Archive for June, 2011

Jun
23
    
Fully Renewable Grid

A couple of years ago, Dr William Moomaw of Tufts mentioned a regional scale experiment with an all-renewable grid in Germany. I’ve been curious about that project since then. Today, I did a little googling and found a seven-minute youtube called “Fully renewable: biogas + wind + solar”

Dr Jurgen Schmid at the University of Kassel, Department of Efficient Energy Conversion is the spokesperson from this December 2007 video. The system described is wind with pumped hydro storage and grid scale solar with methane from biomass (corn biofuels). When the sun isn’t out in the South, the wind may be blowing in the North. When there’s too much wind, it can be used to pump water into reservoirs that will provide hydroelectricity days or weeks later. When the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, biomass can be burned or converted to methane. They say Germany can have a 100% renewable grid by 2050. Dr Schmid, along with John Sievers, Stefan Faulstich, Mathias Puchta, Ingo Stadler, is the co-author of “Long-term perspectives for balancing fluctuating renewable energy sources” (pdf alert:
http://desire.iwes.fraunhofer.de/files/deliverables/del_2.3.pdf) details the steps necessary to get to a fully renewable grid.

If it can work in Germany, which has, on average, about as much sunlight as Seattle, it can work in the USA too. Maybe even in a city like New York.

The NYC Solar Map (http://nycsolarmap.com/), a collaboration between New York City, the City University of New York, and the Department of Energy, shows 66.4 percent of the city’s buildings have roof space suitable for solar panels and could generate up to 5,847 megawatts of energy, 14 percent of the city’s total annual use (taking typical weather conditions into account).

The data for the map was collected using a Lidar-equipped plane recorded the shape, angle, and size of the city rooftops and the shading provided from trees and structures around them. New Yorkers can use the map to discover the solar power potential of their own roof, the associated costs, rebates, and various financial incentives by entering their address.

Today in NYC, about 400 solar installations produce 6.5 megawatts, and existing solar power installations nationwide produce about 2,300 megawatts. If the NYC data is replicable in other cities, we are currently using a little more than a tenth of what we could get from sunlight alone. And that’s just counting electricity.
hat tip http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/rooftop-solar-power-could-meet-half-new-york-city-peak-energy.php

posted at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/20/987155/-Fully-Renewable-Grid

Jun
15
    
Japan’s richest man comes out swinging for solar

Japan’s Richest Man Challenges Nuclear Future
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-14/japan-s-richest-man-challenges-nuclear-future-with-nationwide-solar-plans.html

Masayoshi Son, CEO of Japan’s Softbank, has declared his intention to build 200 MW in total solar electric capacity with plants in at least 33 of Japan’s 47 perfectures if he can get agreements from Japanes utilities to buy his electricity. Shockingly, Japan has less than 20 megawatts of installed solar capacity installed today in spite of it being a leading manufacturer of solar cells. Japan is far behind the United States and Europe in the opening of its electric grid and the restructuring of regional electric utility monopolies.  Son might be able to galvanize a real move toward a non-nuclear future for Japan.

Jun
14
    
Italian voters decide “No nukes!”

Italian overwhelmingly rejected plans to generate nuclear power in Italy in a referendum held on Monday. The margin was apparently greater than 94%. Water privatization was also rejected.

No nukes! 

Italy’s Voters Scrap Nuclear Energy
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tina-gerhardt/italys-voters-scrap-nucle_b_876004.html

Berlusconi acknowledges reversal on nuclear power
http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/fullstory.php?nid=62071462

More coverage:

Voters deal Berlusconi latest blow in referendums
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110613/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_italy_referendums

