The troubling evolution of corporate greenwashing The term “greenwashing” was coined in the 1980s to describe outrageous corporate environmental claims. Three decades later, the practice has grown vastly more sophisticated, Guardian, Bruce Watson, 21 Aug 16, In the mid-1980s, oil company Chevron commissioned a series of expensive television and print ads to convince the public of its environmental bonafides. Titled People Do, the campaign showed Chevron employees protecting bears, butterflies, sea turtles and all manner of cute and cuddly animals.
The commercials were very effective – in 1990, they won an Effie advertising award, and subsequently became a case study at Harvard Business school. They also became notorious among environmentalists, who have proclaimed them the gold standard of greenwashing – the corporate practice of making diverting sustainability claims to cover a questionable environmental record.
The term greenwashing was coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986, back when most consumers received their news from television, radio and print media – the same outlets that corporations regularly flooded with a wave of high-priced, slickly-produced commercials and print ads. The combination of limited public access to information and seemingly unlimited advertising enabled companies to present themselves as caring environmental stewards, even as they were engaging in environmentally unsustainable practices.
But greenwashing dates back even earlier. American electrical behemoth Westinghouse’s nuclear power division was a greenwashing pioneer. Threatened by the 1960’s anti-nuclear movement, which raised questions about its safety and environmental impact, it fought back with a series of ads proclaiming the cleanliness and safety of nuclear power plants. One, featuring a photograph of a nuclear plant nestled by a pristine lake, proclaimed that “We’re building nuclear power plants to give you more electricity,” and went on to say that nuclear plants were “odorless […] neat, clean, and safe”……
One shift has been outreach. Many companies are now working to engage customers in their sustainability efforts, even as their core business model remains environmentally unsustainable. The Home Depot and Lowes, for example, both encourage customers to do their part by offering onsite recycling for several products, including compact fluorescent lights and plastic bags. Meanwhile, they continue to sell billions of dollars per year worth of environmentally damaging products, such as paints that are loaded with toxic ingredients and which release noxious fumes.
“It’s misdirection, and it’s intended to shift the customer’s focus from a company’s appalling behaviors to something that’s peripheral,” Ballard says.
The bottled water conundrum
The water industry trades heavily on images of rugged mountains and pristine lakes to sell its products. And many companies – Nestle, in particular – spend millions of dollars trying to convince the public that their bottled water isn’t only good to drink, but is also good for the planet. Over the past few years, the bottled water giant has claimed that its Eco-Shape bottle is more efficient, that itsResource recycled plastic bottle is more environmentally responsible and that its use of plant-based plastics is less damaging to the planet.
In 2008, Nestle Waters Canada even ran an ad claiming: “Bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world.”…….
A golden oldie
What the commercial failed to mention was that, two years earlier, Westinghouse was cited by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for concealing flaws in its reactor designs and submitting false information to regulators. And, in February 2016, another plant that uses Westinghouse reactors, New York’s Indian Point,leaked radioactive material into the surrounding area’s groundwater.
Greenwashing may have taken on a new shape in the last decade, but it’s still as murky as ever. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/aug/20/greenwashing-environmentalism-lies-companies
Jigar Shah rebuts Bill Gates’ fossil fuel vision for energy access in developing countries. GreenTech Media by Jigar Shah August 22, 2014 “……In 2012, I wrote in the Huffington Post that Bill Gates had zero qualifications to understand energy and its costs. I also acknowledged that I am not qualified to run a global software company.
So, Bill Gates doesn’t know much about energy outside of his vested interests in nuclear power, and I don’t know much about running a software company outside of my bumbling with my Android apps. I say this about myself even though I have helped with smart metering and oversaw the global implementation for monitoring solar systems worldwide for SunEdison.
But Bill Gates has more money and power than I, as well as a powerful — and wonderful — charity. In this instance, however, his charity is misguided. And nothing is more dangerous than misguided charity.
Gates’ misguided path starts with the fact that he cited a notorious climate confusionist, Bjorn Lomborg. Lomborg has stubbornly refused to acknowledge the fact that renewable energy is cost-competitive with fossil fuels as an energy source.
Given Gates’ stature, framing energy poverty as a climate issue reveals a depth of ignorance that poses a serious problem. So here is reality.
