Monday, May 26, 2008

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Energy

<>EU Trending Toward Nuclear Energy. By Zoltan Dujisin, IPS, May 24, 2008. "EU seems to be backing nuclear energy as the response to global warming and gas dependency, but civic groups warn that safety and waste processing should be preconditions for the industry's growth. These issues were debated in Prague May 22-23 at the <>second European Nuclear Energy Forum, a European Union initiative to discuss opportunities and risks of nuclear energy. Civic groups criticised their extremely low representation at the event, seen by them as a gathering of nuclear energy supporters lobbying the EU... 'We all share the (EU) objective of reducing greenhouse emissions by 20 percent by 2020,' Nicole Fontaine, a European Parliamentarian, told participants. 'Although there are many solutions such as renewable energy, reality dictates we use nuclear energy, which covers 32 percent of European energy needs'... But the whole of the EU is not going nuclear, said Patricia Lorenz from Friends of the Earth. EU members such as Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and Austria all have doubts about nuclear power."

<>Italy Plans to Resume Building Atomic Plants. By Elisabeth Rosenthal, NYTimes, May 23, 2008. "Italy announced Thursday that within five years it planned to resume building nuclear energy plants, two decades after a public referendum resoundingly banned nuclear power and deactivated all its reactors... The change is a striking sign of the times, reflecting growing concern in many European countries over the skyrocketing price of oil and energy security, and the warming effects of carbon emissions from fossil fuels. All have combined to make this once-scorned form of energy far more palatable... Emma Bonino, an opposition politician and vice president of the Italian Senate, said building nuclear plants made no economic sense because they would not be ready for at least 20 years. 'We should be investing more in solar and wind,' she said. 'We should be moving much more quickly to improve energy efficiency, of buildings, for example. That's something Italy has never done anything with.'"

<>Uranium Producer's Leaks into Lake Ontario Are Assumed. By Ian Austen, NYTimes, May 22, 2008. "Cameco, the world's largest uranium producer, has told the Canadian nuclear regulator that its refinery might have leaked uranium, arsenic and fluorides into Lake Ontario. The plant at Port Hope, Ontario, across the lake from Rochester and down the shore from Toronto... has been temporarily closed since July... Cameco in general and the aging Port Hope refinery, which transforms mined uranium into forms suitable for electrical power reactors, have long been targets of environmental groups and the [Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission]. After a flood last year closed one of the company's mines, which produces about 10% of the world's uranium, Linda J. Keen, then the head of the [CNSC], said her commissioners and staff had a 'lack of confidence' in Cameco and its management. Gordon Edwards, president of the <>Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility… said that contamination of the lake had been assumed, given the plant's age, history and location."

<>Father of Yucca Mountain Changes His Tune. By Lisa Mascaro, Las Vegas Sun, May 22, 2008. "The lawmaker perhaps most responsible for turning Yucca Mountain into the nation's proposed nuclear waste dump said Tuesday the politically opposed project should never have been billed as a place to hold waste indefinitely. Former Sen. J. Bennett Johnston says the waste repository might have won more public support in Nevada had it been designed as a temporary facility rather than the one now being planned to hold waste for up to 1 million years... Johnston's comments come just weeks before the Energy Department is expected to deliver its long-awaited application to license the site. The Energy Department will try to convince federal regulators, and the public, that the site can safely hold nuclear waste for the unforeseeable future. The former Louisiana senator's renewed interest in a temporary holding facility mirrors increased efforts in the nuclear industry to seek alternatives to Yucca Mountain."

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