Jun
06
    
Weekly Nuclear Calendar

Nuclear Calendar
June 6, 2011
June 4-12 House of Representatives recess.
June 6-10 International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors meeting. Vienna, Austria.
June 7 9:00-10:30 a.m., Thomas Pickering, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs; Jeffrey White, Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Alireza Nader, RAND, “The Military Option for Countering Iran’s Nuclear Program.” Sponsored by the Arms Control Association. At the Carnegie Endowment, Root Room, 1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington. RSVP to Tim Farnsworth by email.
June 7 German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with President Obama. White House, Washington. Iran’s nuclear program is on the agenda.
June 7 30th anniversary of Israel’s destruction of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor.
June 8 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Philipp Bleek, Monterey Institute; Sebnem Udum, Hacettepe University, Turkey; and other speakers, “Nuclear Proliferation and Revisiting Turkish and U.S. Threat Perceptions Regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program.” Sponsored by the Hollings Center. At the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. RSVP to Sebnem Udum by email.
June 8 1:30-3:00 p.m., Yousaf Butt, Federation of American Scientists, and Theodore Postol, MIT, “Russian Concerns of Proposed U.S.-NATO Missile Defense Shield.” Sponsored by the Federation of American Scientists, SVC 209 Capitol Visitor Center, Washington. RSVP by email.
June 8-9 Defense Secretary Robert Gates attends a NATO defense ministers meeting. Brussels, Belgium. Discussion of the NATO Defense and Deterrence Posture Review, and missile defense cooperation with Russia are on the agenda.
June 8-10 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, “Monitoring Science and Technology” international scientific conference. Vienna, Austria.
June 9 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., National Nuclear Security Administration, “Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program Symposium.” UC Washington Center, 1608 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington. RSVP online.
June 9 2:30 p.m., Senate Armed Services Committee, hearing on the nomination of Leon Panetta to be Defense Secretary. G-50 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington. Video webcast on the committee website and audio webcast on CapitolHearings.org. May be broadcast and video webcast on C-SPAN2 or C-SPAN3.
June 9 Defense Secretary Robert Gates attends a NATO-Russia Council defense ministers meeting. Brussels, Belgium. Missile defense cooperation between Russia and the United States is on the agenda.
June 10 8:00-9:00 a.m., John Harvey, Principal Deputy to the Assistant to the Defense Secretary for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, “Moving Ahead on America’s Nuclear Security.” Part of the NDUF-NDIA Seminar Series. At the Capitol Hill Club, 300 First St., SE, Washington. RSVP by noon, June 9, to Elma Rhue by email.
June 13 8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT, Republican presidential debate. Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH. Broadcast and video webcast on CNN.
Week of June 13 Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, markup of its portion of the defense authorization bill, S. 981, which includes the nuclear nonproliferation program of the National Nuclear Security Administration. Room TBA, Senate Office Building, Washington. May be video webcast on the committee website and audio webcast on CapitolHearings.org depending on room location.
Week of June 13 Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic forces, markup of its portion of the defense authorization bill, S. 981, which includes the nuclear weapons program of the National Nuclear Security Administration. Room TBA, Senate Office Building, Washington. May be video webcast on the committee website and audio webcast on CapitolHearings.org depending on room location.
Week of June 13 Senate Armed Services Committee, markup of the defense authorization bill, S. 981, which includes the nuclear weapons and nuclear nonproliferation programs of the National Nuclear Security Administration. Room TBA, Senate Office Building, Washington. May be video webcast on the committee website and audio webcast on CapitolHearings.org depending on room location.
Week of June 13 Nuclear Suppliers Group plenary meeting. India’s request for membership is on the agenda (estimate). The Hague, Netherlands.
June 14 Time TBA, House Appropriations Committee, markup of the defense appropriations bill. 2359 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington. Video and audio webcast on the committee website.
June 14 Noon-2:00 p.m., Gen. James Jones (retired), former National Security Advisor, speaks at a Stimson Center’s Chairman’s Forum. Stimson Center, 1111 19th St., NW, 12th Floor, Washington. RSVP by email.
June 15 Time TBA, House Appropriations Committee, markup of the energy and water appropriations bill, which includes the nuclear weapons and nuclear nonproliferation programs of the National Nuclear Security Administration. 2359 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington. Video and audio webcast on the committee website.
June 15 10:30 a.m., Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, hearing on the Defense Department budget, with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen. 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington. Audio webcast on CapitolHearings.org.
June 15 4:30-6:00 p.m., Matias Spektor, Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Brazil ; Luis Bitencourt, National Defense University; and Greg Thielmann, Arms Control Association, “Brazil, Argentina, and the Road to the NPT.” Wilson Center, Sixth Floor Moynihan Board Room, Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington.
Between June 15 and 17 Russian Navy test launches a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile from the Yury Dolgoruky submarine (tentative). From the White Sea toward the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. Webcast on the Russian Defense Ministry website.
June 17 4:30-5:30 p.m., Philipp Bleek, Monterey Institute, “How Likely Are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or Others to Pursue Nuclear Weapons in Response to Iran.” Part of the Middle East and Security-II Conference at Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey.
June 17-19 Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, “Space Organizing Conference.” Merrimack College, North Andover, MA.
June 20 U.S. Conference of Mayors adopts a resolution in support of nuclear disarmament at its annual meeting. Baltimore Hilton Hotel, Baltimore.
Week of June 20 House of Representatives floor action on the defense appropriations bill (estimate). Broadcast and video webcast on C-SPAN.
Week of June 20 House of Representatives floor action on the energy and water appropriations bill (estimate). Broadcast and video webcast on C-SPAN.
June 21 8:00-9:00 a.m., Gen. Robert Kehler, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, “Nuclear Deterrence, Arms Control, Missile Defense, and Defense Policy.” Part of the NDUF-NDIA Seminar Series. At the Capitol Hill Club, 300 First St., SE, Washington. RSVP by noon, June 20, to Elma Rhue by email.
June 21 6:30-9:30 p.m., Countdown to Zero UK, Demand Zero Day, nationwide premiere of Countdown to Zero. United Kingdom and Ireland. Screenings listed online.
June 22 8:00-9:00 a.m., Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, Commander, Global Strike Command, U.S. Air Force, “Global Strike Command, Deterrence, and U.S. Strategic Policy.” Part of the NDUF-NDIA Seminar Series. At the Capitol Hill Club, 300 First St., SE, Washington. RSVP by noon, June 21, to Elma Rhue by email.
June 24 8:00-9:00 a.m., Uzi Rubin, former staff, Israeli Defense Ministry, “Missile Defense and Missile Threats: Middle East Developments.” Part of the NDUF-NDIA Seminar Series. At the Capitol Hill Club, 300 First St., SE, Washington. RSVP by noon, June 23, to Elma Rhue by email.
June 25 International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Abolition Day.
June 25-July 5 House of Representatives Independence Day recess.

