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  • Nuclear News in Russia and Japan

    Some developments on nuclear energy from around the globe.

    Putin’s Nuclear Push:

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stressed the need for nuclear power in his country at a meeting in Elektrostal, outside of Moscow. Part of his plan is to dedicate $42 billion in public spending toward building Russia’s nuclear industry. The goal, according to Putin, is to build 26 new plants over the next dozen years — more than the entire Soviet period. It will be interesting to see the results of an overtly statist approach in an era of global competition and interdependence.

    Recognizing that such an approach is not sustainable, Putin added that any construction after 2016 would not be financed by the government; it would be the responsibility of the private sector. We’ve said it a number of times here at Heritage: government dependence begets vulnerability that will lead to the same problems nuclear had in the past.

    Japan’s Nukes and Hybrids:

    Plug-in hybrid vehicles are often advertised as the green automobile of the future since they are powered by electricity (via rechargeable batteries). Many do not consider, however, where that electricity is generated. For instance, if the hybrid vehicle is charged by electricity that comes from a natural gas or coal plant, it’s simply transferring the pollution from one source to another. Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, a Chicago-based advocacy group said,

    “Plug-in hybrids are perhaps not good for all areas. … [S]tates that are heavily coal, that equation doesn’t work out very well for the environment.”

    Considering nearly half of America’s electricity comes from coal, simply going hybrid does little to achieve our environmental objectives. But if that electricity comes from a clean energy source, such as nuclear, hybrids may well be the perfect vehicles for us to cruise into a cleaner future. Japan is on the road to do just that. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is planning to increase nuclear by adding nine plants in nine years, quite impressive for a country that has 55 reactors providing about 30% of the country’s electricity.

    Cost-competitive hybrids could be an attractive option for the short-distance commuter given their exceptional fuel efficiency standards; however, it is important to be aware of both the seen and the unseen environmental consequences. Sure, they may use less gasoline but a lot of energy goes into making the battery. And studies have shown that today’s hybrids just don’t last as long as traditional vehicles. That is not to say that they don’t have a future, it is just to recognize that for now, there needs to be a lot more research and development.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Nuclear News in Russia and Japan

    1. Paul Moore, Scottsda says:

      I think we can all agree that the environmental damage caused by Electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid running in electric mode depends on where you get your power.

      In the Southwest United States, a 4-5 kW solar array mounted on your roof would cover the power used by a typical plug-in (say 40 – 50 miles a day depending on the car you pick). (Other areas of the country would require a solar plant of a different size.) In Arizona, that system would cost about $15,000…or $62.50 a month over a 20 year life. If you sell you house before 20 years and you get your money back in increased value – not to mention it will sell more quickly.

      Now let’s compare that performance to internal combustion. Assuming gas at $4.20, you would be able to buy about 14.9 gallons each month for that same $62.50. Let’s say you car gets 30 miles per gallon: you would then be able to drive 446.42 miles per month or just 14.8 miles a day. So a solar/electric vehicle is at least 3 to 5 times cheaper than that subcompact. By the way, the Electric test cars used to develop these numbers are full size, freeway speed that can carry a family in comfort. (For example, see http://www.phonixmotorcars.com )

      Now let’s consider the environment. When a solar power electric is combined with your solar plant, it will produce no pollution, no green house gas, and use no products from OPEC. “Driving on Sunshine®” is guilt free and fun. I drive an Electric Vehicle powered completely by the sun now. This is not only possible – it’s down right easy.

    2. Paul Moore, Scottsda says:

      The link in the last entry is incorrect:

      See http://www.phoenixmotorcars.com/ instead.

    3. dorkey says:

      It's a great that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin increasing his country power by including nuclear power. But I just want to know, What is the use of that. On the other hand we are totally facing a challenge of pollution. which is the major problem in all over the worldwide. There is a lot's of reason behind it, but the major reason is revenge which is having with all countries. Even every countries want to become a top in military attack that's why they always focus to develop new bombs and Nuclear is also one of them. Which is the curse for human beings and it also effect the our heritage.

      We can take Iraq war incident. What result came out from it except the lot's of innocent people died. We just need to be concern on that because there is no use of war. If any one get the solution, So please let me know.


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    4. Kevin Alldred, Conne says:

      The discussion of hybrid cars is misleading. Your argument would apply to pure electric cars, that require recharging from the electrical grid, but these are not the same as "hybrids". Hybrids recharge their batteries mainly using the gasoline engine, and by recovering energy during braking. As such they do not cause pollution through electricity generation elsewhere. The savings in gasoline consumption and emissions are real, and do not depend on the local electricity generation infrastructure. The only offset is the emissions caused by manufacturing the batteries, and, if the car truly has a shorter life, an appropriate proportion of the emissions caused by manufacturing the car.

    5. Kozimo Alpharetti, E says:

      Paul Moore is shilling for plug-in cars because he has a vested interest in trying to get family and friends to sign on with his contractor for solar panels for which he receives a kickback "finder's fee" for getting others hooked. By his own admission in a newspaper article in The Arizona Republic, the payback on his system will be 51.4 YEARS based on his out of pocket cost and what the system generates annually, rebates and credits notwithstanding.

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