Japan replaced half of its nuclear reactors by efficiency

Setsuden exampleWe have seen it many times over, energy efficiency is a key component to the energy transition, alongside with renewable energy sources. Energy sobriety / conservation is another often overlooked tool.

As I was reporting all the way back to 2011, after Fukushima, Japan had cut by 15 percent its power usage thanks to conservation measures between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays to prevent blackouts.

According to Climate Progress : ” Japan has managed to replace half its missing nuclear power capacity through energy efficiency and conservation measures that endure three years later. “

Read more

Nuclear saves lives, decreases emissions

Nuclear Power Yes PleaseWhile I am not advocating nuclear as much as I was doing a few years ago – the incident in Fukushima have shown how the technology can be dangerous – I am still believing that it is better than coal. (Sidenote : anything IS better than coal…)

According to a study quoted by Cleantechies, ” The use of nuclear power from 1971 to 2009 prevented more than 1.8 million premature deaths related to air pollution and 64 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, there are huge safety concerns over nuclear and having it based on plutonium over thorium wasn’t the best idea Humankind had, but who knows what will happen.

Read more

Saudi Arabia to go 100 percent low carbon

Saudi Arabia flagsI already had mentioned very ambitious plans from Saudi Arabia to jump-start a solar revolution. So the following news aren’t totally surprising me. As The Guardian reported :

” Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer, has plans to become 100% powered by renewable and low-carbon forms of energy, according to an influential member of the royal family. “

” But the process is likely to take decades, and some observers are sceptical as to whether it is any more than window-dressing. “

Read more

Can Japan, and the world, ever be nuclear free ?

Nuclear power no thanks ?This is the question many are asking themselves as the Japanese government initially wanted to go nuclear free by 2040 but finally removed the specific deadline as the New York Times reported.

Nuclear plants can last decades provided they are operated and maintained carefully. Nuclear accounts for 18 percent of the electricity mix of the nation, renewables for 10 percent, the quasi totality from hydro power.

Japan is leading in energy efficiency and conservation and going without nuclear while decreasing carbon dioxide emissions – an imperative – will prove extremely difficult, whatever the deadline.

Read more

A year after Fukushima, and the future of nuclear

A year after the catastrophic events in Fukushima, Japan is planning to be nuclear free by May 5. It is I believe a good opportunity to focus on the future of the industry. Opinions diverge on this critical issue.

Some believe nuclear is bound to disappear as it has a negative learning curve and that it is increasingly expensive compared to renewables. It is true the latter are becoming cheaper and cheaper.

However, some believe that nuclear will keep on expanding globally (1,2,3 ) as it stays one of the best solutions to provide gigawatts of electricity without greenhouse gases.

Read more

Bad news are piling up on nuclear

Just as Grist is asking if Germany did the right move on nuclear – here is as a reminder my opinion piece on Cleantechies – several bad news for the industry of this energy source got my attention this week.

First and foremost, the reactor number 2 of Fukushima had probably experienced “spontaneous” fission “ according to an official quoted by the Agence France Presse.

Furthermore, it has been estimated that fully decommissioning Fukushima could take no less than 30 years. All this could have terrible consequences for the whole industry.

Read more

The Czech Republic bets heavily on nuclear

To the Huffington Post : ” Defying growing global skepticism over the use of atomic energy, (the Czech Republic) is planning to dramatically increase the country’s nuclear power production.

” (…) Other former Soviet bloc nations, now in the European Union, are following the Czechs’ lead on nuclear power – reflecting diverging economic needs between east and west. ”

” Slovakia is currently building more nuclear facilities. And Poland has engaged in talks with firms about know-how and technology for its first nuclear installation to be completed by 2030.

Read more

Can the Chinese nuclear expansion be safe ?

To Yale Environment 360 : “In the wake of the Fukushima meltdowns, some nations are looking to move away from nuclear power. But not China, which is proceeding with plans to build 36 reactors over the next decade.

Now some experts are questioning whether China can safely operate a host of nuclear plants.” Indeed, building so many reactors in such a little time seems dangerous, especially if as the article goes :

” The International Energy Agency suggests that 30 new nuclear reactors must be built each year between now and 2050 to cut CO2 emissions in half.

Read more

Good and bad news about nuclear

First, the good ones : To Reuters : ” Significant progress has been made in efforts to contain and stabilise the situation at Fukushima, the head of the United Nations atomic agency said on Friday.” And some bad : To the Wall Street Journal ” EDF announced that its EPR project in Flamanville, France (…) … Read more

More efficiency, wind power and nuclear for China

As the world’s first energy consumer and greenhouse gases emitter, the People’s Republic of China is under closed scrutiny from energy analysts. Last week, not one or two but three different news caught my attention on this country.

The climate situation there is dreadful as according to CNN massive floods forced 1.6 million people to evacuate their homes. It is indeed high time for all of us to act as forcefully as China is. It indeed seems the local government got it right.

Massive plans on energy efficiency, renewables and nuclear are planned in order to curb the increasing reliance of the country on coal and oil, two major pollution sources.

Read more

More radiations at Fukushima than estimated

As the Guardian states : ” The amount of radiation released by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (…) could have been more than double that originally estimated by its operator, Japan’s nuclear safety agency has said. “

” The revelation has raised fears that the situation at the plant, where fuel in three reactors suffered meltdown, was more serious than government officials have acknowledged. “ When you think a situation can’t possibly get worse, it does.

Even if I still support the technology to prevent more catastrophic climate change, I believe the IAEA should really step up rules and regulations to ensure such a catastrophe never occurs again.

Read more

My opinion about the German decision on nuclear

Further to the decision Germany took on Monday about nuclear energy, I wrote an opinion piece for Cleantechies. I hope you will like and share it.  As you can imagine, I am not really approving. Here it goes : ” You may surely know it by now : Germany decided to phase out completely all … Read more

%d bloggers like this: