Race to cut carbon emissions splits U.S. states on nuclear | AP News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — As climate change pushes states in the U.S. to dramatically cut their use of fossil fuels, many are coming to the conclusion that solar, wind and other renewable power sources might not be enough to keep the lights on.

Climate, Technology

1/18/2022 7:01:00 PM

Momentum for nuclear power is building among U.S. states as they transition away from fossil fuels to supply energy. The growing interest could lead to the first expansion of nuclear reactor construction in the U.S. in more than three decades.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — As climate change pushes states in the U.S. to dramatically cut their use of fossil fuels, many are coming to the conclusion that solar, wind and other renewable power sources might not be enough to keep the lights on.

in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. By 2050, it hopes to hit its goal of becoming net zero, which means the amount of greenhouse gases produced is no more than the amount removed from the atmosphere.ADVERTISEMENTU.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the AP that the administration wants to get to zero-carbon electricity, and “that means nuclear, that means hydropower, that means geothermal, that means obviously wind on and offshore, that means solar.″

Granholm also touted new technologies involving hydrogen and capturing and storing carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere.Nuclear technology still comes with significant risks that other low-carbon energy sources don’t, said Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists. While the new, smaller reactors might cost less than traditional reactors to build, they’ll also produce more expensive electricity, he said. He’s also concerned the industry might cut corners on safety and security to save money and compete in the market. The group does not oppose the use of nuclear power, but wants to make sure it’s safe.

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Fukushima. No more nukes. More CO2 trees. This is long overdue. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Why not get all our power from wind and sun? Nuclear energy produces waste that of which is difficult to dispose. In addition to that, we could also blanket every square yard of roof anywhere and everywhere with solar panels, and then wind turbines elsewhere for when it's cloudy (but also there are solar panels that collect in overcast conditions).

Just need to have a reasonable plan for waste management. That has been a significant issue from the past. (Yucca mountain, ability to transport by rail etc.) Anything but wind, solar, geothermal, etc., I guess. Because the elites, ‘globalists’ (you know who that means), and Vegans favor those sources over Chernobyls in the making.

The AP Interview: Exiled artist Ai Weiwei on Beijing Games | AP NewsAi Weiwei is one of China's most famous artists, and many regard him as one of the world's greatest living ones. Working with the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, he helped design the Bird's Nest Stadium, the centerpiece of Beijing's 2008 Summer Olympics. People still bringing up trump have some serious TDS. Get vaxed for that folks 😂 Reuters nytvideo UMGNashville SonyNashville mercuryrecords BMGNashville MusicCityMemo WE COULD ALL USE SOME GOOD VIBES THESE DAYS…FEEL FREE TO SHARE: He is just jealous of China's achievement

Hong Kong to kill 2,000 animals after hamsters get COVID-19 | AP NewsHONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong authorities said Tuesday that they will kill about 2,000 small animals, including hamsters, after several tested positive for the coronavirus at a pet store where an employee was also infected. Which coronavirus? The ones that cause common cold? Hamsters clearly being selfish and not doing their part to stop the virus and support voting rights. How did they get it.

Blinken to visit Ukraine as US-Russia tensions escalate | AP NewsSecretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Ukraine this week as tensions between the U.S. and Russia escalate over a possible Russian invasion of its neighbor. The State Department says Blinken will travel to Kyiv on Tuesday. I fail to understand as why US sends its Solidiars Poorfellows , for saving other Countrymen. US army needs to Resist Now it's SURE that things WILL escalate. Until now, the only crooks who profited from this 'crisis', are the military-industrial complex who urgently need another conflict to sell their gangster-wear that murders people Introduce warmongers Nuland and Blinken: the rest is chaos Resign in disgrace for the deaths of 13 Servicemen and women in Afghanistan

Airlines again warn of potential disruption from 5G rollout | AP NewsThe airline industry is raising the stakes in a showdown with AT&T and Verizon over plans to launch new 5G wireless service this week, warning that thousands of flights could be grounded or delayed if the rollout takes place near major airports. Fear mongering bullshit Who is going to fix this? Who is going to take responsibility for adding the necessary filters to fix the issue? This is stupid.

Bidens pack carrots, apples into boxes during food bank stop | AP NewsPresident Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden packed food boxes for the hungry and chatted with volunteers at a food bank as part of a day of service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The president repeated his call for the child tax credit to be renewed. Same as it ever was. Joe needs to get mean. He needs to show his teeth in the argument. The monthly credits, used by families to buy food and other supplies, had been part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

In California pot market, a hazy line between legal and not | AP NewsLOS ANGELES (AP) — On an isolated farm, greenhouses stand in regimental order, sheltered by a fringe of trees. Inside are hundreds of head-high cannabis plants in precise rows, each rising from a pot nourished by coils of irrigation tubing. Regulations are required for a standardized product. Just knew it from the beginning Its hilarious that this article is basically people in the industry dry snitching on others for doing something they also probably do themselves. Crazy ass Whitey Bulger vibes.

Race to cut carbon emissions splits U.S. states on nuclear The TVA is a federally owned utility that provides electricity to seven states as the nation’s third largest electricity generator. It’s adding about 10,000 megawatts of solar capacity by 2035 — enough to power nearly 1 million homes annually — but also operates three nuclear plants and plans to test a small reactor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. By 2050, it hopes to hit its goal of becoming net zero, which means the amount of greenhouse gases produced is no more than the amount removed from the atmosphere. An Associated Press survey of the energy policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia found that a strong majority— about two-thirds— say nuclear, in one fashion or another, will help take the place of fossil fuels. The momentum building behind nuclear power could lead to the first expansion of nuclear reactor construction in the U.S. in more than three decades. Roughly one-third of the states and the District of Columbia responded to the AP’s survey by saying they have no plans to incorporate nuclear power in their green energy goals, instead leaning heavily on renewables. Energy officials in those states said their goals are achievable because of advances in energy storage using batteries, investments in the grid for high-voltage interstate transmission, energy efficiency efforts to reduce demand and power provided by hydroelectric dams. ADVERTISEMENT The split over nuclear power in U.S. states mirrors a similar debate unfolding in Europe, where countries including Germany are phasing out their reactors while others, such as France, are sticking with the technology or planning to build more plants. The Biden administration, which has tried to take aggressive steps to reduce greenhouse gases, views nuclear as necessary to help compensate for the decline of carbon-based fuels in the nation’s energy grid. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the AP that the administration wants to get to zero-carbon electricity, and “that means nuclear, that means hydropower, that means geothermal, that means obviously wind on and offshore, that means solar.″ “We want it all,” Granholm said during a visit in December to Providence, Rhode Island, to promote an offshore wind project. The $1 trillion infrastructure package championed by Biden and signed into law last year will allocate about $2.5 billion for advanced reactor demonstration projects. The Energy Department said studies by Princeton University and the Decarb America Research Initiative show that nuclear is necessary for a carbon-free future. Granholm also touted new technologies involving hydrogen and capturing and storing carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere. Nuclear reactors have operated reliably and carbon-free for many decades, and the current climate change conversation brings the benefits of nuclear to the forefront, said Maria Korsnick, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s trade association. “The scale of this electric grid that’s across the United States, it needs something that’s always there, something that can help really be the backbone, if you will, for this grid,” she said. “That’s why it’s a partnership with wind and solar and nuclear.” Nuclear technology still comes with significant risks that other low-carbon energy sources don’t, said Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists. While the new, smaller reactors might cost less than traditional reactors to build, they’ll also produce more expensive electricity, he said. He’s also concerned the industry might cut corners on safety and security to save money and compete in the market. The group does not oppose the use of nuclear power, but wants to make sure it’s safe. “I’m not optimistic we’d see the kind of safety and security requirements in place that would make me feel comfortable with the adoption or deployment of these so-called small modular reactors around the country,” Lyman said. The U.S. also has no long-term plan for managing or disposing the hazardous waste that can persist in the environment for hundreds of thousands of years, and there’s the danger of accidents or targeted attacks for both the waste and the reactors, Lyman said. Nuclear disasters at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and more recently, Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 provide an enduring warning about the dangers. Nuclear power already provides about 20% of electricity in the U.S., accounting for about half the nation’s carbon-free energy. Most of the 93 reactors operating in the country are east of the Mississippi River. