File Japan Nuclear Power
In a presentation at the Asia Energy Security workshop in Beijing Dec. 5-7, Tatsujiro Suzuki gave an overview of Japan’s nuclear energy sector.
File Postpone full operation of Rokkasho
Writing in the Japan Times, Nautilus Associate Tadahiro Katsuta argues that Japan should postpone full operation of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant until the current spent fuel storage facilities are full, which will take at least a decade.
File U.S. Companies Explore Ways to Profit from Trading Carbon Credits
The New York Times (Claudia H. Deutsch, “U.S. Companies Explore Ways to Profit From Trading Credits to Emit Carbon,” Dec. 28, 2006) reports that, in anticipation of future carbon taxes, U.S. companies are exploring different methods for trading carbon credits.
File China Fuel Cell Vehichles
The Washington Post (Edward Cody, “For Eco-Entrepreneurs in China, No Simple Way to Grow a Business,” Dec. 28, 2006) reports that Chinese entrepreneurs are looking at fuel cell vehicles in their bid for innovation.
File Environmental Treaties: Inconvenience or Opportunity
Writing in Policy Innovations, Shiyang Li argues that, by refusing to sign global environmental treaties like the Kyoto Protocol, the United States is missing out on important business opportunities.
File New State Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Activity Database
Fuel Cells 2000 and the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Hydrogen Program have launched a new searchable database that documents fuel cell and hydrogen activity in the United States.
File Nuclear Energy Nearing Revival
The Chicago Tribune (Robert Manor, “Nuclear energy nearing revival,” 12/4/06) reports that in response to global warming and rising energy demand, the U.S. nuclear industry is making plans for 30 new plants. Critics, however, question whether such developments are feasible without large subsidies.
File It’s Free, Plentiful, and Fickle
The New York Times (Matthew L. Wald, “It’s Free, Plentiful, and FIckle,” 12/28/06) reports that, while wind power remains a hopeful source for renewable energy, it’s tendency to be most available during off-peak hours poses technical and economic challenges.
File World Bird Flu Death Toll
The Washington Post (David Brown, “World Death Toll Of a Flu Pandemic Would Be 62 Million,” 12/22/06) reported that a study in the medical journal “Lancet” found that a new influenza pandemic would cost 62 million lives, with 96% of deaths occuring in developing countries.
File Ensuring global uranium supplies
In an op-ed in the International Herald Tribune (“Ensuring global uranium supplies,” 12/22/06) Debra Decker and Erwann Michel-Kerjan argue that involving the insurance and finance industries in a global scheme to ensure uranium supplies would make it more difficult for states to pursue nuclear weapons programs under the guise of peaceful enrichment.
File China’s Catch 22
Writing in Policy Innovation, Rachel Makabi (“China’s Catch 22,” 12/28/06) argues that, with growing demand for energy and refineries that can only process low-sulfur oil, China may have little choice over the short-term than continuing to import oil from countries with questionable human rights records.
File UAVs Searching Jungles
According to strategypages.com, India is expanding the use of its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) to find Maoist rebel camps in the jungle.
File How Washington Learned to Stop Worrying and Love India’s Bomb
Writing in Foreign Affairs, Harvard University’s Ashton Carter writes that the US-India nuclear deal has yet to yield the strategic partnership that its proponents promised. Nonetheless, such a partnership seems likely to emerge in the future.
File Dr. Strangelove Saves the Earth
The Economist (“Dr. Strangelove Saves the Earth,” Jan. 17, 2006) reported on “geo-engineering,” which is attempting to develop technologies to counter global warming through large-scale, planetary level engineering projects.
File The Land of Rising Conservation
The New York Times (Martin Fackler, “The Land of Rising Conservation,” 1/6/07) reports that Japan has developed a national culture of energy efficiency and conservation that makes it much better equipped than the United States to prosper in a time of high oil prices.
File China Cracks Down on Power Companies
The Wall St. Journal (Shai Oster, “China Cracks Down on Power Companies As Frustration Over Pollution Grows,” 1/12/07, p. A9), reports that Beijing is trying to enforce environmental standards on power companies, but is running into difficulties as the companies are often protected by local officials.
File In 2008, most people will live in cities
The Christian Science Monitor (Brad Knickerbocker, “World First: In 2008, most people will live in cities,” 1/12/07) reported that researchers believe that, sometime in 2008, for the first time in human history a majority of people will live in urban areas. The Worldwatch Institute warns that the social implications of this shift are enormous.
File China pushes Green GDP
Newsweek (Jonathan Ansfield and Melinda Liu, “As China pushes ‘Green GDP,’ officials fear careers may depend on cutting the costs of pollution,” 1/15/07) reports that China’s attempt to quantify the costs of environmental damage is worrying officials who are accustomed to getting promotions based on their success in promoting economic growth.
File Taiwan’s Bullet Trains Can’t Outrun Controversy
The New York Times (Keith Bradsher, “Taiwan’s Bullet Trains Can’t Outrun Controversy,” 1/4/07) reported that proponents of Taiwan’s new bullet train say that the system will greatly cut emissions compared to traveling by bus or car. But critics cite cost and safety concerns, and point out that the emission-cutting benefits will be largely eroded if more people travel to take advantage of the high-speed transit.
File China’s Tortuous Middle East Journey
Writing in Japan Focus, M K Bhadrakumar argues that despite China’s dependence on Iranian oil imports, China has shown signs of taking a stronger stance against Tehran’s nuclear program. The author attributes this to China’s greater reliance on Saudi oil, and subsequent interest in maintaining stability in the Middle East.