Ending energy poverty requires the right tool for the job: distributed energy
The truth is that an over-reliance on centralized grid extension and large-scale power plants will keep a billion people in the dark. It is time to recognize what even the IEA says is overwhelmingly necessary, but dramatically under-invested in: distributed renewable energy for those living beyond the grid.
To understand why this is so important, take a step back and consider the reaction if Gates wrote a blog suggesting that Mark Zuckerberg is a fool and that the solution for universal internet access around the world is connecting every home around the world via physical fiber-optic cable. The reaction would be riotous laughter. In emerging markets, they are busy ripping out copper and everyone is using wireless. Yet that’s exactly analogous to what Gates is proposing for energy.
No expert on energy access is paying any attention to Gates’ folly on energy for the poor…… When it comes to energy poverty, Gates is arguing for outdated and ineffective solutions that will keep people energy-poor. It is time that we deploy our 21st century energy solutions and put power directly in the hands of the impoverished. http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sorry-bill-gates-you-are-wrong-on-clean-energy
Why Eskom’s Brian Molefe is pumping up the nuclear propaganda
The issue of relative costs is an area in which Eskom likes to play fast and loose with facts. Molefe, for instance, loves to talk about the relative cheapness of nuclear power Rand Daily mail CAROL PATON
26 JULY 2016 “……..As Eskom prepares to roll back the rise of independent power producers (IPPs) and lay the basis for the nuclear build, the propaganda war is going to be critical. This is because, on the facts alone, Eskom’s central argument — that SA’s energy future is a straight choice between variable and unreliable renewables and reliable base load nuclear — is nonsense.
What SA needs to do to break Eskom’s stranglehold
Even before Eskom’s letter to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson drawing the line under the IPP programme surfaced last week, Molefe and Eskom’s head of generation, Matshela Koko, have been pushing this line. As SA can’t have more coal plants because of its commitments to reduce emissions, and as renewable energy is available during the day, when it’s not really required, the only solution lies with nuclear power.
This is a misrepresentation of the choices available. A great deal of technical work and international experience has shown that the next round of large investments SA should be making should be in gas. Unlike renewable energy, nuclear energy or a coal-fired power station, gas can be switched on and off to provide peaking power. The turbines need to turn only when you need them. With large discoveries in Mozambique, investing in gas is the logical next step. The CSIR has done detailed work on this and has put forward a third option to the baseload debate: to use gas and renewables — now by far the cheapest — in concert to create baseload power.
The issue of the relative costs of the technologies is another area in which Eskom likes to play fast and loose with the facts. Molefe, for instance, loves to talk about the relative cheapness of nuclear power. Koeberg — built in 1985 and long since paid for — supplies energy at R0.43/kWh. This should be compared with solar thermal power — the only renewable energy technology that can store energy — he says, the cost of which ranges between R2/kWh and R6/kWh. It’s a ridiculous comparison. In the absence of an agreed-on and updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that would provide an authoritative view on the relative costs of the technologies, the CSIR’s Energy Centre calculated the following in 2015: new nuclear power is projected to cost at least R1/kWh, but very likely more; new coal R0.80/kWh — it is now much higher at about R1; wind R0.60/kWh and solar R0.80/kWh.
A new draft of the IRP by Eskom’s technical modellers — that has been sent back to the drawing board by the Department of Energy — has suggested that the overnight cost (capital cost excluding interest) of building new nuclear power would be $6 000/kW. The department reckoned on about $4 166/kW.
These are not numbers Eskom is likely to use in the public debate. Eskom, in particular Molefe, has a talent for spinning a good story. After less than five months in the job, he made the startling and completely untrue statement that Eskom’s plant performance had improved vastly. At that point, Eskom’s plant performance was still in decline. More recently, in May, he insisted at a news conference in Parliament that Eskom’s ability to meet demand had nothing to do with lower-than-anticipated demand. This too, turned out not to be true, with Eskom’s own demand curve showing real decline over 2015.
These are perhaps minor skirmishes with the truth. But getting the nuclear build on track is a far bigger fight. Expect Eskom to pump up the propaganda war. — Business Day http://www.rdm.co.za/business/2016/07/26/why-eskom-s-brian-molefe-is-pumping-up-the-nuclear-propaganda
Engineering students intern at US nuclear testing company Grad Plus Friday, 08 July 2016 Four engineering students from the University of Sheffield have travelled to the US to take up internships at NuScale Power’s nuclear test facilities.
