Virtual silence at “Golden Fleece” award news conference for SMRs

Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) trace their heritage to William Proxmire, a senator famous for his “Golden Fleece” awards for wasteful government spending. Yesterday, the organization held a press conference to announce that they had decided to award a Golden Fleece to the US Department of Energy SMR (small modular reactor) program. The press release […]

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John Hanger Credits Low Natural Gas Prices For Helping US Reduce CO2 Emissions in 2012

I ran across an end of the year post about energy worth sharing Counting Down Top 12 Energy Facts of 2012: 3, 2 & 1. It appears on a blog titled John Hanger’s Facts of the Day. Mr. Hanger claims to be “an expert on energy, environment, green economy, competitive electric markets, and utility regulation […]

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Dieter Helm – Coal Critic, Atomic Agnostic, Natural Gas Enthusiast

Dieter Helm’s The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong–and How to Fix It has the potential to be an influential energy policy book, not just for the UK but for the rest of Europe and the United States. Helm has been making the rounds to promote the book and recently gave a concise […]

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Fighting climate change skeptics in the pro nuclear community

Discussions about science and technology are often colored by opinion, world views, and political alliances. Though everyone is entitled to their opinion but not their own facts, it is nearly impossible to remove bias, even in a technical discussion, because everyone has a tendency to pick which facts they prefer to introduce into an argument. […]

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CNN promotes natural gas as “safer” than nuclear – smoking gun

An article titled Fukushima inspires safety features for Georgia nuclear reactors is a recent addition to CNN’s Powering the Planet series. It is packed full of misinformation about nuclear energy along with subtle and not so subtle promotion of natural gas, one of nuclear energy’s strongest competitors. The most important misinformation in the article is […]

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Why are North American natural gas prices so much lower than rest of world?

I’ve been involved in a reasoned discussion with an oil field accountant / attorney about US natural gas prices and total resource base. I thought that it would be worth preserving and sharing that discussion here so that it would not get buried. If you read closely between the lines, you will see why I […]

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Emotional evaluation of risks should favor nuclear energy

Sabine Roeser, a philosopher, provided a thought-provoking talk at TEDx Delft on the importance of including emotions in debates about risky technologies. Though my initial response to the early part of her talk was defensive, I kept on watching and ended up concluding that I agreed with the vast majority of her message. Though it […]

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Rationally comparing financial risk – nuclear versus natural gas (#1 of ??)

Yesterday I wrote about the need to rationally compare the physical risks associated with producing energy by burning natural gas against the similar risks of producing energy by fissioning uranium in a nuclear power plant. However, even when decision makers includes some reasonable estimates for those kinds of risks, they are still often choosing to […]

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Time for rational risk evaluation of energy sources – natural gas versus nuclear

It is way past time to begin the long process of helping people understand how to rationally weigh the risks versus benefits of available power or fuel systems. For far too many years, promoters of immensely profitable products like natural gas have been loudly and frequently telling society about its benefits while glossing over the […]

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Responding to “Science and the Greens” – via Skepteco

Suzy Hobbs Baker at Pop Atomic Studios shared a link to an excellent thought piece titled Science and the Greens that is posted on Skepteco: An Ecopragmatist examines the environmental movement. Near the end of the piece, however, there is a section that needed some feedback. Many analysts who warn against the dangers of rapidly […]

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Musing about resilient power systems – natural gas, NGL (propane) and nuclear

Widespread power outages stimulate me to intense bouts of thinking about building resilient power systems, both when they happen to me and when they happen to someone else. During the summer of 2012, during one of the hottest weeks of the year, we lost power for a little more than a week as a result […]

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Shell’s natural gas marketing aiming squarely at nuclear energy sweet spot

Many, if not most, of my nuclear energy colleagues believe that our biggest hurdle is overcoming public fears. They believe that the main reason nuclear energy is not more popular is that the public is misinformed by the media. What they do not understand is that selling energy is perhaps the world’s largest and most […]

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