performance of the array...

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Germany Abandons Nuclear for Coal

In the wake of the explosion of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, Germany shut down 7 nuclear power plants. Coal-fired power plants will fill the gaps left by phasing out nuclear power. Germany is moving away from nuclear power even though there is very little similarity between the threats confronted by the German and Japanese reactors. The Fukushima reactors were not destroyed by the earthquake they were destroyed by a tsunami that crippled the plant's cooling system. That is why it does not make sense for Germany, a largely landlocked nation, to fear a Fukishima-style meltdown. This decision is...

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US Nuclear Energy in the Wake of the Fukushima Reactor Explosions

Multiple explosions at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan are leading many to question the value of nuclear power in America. The latest reports suggest at least 10,000 have been killed by the earthquake and resultant tsunami. With the meltdown of nuclear facilities in Japan, it may get much worse. Nuclear reactors are located adjacent to sources of water for cooling. Many of the world's 442 nuclear power reactors are located by the sea, but these power plants are prone to tsunamis. As reported by ENN, the safe operation of these plants are likely to be aggravated by climate change....

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Reigning in Irresponsible Oil Giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil

Big Oil is increasingly under scrutiny as the world is seeking cleaner sources of energy. The Obama administration is working on several fronts to reduce emissions and provide much needed oversight and regulation. Important financial and chemical reforms are being sought by US lawmakers and the EPA has put forward new mileage guidelines.Although President Obama has denied any direct link, the SEC's fraud charges against Goldman Sachs are part of a new political climate and this is a reflection of the strength of the President's convictions.In the context of this environment, social media based efforts are also underway to help...

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Peak Oil

The world's oil supply is finite and many credible sources are counting down to the moment when demand exceeds supply.As indicated in the CNA report "Powering America's Defense," there is a strong relationship between climate change, energy dependence, and national security. The report clearly states that continued reliance on fossil fuels creates “an unacceptably high threat level from a series of converging risks.” These threats include conflicts over fuel resources, destabilization driven by ongoing climate change, and threats to critical infrastructure. According to the report, dependence on foreign oil weakens international leverage, jeopardizes the military, and entangles the US government...

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