In each case, career opportunities were discussed……In addition, the evening programs included a panel discussion of local educational opportunities, led by Mindy Mets, the nuclear workforce initiative program manager for the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization, and a challenging presentation by Capt. Kevin Byrne, commanding officer of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command at the Navy Nuclear Power School.
The institute included a series of workshop sessions over the three days to emphasize atomic and nuclear fundamentals; power generation fundamentals; nuclear technology applications; risk (real vs. perceived); and nuclear workforce opportunities ……
Lodging (if needed) and meals were provided at the University of South Carolina Aiken along with free educational resources and teacher guides for classroom presentations. In addition, each participant received two $25 gift cards to help cover travel expenses.
SSNI IS LED BY Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide education and information on nuclear subjects for the public. Other sponsors include the American Nuclear Society – Savannah River and Columbia, AREVA, Atkins, Georgia Power Co./Plant Vogtle, SCE&G, SRSCRO, SUNRISE Universities, USC Aiken and the Aiken Rotary Club.
(The writer – a retired program manager from the Savannah River National Laboratory – is a member of the Citizens for Nuclear Technology http://chronicle.augusta.com/opinion/opinion-columns/2016-07-03/teachers-two-states-go-nuclear-educational-summer-institute#
So are there prominent climate scientists and self-described environmentalists advocating for nuclear power? To be sure. But their stance doesn’t necessarily define the larger movement of low-carbon, renewable energy advocates who hold a decidedly different position.
WSJ Fakes a Green Shift Toward Nuclear Power http://fair.org/home/wsj-fakes-a-green-shift-toward-nuclear-power/ By Miranda C. Spencer The Wall Street Journal(6/16/16) published an article headlined “Environmental Groups Change Tune on Nuclear Power: Focus on Climate Change Has Raised Profile of Reactors, Now Viewed as Reliable, Carbon-Free Source of Energy.” Written by Amy Harder, the approximately 600-word piece appeared on the front page of the Journal’s B section.
Its dramatic lead-in: Continue reading
Fukushima and Nuclear Power: Does the Advertising Giant Dentsu Pull the Strings of Japan’s Media? By Mathieu Gaulène
1 June 2016 “………Advertisements in Japan are literally everywhere: a veritable hell of posters or screens in trains and stations, giant posters on buildings, bearers of advertising placards or lorries with huge posters and loud PA systems in the streets: even advertising displays mounted atop urinals in some restaurants. In this advertising empire, the media are no exception. In the press, naturally, as in France, major companies pay for full page advertisements. But, above all in television. An entertainment show generally starts with the announcement of sponsors, and is interrupted every five minutes by numerous short advertising spots, where we often find the same sponsors. There is virtually no time for thinking, most TV channels offer programs close to the world of pachinko: garish colors, constant noise, and frat humor even of the most vulgar kind.
In this immense television arena, advertising is orchestrated by one of the global giants, Dentsu, the 5th communication group in the world and the number one ad agency. With its rival Hakuhodo, 2nd in the archipelago, the two agencies nicknamed “Denpaku,” combine advertising, public relations, media monitoring, crisis management for the largest Japanese and foreign companies, the local authorities, political parties or the government. Together they hold nearly 70% of the market. A true empire that some accuse of ruling the roost in the Japanese media.
Dentsu and information on nuclear power…..
In a book published in 2012, Honma Ryu looked into some of Dentsu’s backstage, and its tight control over the media, especially on behalf of one of its major clients: Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tepco. ……
n 2012, his book Dentsu and Nuclear Coverage became a bestseller within a few months, despite almost universal media blackout.
Honma meticulously described the mechanisms by which Dentsu, the inevitable intermediary, implicitly imposes on media what can or cannot be written on nuclear power, and under what conditions. “Dentsu occupies a special position since the agency holds 80% of the market for nuclear advertising in Japan,” he reminded us during an interview in a coffee shop at Ueno Station. In 2010, in this huge advertising market, Tepco, a regional firm, indeed ranked 10th in terms of advertising expenses, next to power plant manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. That year, on the eve of the Fukushima accident, Tepco had spent more than 2 million euros on advertising. The overall advertising expenses of the 10 regional electrical power companies amounted to 7 million euros.
For decades, especially since the 1990s when public opinion began to become critical of nuclear power following several accidents, Tepco and other power companies stepped up commercials and advertorials in the press.