File Beijing Battles to Control its Booming Coal Biz
Newsweek (Jonathan Ansfield, “Beijing Battles to Control its Booming Coal Biz,” 1/15/07) reports that China’s main power companies are building large, cleaner, and more efficient coal-fired power plants. But reining in the multiple small, dirty plants erected by local officials remains a challenge.
File New race for automakers: build a better battery
The Christian Science Monitor (Mark Clayton, “New race for automakers: build a better battery,” 1/12/07) reported that American car manufacturers are trying to catch up with the Japanese in the hybrid car market by developing new batteries that can go farther and last longer.
File Plutonium shipments
A new study by the Institute of Science and International Security examines the current and likely future status of international plutonium shipments, and discusses the challenges of providing security to prevent theft of shipments.
File PRC Nuclear Power
At a presentation at the Asia Energy Security workshop in Beijing Nov. 5-7, Wu Zongxin discussed China’s nuclear energy development.
File Russia Nuclear Power
In a presentation at the Asia Energy Security workshop, Alexander Dmetriev discussed Russia’s plans for nuclear energy.
File Surge in carbon levels raises fears of runaway warming
The Guardian (David Adam, “Surge in carbon levels raises fears of runaway warming,” 1/19/07) reports that new figures from dozens of measuring stations across the world reveal that concentrations of CO2, the main greenhouse gas, rose at record levels during 2006, raising fears that humanity may have less time to tackle global warming than previously thought.
File A Light Bulb Goes on
The New York Times (Matt Richtel, “A Light Bulb Goes on, and China Starts Thinking ‘Alternative Energy’,” 1/19/07) reported that venture capitalists are beginning to see opportunities in China for financing renewable energy development projects.
File Remember Bird Flu?
Writing in Policy Innovations, Matthew Hennessey argues that, while the recent number of bird flu cases appear to have dropped, experts believe that the world is closer to a global pandemic than at any time since 1968.
File Handling nuclear waste
The Chattanooga Times Free Press (Pam Sohn, “Handling nuclear waste”) reports that nuclear scientists at Oak Ridge believe that they can safely recycle the nuclear waste currently being kept at power plants around the country. But opponents charge that such massive shipments of radioactive waste is highly dangerous, and that the project is a waste of taxpayer’s money.
File Japan’s Wishful Nuclear Thinking: What Price Power?
Writing in Japan Focus, Tony Barrell examines Japan’s ambitions to greatly increase its nuclear power production. Taking into account safety, cost, and proliferation issues, he questions the feasibility of the project.
File Calling an End to Oil Alarmism
In an op-ed in the Boston Globe (“Calling an End to Oil Alarmism,” 1/23/07) Philip E. Auerswald of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University argues that concerns about the security of oil supplies are overblown. Noting that high oil prices hurt producers as much as consumers, Auerswald maintains that dealing with climate change is far more important than worrying about dependence on foreign oil.
File Global warming more dangerous than nuclear weapons: Blix
Agence-France Presse (“Global warming more dangerous than nuclear weapons: Blix,” 1/25/07) reported that former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix argued that the threat from global warming is more dangerous than the spread of weapons of mass destruction. For that reason, he called for an increase in nuclear power to cut global emissions.
File Summary of China Environment Forum Initiative
File The Doomsday Clock
The Independent (Rupert Cornwall, “The Doomsday Clock: Nuclear threat to world ‘rising’,” 1/17/07) reported that scientists at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have moved ahead the hands of the nuclear “doomsday clock,” symbolizing their belief that the threat of nuclear armageddon is greater that at any time since the 1980s.
File Emerging economies are under pressure to cut emissions
The International Herald Tribune (James Kanter and Katrin Bennhold, “Emerging economies are under pressure to cut emissions,” 1/24/07) reported that officials attended the World Economic Forum in Davos say that emerging countries like China and India will need to play a greater role in curbing emissions when a successor to the Kyoto Protocol is negotiated.
File Cutbacks Impede Climate Studies
The Washington Post, (Marc Kaufman, “Cutbacks Impede Climate Studies,” 1/16/07, A01) reported that a two-year study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the U.S. ability to monitor climate change of all types has been greatly hampered by funding cutbacks in NASA’s earth science program.
File Australia Radioactive Waste
A study by the Politics and Administration Group of the Australian government concludes that despite some efforts, the Commonwealth has failed to respond successfully to calls to resolve nuclear waste issues as a precondition to the further development of nuclear industries.
File Nanotechnology in China
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a program on China’s advances in the nanotechnology field on Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. The program will also be available by webcast.
File Monitoring Nuclear Tests
In a letter to the editor of Arms Control Today, Jungmin Kang, Frank Von Hippel, and Hui Zhang question Harold Smith’s claim that the type of material used in North Korea’s nuclear test can be determined solely by measuring radioctive noble gases released by the test.
File U.S. Funds GNEP Site Feasibility Studies
The U.S. Energy Department announced that it has awarded more than $10 million for studies on whether 11 different sites around the country could house spent nuclear fuel recycling plants as part of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.
File Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle
The University of Sydney published a report entitled “Life-Cycle Energy Balance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Nuclear Energy in Australia.” The report brings together previous work in a concise yet comprehensive way to provide a more complete, integrative study of all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia.