Friday, December 11, 2009

Nuclear energy news comes on Fridays

It’s the slowest day in the weekly news cycle except Saturday

slow news dayUpdate: 12/11/09 (below)

The White House has announced a new nomination for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to replace outgoing former chairman Dale Klein.

Bill Ostendorff is currently the Director of the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy and Director of the Board on Global Science and Technology at the National Academies.

He came to the National Academies after serving as Principal Deputy Administrator at the National Nuclear Security Administration from April 2007 until April 2009.

What’s significant about the timing of the announcement is that like the two before it, the White House chose to distribute it to the press on a Friday.

It guarantees the announcement will be lost in the rush to get out the door for the weekend. It ensures a low profile for the news release since any news outlet carrying it will publish on Saturday, the absolute slowest news day of the week.

Now you have to wonder why the White House regards news about nuclear energy, even on the regulatory side, as having all the appeal of folk wisdom about the Reagan Administration’s ruling that catsup is a vegetable?

According to his official bio, Mr. Ostendorff has sterling credentials, including a career in the U.S. Navy, and looks like he’d do well at the NRC. He deserves better.

NRC promotes openness

nrclogoThe White House has found some good news about the NRC. It is featuring a video about changes the agency is making to its web site and its use of Internet technologies to do a better job of public outreach. Also, released on a Friday, the NRC notes that the NRC has created a program to train 14 staff members to facilitate public NRC meetings, in addition to their regular duties.

“They will help ensure meetings are effective, inclusive and fair, and increase the NRC's capacity to collaborate and solve problems with interested stakeholders. The facilitators serve as consultants to the staff members who run the meetings and help ensure that best practices are used appropriately to make meetings more effective.”

I watched one of the NRC’s facilitator staff run a public hearing on the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in Idaho Falls last June. The facilitator did a terrific job so it is good news the agency wants to do more with this method.

Better web site at NRC

NRC’s web site is now undergoing a major redesign. The redesign, scheduled for implementation in 2010, will improve navigation, appearance, content, usability and accessibility. Part of the redesign will include a significant upgrade to ADAMS, the agency’s online document management system, which will make it more user-friendly, with an improved search capacity.

Also, NRC effectively used Internet technologies to support its workshop on small reactors held last October.

Prior coverage on this blog

See my interview with Dale Klein, then chairman of the NRC, on using Internet technologies to improve public engagement, and a second interview in which Klein talked about “no rabbits out of the hat” as a way to dealing with relicensing information for existing reactors.

And yes, this blog post appeared on a Friday.

Update 12/11/09

The NRC sent this blog an email noting that the press release about the nominee for the commission was actually sent out by the White House late Thursday, It made the Dow Jones News Wires Friday morning.


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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Western Lands Uranium Gopher for 12/10/09

gopherThis blog post is an edited version of a report published in Fuel Cycle Week, V8:N356, 12/09/09 by International Nuclear Associates, Washington, DC.

This report contains additional details and late breaking news which occurred after publication.

China’s appetite for uranium may squeeze supply for India in the long-term

Reuters has a feature article on demand for uranium by China which plans to boost power from nuclear reactors to 40 GWe by 2020. It is the primary customer for uranium from Australia and competes on the world market for the metal. Australia’s government will not allow sale of its miners’ uranium to India because that country has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. China is also buying uranium from Canada to provide fuel for two Areva 1,650 MWe EPR reactors as part of a November 2007 deal.

India is planning to rapidly build new nuclear power plants with plans for as many as 23 new reactors ranging in size from 500-to-1,000 MW. Much of India’s nuclear fuel is coming from Russia and France. For now, India’s current reactor fleet of just over 4 GWE is running at half power due to shortages of uranium.

American firms are negotiating to sell nuclear fuel, technology, and reactors to India, but they are competitively lagging behind Russia and France due to lingering domestic legal issues that remain unresolved by India’s parliament. So far China has not entered the U.S. market seeking uranium supplies.

However, Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo has a deal with Strathmore Minerals (CVE:STM) to develop the Roca Honda mine in New Mexico along with plans for a large regional uranium mill. Strathmore, which needs cash for its end of the deal, is selling its Reno Creek property to Bayswater (TSX:BAY). On Dec 9 the two firms amended the $31 million deal to stretch it out over a two-year period.

White Canyon Uranium begins production at Daneros Mine

White Canyon Uranium (ASX:WCU) has started production of uranium ore from its 100% owned Daneros uranium mine in Utah. Trucking of the ore to Denison's White Mesa mill in Blanding, Utah, will begin this month.

White Canyon Managing Director Peter Batten said this marks the transition of the firm from being an explorer to being a producer.

Work on the mine was briefly delayed earlier this year when two Utah environmental groups asked the Bureau of Land Management to consider impacts on wilderness study areas. One of their issues was a request that work on the mine be stopped until BLM carried out a regional impact assessment of all historical mining operations in Utah.

Megan Crandall, a spokesperson for BLM's Utah State Office, told FCW White Canyon "has moved ahead with an approved plan of operations."

Ur-Energy gets requested rezone of Lost Creek project

Ur-Energy (AMEX:URG) announced Dec 1 the County Commissioners in Sweetwater County, Wyo., unanimously approved the development plan for the Lost Creek uranium mine located in the Great Divide Basin northwest of Rawlins, Wyo. The plan describes the infrastructure and facilities to be built to support an ISR mine. The action by the County Commissioners follows a 5-0 vote to approve it by the Sweetwater County Planning & Zoning Commission last September.