An email version of the Nuclear Calendar is published every Monday morning when Congress is in session. Subscribe on FCNL’s website. Unsubscribe by sending an email to nuclearcalendar-unsubscribe@fcnl.org.

© 2011 Friends Committee on National Legislation, 245 Second Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 | 202-547-6000 | www.fcnl.org

The editor is David Culp. The publication is made possible by generous contributions from the Colombe Foundation, the Lippincott Foundation, the Nuclear Threat Initiative the Ploughshares Fund, and the individual contributors and supporters of the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the FCNL Education Fund.

Jun
02
    
Massive nationwide protests call for an immediate end to nuclear energy

Massive nationwide protests call for an immediate end to nuclear energy
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15114349,00.html

More than 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets in 20 cities across Germany on Saturday to call for a rapid end to nuclear power, even as a government-sponsored national commission is expected to recommend that Berlin abolish nuclear energy within a decade.

 

Germans’ Deep Suspicions of Nuclear Power Reach a Political Tipping Point
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/world/europe/02germany.html

The NYT’s Alan Cowell explains Germany’s turn against nuclear power as the result of a pandering politician and an irrational public. The antinuclear position is presented as an extremist position much like creationalism.

 

Marine life soaking up radiation along Fukushima coast
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/marine-life-soaking-up-radiation-along-fukush/blog/34979

Greenpeace finds high levels of radioactivity in seafood far from Fukushima.

 

Radiated Water at Fukushima Plant May Breach Storage Trenches in Five Days
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-01/radiated-water-at-fukushima-plant-may-breach-storage-trenches-in-five-days.html

The time-lapse meltdown continues. Space to store highly contaminated water is  running out.