On television, the advertisements can be enough in themselves to overwhelm criticism. Big groups often sponsor TV programs, talk shows or series for an entire season. Sometimes, entire documentaries are produced by Denjiren, [the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC)], a key player in the nuclear lobby, to promote the industry. Any dissenting voice is unwelcome for fear of losing sponsors.
After Fukushima, Yamamoto Taro paid the price; appearing regularly on TV as a tarento [talent] until then when he suddenly became persona non grata on TV and even in cinema for having expressed opposition to nuclear power. This is hardly new since the great figures of the anti-nuclear movement, best-selling authors such as Hirose Takashi or Koide Hiroaki are almost never invited to appear on TV, especially after the Fukushima accident.
This “control by media” denounced by Honma Ryu obviously is not limited to the nuclear power industry.
Amid all these private media groups, only NHK escapes this advertising empire and can claim to be independent, receiving its funding directly from viewers. Alas, the situation at NHK is even more disastrous, its president Momii Katsuto having said without embarrassment on several occasions that the chain had to be the spokesman for the Abe government. In a recent statement before 200 retired NHK employees, he even seemingly acknowledged having ordered NHK journalists to confine broadcasts to reassuring communiqués from the authorities about Kyushu earthquakes and potential risks they pose to nuclear plants and instructing them not to interview independent experts.
Indirect pressures on the press
What about the press? Dentsu has long had a special relationship with the two news agencies Kyodo News and Jiji Press: the three entities formed a single information group before the war. If information in the press is more difficult to control, Dentsu not only advertises, but provides after-sales customer service — media monitoring, advice on crisis management, and indirect pressure on newspapers.
Whereas in France, the acquisition of media companies by large industrial groups is the prelude to direct pressure, in Japan pressure comes via advertising agencies that act as true ambassadors for the groups. ……..
Advertisements of nuclear power are mainly distributed in weekly and daily newspapers. Since the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, they stopped; but for Dentsu, a profitable new business emerged: promoting agricultural products from Fukushima. Since 2011, with the participation of star singers, Fukushima Prefecture has never skimped on promoting its peaches, rice, or tomatoes, with slogans like “Fukushima Pride” or “Fukushima is well!”…….
Dentsu thus occupies a very special position in the promotion of nuclear power, beside Tepco but also the powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), both clients of the advertising company. Under these conditions, can Dentsu not be considered to actively underwrite the “nuclear village”?…….
Dentsu is a member of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF), the main organization of nuclear lobbying, along with Japanese electric utility companies and EDF [Electricity of France, Électricité de France],…….
Source: Asia-Pacific Journal
Specifically, renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and industry-oriented Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute, came to Illinois this week to weigh in on the Exelon bailout debate. And no, they didn’t support renewables or other clean energy technologies. They didn’t question whether the nation’s largest electric utility really needs to gouge Illinoisans for another $300 million to keep aging, money-losing reactors open. Their message was pretty simple: in an open letter to Illinois legislators they, and several dozen others (most of whom are long-standing nuclear advocates) urged them to “do everything in your power to keep all of Illinois’s nuclear power plants running for their full lifetimes.”
Sometimes Dr. Hansen just makes you wonder if he isn’t undertaking some bizarre experiment to see how far he can undermine his own credibility before it all blows up in his face.
Back in November 2013 he and three colleagues wrote an open letter to us nuclear opponents urging us to reconsider nuclear power. It’s worth going back and reading some of that letter.
“As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and deployment of safer nuclear energy systems,” the letter began. It added, “We call on your organization to support the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems as a practical means of addressing the climate change problem.” And: “We understand that today’s nuclear plants are far from perfect. Fortunately, passive safety systems and other advances can make new plants much safer.”
Note the emphasis: Hansen is clearly talking about “safer” nuclear reactors. To be precise, he was seeking environmentalist support for development and deployment of Generation IV reactors. Which, to date, do not exist.
NIRS and Civil Society Institute organized a response, signed by 300+ organizations, to Hansen’s letter explaining our continued opposition to nuclear power as a climate response and calling for a public debate on the issue. We never received a reply.