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved just one of the new, small modular reactor designs — from a company called NuScale Power, in August 2020. Three other companies have told the commission they’re planning to apply for their designs. All of these use water to cool the core. The NRC is expecting about a half dozen designs to be submitted for advanced reactors, which use something other than water to cool the core, such as gas, liquid metal or molten salt. That includes a project by Gates’ company, TerraPower, in Wyoming, which has long depended on coal for power and jobs. As utilities quit coal, Wyoming is tapping into wind and installed the third-largest amount of wind power generating capacity of any state in 2020, after Texas and Iowa. But Glen Murrell, executive director of the Wyoming Energy Authority, said it’s unrealistic to expect all the nation’s energy to be provided exclusively through wind and solar. Renewable energy should work in tandem with other technologies such as nuclear and hydrogen, he said. TerraPower plans to build its advanced reactor demonstration plant in Kemmerer, a town of 2,700 in western Wyoming where a coal plant is closing. The reactor uses Natrium technology, which is a sodium-cooled fast reactor paired with an energy-storage system. In another coal-dependent state, West Virginia, some lawmakers are trying to repeal the state’s moratorium on the construction of new nuclear facilities. A second reactor design by TerraPower will be built at the Idaho National Laboratory. The Molten Chloride Reactor Experiment will have a core that’s as small as a refrigerator and molten salt to cool it instead of water. Among the other states that support nuclear power, Georgia maintains that its nuclear reactor expansion will “provide Georgia with ample clean energy” for 60 to 80 years. Georgia has the only nuclear project under construction in the U.S. — the expansion of Plant Vogtle from two of the traditional large reactors to four. The total cost is now more than double the original projection of $14 billion, and the project is years behind schedule. New Hampshire said that without nuclear, the region’s environmental goals would be impossible to meet as affordably. And the Alaska Energy Authority has been working since 2007 to plan for the use of small modular nuclear reactors, possibly at remote mine sites and military bases first. The Maryland Energy Administration said that while the goal of all renewable energy is laudable and costs are declining, “for the foreseeable future we need a variety of fuels,” including nuclear and cleaner natural gas-powered systems to ensure reliability and resiliency. Maryland has one nuclear plant, and the energy administration is talking with manufacturers of small modular reactors. Other officials, mostly in Democratic-led states, said they’re moving beyond nuclear power. Some said they never relied heavily on it to begin with and don’t see a need for it in the future. They said the cost of new reactors compared to installing wind turbines or solar panels, the safety concerns and the unresolved question of how to store hazardous nuclear waste are deal-breakers. Some environmentalists also oppose small modular reactors because of the safety concerns and hazardous waste questions. The Sierra Club has described them as “high-risk, high‐cost and highly questionable.” In New York, which has some of the nation’s most ambitious goals to combat climate change, the future energy grid will be dominated by wind, solar and hydropower, said New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen Harris. Harris said she sees a future beyond nuclear, dropping from nearly 30% of the state’s energy mix currently to around 5%, but the state will need advanced, long-duration battery storage and perhaps cleaner-burning fuels such as hydrogen. Nevada is especially sensitive to nuclear energy because of the failed plan to store the nation’s commercial spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain. Officials there don’t consider nuclear power a viable option. Instead, they see potential for battery technology for energy storage and geothermal energy. “Nevada understands better than most other states that nuclear technology has significant lifecycle problems,” David Bobzien, director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, said in a statement. “A focus on short-term gains can’t alleviate the long-term issues with nuclear energy.” California is slated to close its last remaining nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, in 2025, as it turns to cheaper renewables to power its grid by 2045. Officials think they can meet that goal if California sustains its expansion of clean electricity generation at a “record-breaking rate for the next 25 years,” building on average of 6 gigawatts of new solar, wind and battery storage sources annually, according to state planning documents. California also imports power produced in other states as part of a Western U.S. grid system. Skeptics have questioned whether California’s all-in renewable plan can work in a state of nearly 40 million people. Research from scientists at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that delaying Diablo Canyon’s retirement to 2035 would save California $2.6 billion in power system costs, reduce the chances of brownouts and lower carbon emissions. When the research was presented in November, former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the nation is not positioned in the near-term to go to 100% renewable energy. “They’ll be times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine,” he said. “And we will need some power that we can actually turn on and dispatch at will. That leaves two choices: either fossil fuel or nuclear.” But the California Public Utilities Commission says it would likely take “seismic upgrades” and changes to the cooling systems, which could cost more than $1 billion, to continue operations at Diablo Canyon beyond 2025. Commission spokesperson Terrie Prosper said 11,500 megawatts of new clean energy resources will be online by 2026 to meet the state’s long-term needs. Jason Bordoff, co-founding dean of the Columbia Climate School, said that while California’s plans are “technically possible,” he’s skeptical because it’s challenging to build that much renewable capacity quickly. Bordoff said there is “good reason” to think about extending the life of Diablo Canyon to keep energy costs down and reduce emissions as quickly as possible. “We have to incorporate nuclear energy in a way that acknowledges it’s not risk-free,” he said. “But the risks of falling short of our climate goals exceed the risks of including nuclear energy as part of the zero carbon energy mix.” ___ Associated Press writer Matthew Daly in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report. AP NEWS