Now jump ahead to December 2015, just four months ago. Shortly before the Paris COP 21 climate talks, Hansen et. al. issued a new missive: “Nuclear power, particularly next-generation nuclear power with a closed fuel cycle (where spent fuel is reprocessed), is uniquely scalable, and environmentally advantageous. Over the past 50 years, nuclear power stations – by offsetting fossil fuel combustion – have avoided the emission of an estimated 60bn tonnes of carbon dioxide. Nuclear energy can power whole civilizations, and produce waste streams that are trivial compared to the waste produced by fossil fuel combustion. There are technical means to dispose of this small amount of waste safely. However, nuclear does pose unique safety and proliferation concerns that must be addressed with strong and binding international standards and safeguards. Most importantly for climate, nuclear produces no CO2 during power generation.”
While there is much to dispute in this paragraph, again note the emphasis on safety and “next-generation nuclear power” and continued acknowledgement of nuclear’s “unique safety and proliferation concerns.”
Fukushima-clone Quad Cities, which began operation in 1972, and Clinton, which began operation in 1987, clearly do not fall under the “safer” or “next-generation” nuclear memes. By endorsing not only their continued operation, but their continued operation enabled by forcing the people of Illinois to further line Exelon’s pockets, Hansen has made a mockery of his earlier safety concerns and exposed himself as no different than any other Exelon-paid-for Nuclear Matters spokesperson.
But it gets worse, because by allying himself with the Breakthrough Institute’s Shellenberger, Hansen has gone a step even further, a step right over the credibility cliff. Because asMidwest Energy News reported, “Shellenberger described next-generation technology as farther away from viability than he had previously hoped, and urged more focus on the nation’s existing reactors.
“How much safer could they be?” he said. “If you have nuclear plants that don’t hurt anyone, keep running them.”
In other words, Shellenberger dismisses Hansen’s support of Generation IV reactors in one phrase and argues in essence that because Fukushima hasn’t happened yet at Quad Cities, well, hell, it never will; keep them running… But Fukushima did, in fact, happen. And there were supposed to have been lessons learned from that disaster. One of those is to be highly skeptical of GE Mark I nuclear reactor designs that are essentially identical to Fukushima, and that have been highly controversial even since their inception in the 1960s.
Thus, Hansen and Shellenberger (and the rest of the letter’s signers, most of whom probably know little about the actual situation in Illinois) are now dismissing any pretense of caring about nuclear safety. For what? To enable Exelon, the largest electric utility in the nation, to gouge Illinoisans for another $300 million to keep open three aging, uneconomic and unsafe nuclear reactors, because of their low carbon emissions.
Seriously, do Hansen and Shellenberger really intend to argue that the world’s climate depends on whether three midwestern nuclear reactors stay open or not? Especially when, to the extent their power needs to be replaced at all it will not be replaced by coal (check out the growing list of coal bankruptcies, there won’t be any new coal plants in Illinois) but to some limited and temporary extent by gas and over the longer and larger term by clean energy. Genuinely clean energy. The kind that doesn’t routinely spew out toxic radiation into the air and water nor create lethal radioactive waste that–their protestations to the contrary–there is not yet, and may not be for centuries, a scientifically-responsible and publicly-acceptable storage solution.
And why have they even entered this debate at all? Shellenberger has gone so far as to establish a new organization called Environmental Progress Illinois to “protect and grow solar, wind and nuclear energy.” He claims that the group hasn’t taken a position on state legislative proposals yet, but expressed support for the concept of having nuclear power treated like renewables in a new “clean energy portfolio standard.” Which happens to be Exelon’s proposal.
Shellenberger, for the record, says his new group takes no money from the energy industry.
And why is Hansen jumping into this battle? This is not the Keystone pipeline. Closing three reactors–or 30 reactors over the next few years for that matter–is not “game over” for climate, not when those reactors can be replaced by clean energy technologies, as both EPA and EIA analyses project they will be.
Arguing for environmentalists to consider Generation IV reactor technology was one thing. For many reasons, we rejected that approach and explained in detail why we did so, but at least it was a fair challenge. But actively working to prevent the shutdown of three reactors of 1960s nuclear technology under the pretense that it would matter for the climate is a leap too far. I hate to say it, but it is a leap so far that it brings into question Hansen’s credibility on the far more important issues of his climate science generally. I have long trusted Hansen on climate issues; now, I am nervous about that. If he can be so wrong in Illinois, and so far removed from his own previous statements on nuclear safety, and seems willing to sell himself to the nation’s largest, and quite possibly greediest, electric utility, well, how can I trust his other work?
I have been telling myself–and others– as Hansen’s pro-nuclear statements have become more and more strident and outlandish over the past few years that, well, Hansen is a climate expert, not an energy expert, and there is a big difference between the two. That’s still true, of course. But I’m having my doubts. Could some of his climate statements–that I’m not expert enough to evaluate the way I am expert enough to evaluate his nuclear statements–be as far removed from reality as his Illinois positions? Fortunately, there are a lot of other climate experts out there. I’ll start listening more closely to them. And there are lots of real energy experts out there, but I already know them and I’ll continue to listen to them. As for Hansen, I probably won’t listen to him anymore on either subject.
As for Illinois, closing Clinton and Quad Cities would not only save its citizens money and reduce the daily risk these dangerous reactors pose, it would help usher in substantial new clean energy investment, something the state desperately could use. That would be the kind of win-win situation–for the state and the climate, if not for Exelon–that the legislature hopefully will recognize. https://safeenergy.org/2016/04/06/how-low-can-they-go/
just before his death, Michael Mariotte told me “…I have long trusted Hansen on climate issues; now, I am nervous about that. If he can be so wrong in Illinois, and so far removed from his own previous statements on nuclear safety, and seems willing to sell himself to the nation’s largest, and quite possibly greediest, electric utility, well, how can I trust his other work?”
It gets worse. Michael Mariotte tells us that James Hansen, in his zeal for nukes, went to other foundations asking them do cut funding to any environmental group that opposed nuclear power! I haven’t verified this myself, but NIRS has the documents. Mariotte says this Hansen push to defund even included groups like the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – which isn’t even specifically anti-nuclear, but says reactors are a concern.
ICE MELT CONTROLS WORLD WEATHER http://www.ecoshock.org/2016/05/ice-melt-controls-world-weather.html “……..IS JAMES HANSEN WRONG ON NUCLEAR POWER AS A SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE?Why is the world’s most famous climate scientist helping out America’s biggest electricity producer Exelon? And why is James Hansen trying to get the people of Illinios to subsidize Exelon’s dangerous old reactors in Illinios? Even stranger, why did the “death of environmentalism” guy Michael Shellenberger suddenly pop up with a new front group called “Environmental Progress Illinois”? Who is the billionaire funding all that, and why did Hansen join the board? Questions, questions. Continue reading
With hard times setting in for some nuclear power plants, Illinois state legislators are trying to decide whether they should put nuclear facilities on life support, or lay them to rest early…….
May 05, 2016
Identify the 25 rules of disinfo when you see it & then draw attention to the disinfo perpetrators by identifying which rule they are using & how they are using it to silence, bully & ridicule antinuclear voices.
Websites mentioned in the video:
The 25 Rules of Disinfo
Veterans Today – Your Radiation This Week
The Little Rad Book – a free download on Smashwords
Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky’s work in Minsk following Chernobyl
You may want to bookmark some of these sites and go back to review them later. (It’s a lot of information to digest at once. )
Nuclear Power: Part of the Alternative Energy ‘Solution’? Differing views voiced by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Stanford energy expert Yale Climate Connections, Mark Z. Jacobson, May 16, 2016 By Peter Sinclair
“………..“If everything goes perfectly,” Gates has told a Wall Street Journal conference, a demonstration fourth-generation design could be in place by 2022. “If everything continues to go perfectly,” that design could be replicated and built in many countries around the world by 2028.
“Big Ifs,” some might say, and a moderator suggested as much in response to Gates’ point.
In this month’s “This is Not Cool” video, Stanford University engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson expresses reservations. His research looks at energy technologies in hand and not those he says “might be available 20, 30 years from now.” That research – as explained in an earlier related video – involves wind, solar, and water power.
To reach global carbon dioxide emissions targets, Jacobson says, 80 percent of the world’s energy infrastructure needs to be converted by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
Jacobson says exiting nuclear power may be cleaner than natural gas, but it is nine to 25 times more polluting per kilowatt hour generated than wind power in terms of carbon and air pollution. In addition, about 40 percent of that difference results from a need to continuously mine and refine uranium during the life time of the nuclear power plant. He says the “sole purpose” of two coal-fired power plants in the U.S. now is to refine uranium for nuclear energy and weapons.
While Gates expresses optimism about fourth-generation nuclear power technology and safety, Jacobson counters that 1.5 percent of all nuclear reactors built worldwide “have melted down seriously. So there’s a catastrophic risk problem.” A world wanting to go fully nuclear – and currently having 400 850-megawatt nuclear reactors – would need 16,000 850-megawatt reactors.
Jacobson points to relative costs as the key determinant. Unsubsidized current costs are about 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour; for wind 3.2 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour; for thin film solar 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt hour; and for utility-scale crystalline solar 5.2 to nearly 7 cents per kilowatt hour. Big differences, he says. http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2016/05/nuclear-power-part-of-the-alternative-energy-solution/Nuclear
IAEA Invites Students to Learn Nuclear Science Through Play. IAEA, By Laura Gil, IAEA Office of Public Information and Communication, 12 May 16, Teachers have reached almost 10 000 students in four Asian countries through a guidebook designed to bring nuclear science and technology closer to young adults. The compendium, which is being tested by the IAEA and education experts from several countries, collects unique teaching strategies and materials to introduce science and technology in education systems.
By generating interest in science among young generations, the compendium aims at contributing to the sustainability of the nuclear industry and related technologies in the future. With populations growing, applications of nuclear technology rapidly expanding, and active nuclear scientists ageing, a new generation of professionals will soon need to step up……
In preparation for the curriculum, experts collected ideas from, for example, Japan, where teachers often organize field trips for students; India, where education centres convoke essay contests all across the country to create an interest in the student community; Israel, where the government has built a nuclear science park and museum; and Australia, where school children are invited to an exhibition centre in the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation already from an early age. https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-invites-students-to-learn-nuclear-science-through-play
UK think tank urges nuclear innovation, World Nuclear News, 28 April 2016 A think tank [Alvin Weinberg Foundation] has urged the British government to spend money earmarked for nuclear R&D on ensuring that at least three advanced reactors including at least one small modular reactor (SMR) and a Generation IV design have completed regulatory assessment by the early 2020s.
Weinberg Next Nuclear’s report, Next Steps for Nuclear Innovation in the UK….. The latest study follows a report by the same foundation, The Need for Nuclear Innovation, published in November 2015. Later that month, the UK government announced plans to invest £250 million ($377 million) over five years in a nuclear R&D program to include a competition to identify the best value SMR for the country. The initial phase of the competition was launched in March, with a call for initial expressions of interest.
The first phase of the competition, which will also lead to the development of an SMR Roadmap to set out the policy framework and assess the potential for possible pathways for SMRs in the UK, will run until late 2016. Individual reactor designs will not be assessed at this stage……
At least one of the reactors supported should be a Generation IV design that could use fuel made from previously used reactor fuel and from the UK’s plutonium stocks. It suggests that SMRs and “micro-reactors” – reactors of less than 20 MWe capacity – will be cheaper to construct than large reactors….
Finally, the report proposes that UK regulators cooperate with their peers in other countries, citing US and Canadian regulatory practices where proposed reactor designs are discussed with developers before the formal regulatory process begins. It calls for a three-way collaboration to be established with the aim of establishing international standards for the safety of advanced reactors……
Weinberg Next Nuclear is part of the Alvin Weinberg Foundation. The report was prepared with the sponsorship of Terrestrial Energy, Urenco and Moltex Energy, with Weinberg Next Nuclear retaining sole editorial control.http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-UK-think-tank-urges-nuclear-innovation-2804167.html
ROSATOM TO GROW PUBLIC AWARENESS ON NUCLEAR ENERGY, Eyewitness News, The Russian atomic energy company faces strong resistance from environmental lobbyists in SA. Rahima Essop 21 Apr 16 CAPE TOWN – Rosatom says it has to ‘gradually grow public awareness and acceptance’ about nuclear energy as the Russian atomic energy company faces strong resistance from environmental lobbyists and opposition politicians in South Africa.
Two organisations have challenged the legality of government’s proposed 9,600 MW nuclear build programme in court before Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson calls for quotes for the tender.
Rosatom is said to be on the inside track for the contract.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), meanwhile, is pushing for the project to be abandoned on the basis that it’s unaffordable and shrouded in secrecy.
Rosatom has billed nuclear as a cheap source of energy and a job-creating solution for the country.
The company, which is building 34 reactors across the globe, is hoping to influence South African perceptions about nuclear…….Rosatom has sponsored a press trip to Hungary. http://ewn.co.za/2016/04/21/Rosatom-to-gradually-grow-public-awareness-on-nuclear-energy
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
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- Christina's notes
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- RARE EARTHS
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual
- World Nuclear