According to a statement by the company, the NRC has informed the firm it can expect a license in June 2010. Additional regulatory actions are required by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the Bureau of Land Management. Ur-Energy said it expects to begin production at the mine in late 2010 or early 2011.

The current Lost Creek deposit holding NI 43-101 compliant report of 2008 describes indicated resources of 9.8 million pounds U3O8 and another 1.1 million pounds U3O8 inferred resources.

Ur-Energy announces new venture with Bayswater at Hauber project

Ur-Energy (AMEX:URG) announce that Bayswater (TSX:BAY) has joined the wholly-owned subsidiary, the Hauber project LLC, as an earn-in manager. Bayswater can earn a 75% interest in the project through exploration expenses of $1 million over the next four years. The first year's expenses must include core drilling to test recovery potential of mineralized zones.

The Hauber project is located in Crook County, Wyo., in the northeast corner of the state. It includes 205 unpatented claims spread over 5,160 acres. The historic Hauber mine, operated by Homestake Mining from 1958-1966 produced 2.6 million pounds of uranium by underground methods.

Energy Fuels submits uranium mill permit application in Colorado

Energy Fuels Corp. (TSE:EFR) formally applied for a permit to build a uranium mill in Montrose County in western Colorado on Nov 19. The mill, proposed for the Paradox Valley west of Naturita, would be the first new uranium mill in the country in 25 years. It will spur the re-start of numerous underground mining operations on the western slope of the state.

Last September Montrose County Commissioners unanimously approved zoning for the Pinion Ridge mill. The facility is expected to be a 500 ton/day mill with longer-term plans to expand to 1,000 tons/day if demand warrants it. It could operate for up to 40 years.

Energy Fuels said in a statement, at the higher level, the mill could produce 1.6-2.0 million pounds of U3O8 per year based on historic grades of ore in the region. At $50/lb the mill's output would be worth between $80-100 million annually.

The application with the State of Colorado starts a 10-15-month process that will include two public hearings. Steve Tarlton, radiation program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said his agency will look at health and environmental effects of the proposed mill.

Tarlton's office has 30 days to determine if the application is complete. Once it does, Energy Fuels has 75 days to hold two public hearings. Those hearings most like will take place in Montrose County said Energy Fuels spokesman Gary Steele. State law gives regulators 9-12 months to approve or deny the permit following the hearings.

Energy Fuels CEO George Glasier said he is confident his application will pass muster with the state.

A Telluride environmental group, Sheep Mountain Alliance, sued Montrose County in October claiming the commissioners abused their discretion in granting the permit for the industrial facility in an agricultural area. Travis Stills, a Durango lawyer who represents mill opponents, said Energy Fuels can expect opposition to the mill.

"There will be considerable technical, grass-roots and legal scrutiny of whatever it is they have proposed there," Stills said.

Energy Fuels CEO George Glasier has previously dismissed the lawsuits as being without merit.

Environmental groups sue feds over Denison mine near Grand Canyon

Environmental groups have filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management over its decision to allow Denison Mines (AMEX:DNN) to open its Arizona 1 mine. The Center for Biological Diversity, Grand Canyon Trust, and Sierra Club argue that Denison's mine plan was out of date and BLM's decision was based on a flawed environmental assessment. Denison's mine is 45 miles south of Fredonia, AZ, and 20 miles from the Canyon's northern border. The mining company received its final state permit in September and has started operations on the very rich ore body.

The environmental groups are trying to extend the ban on new uranium mining operations, which exempts current mines, to cover all mines. Denison's mine is exempt under a July 2009 order by U.S. Secretary of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. He withdrew one million acres of public lands for the next two years from eligibility for new mining claims. However, existing mines, including Denison's, are allowed to continue operations.

The three environmental groups argue that Denison's opening of the Arizona 1 mine is a new operation and is covered by the ban. They claim Denison relied on data developed in the 1980s. Their logic is based on the fact the initial shaft was sunk in the late 1980s, but the mine was closed a few years later without being brought into production. They claim the current start-up is, in effect, a new mine.

Denison says it will start production in early 2010 shipping 335 tons of uranium per day by truck to its mill in Blanding, Utah. It plans production of 857,000 pounds of ore over the next three years. The ore is reported to have a very high yield of as much as 11 pounds U308 per ton. At a price of $50/lb, an average daily haul of ore will yield revenue of about $184,000. The mine will operate four days a week and employ 32 people.

Uranium Energy acquires Everest

Uranium Energy Corp. (AMEX:UEC) has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the assets of Everest Exploration Inc. for 200,000 shares of common stock and $1 million. Total deal is worth about $1.7 million.

At market open on Dec 7, UEC was trading at $3.58/share against a 52-week range of $0.16-$4.16 with market capitalization of $203 million.

Strathmore's Roca Honda mine permit application docketed in New Mexico

Strathmore Minerals (TSX:STM) announced that its permit application for its proposed underground Roca Honda mine in McKinley County, NM, has been deemed "administratively complete" by the State of New Mexico Natural Resources Department. The Mining and Minerals Division will now start the technical review process including asking for comment from other state agencies.

The proposed mine site is located on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. State and federal agencies will conduct environmental impact analyses to support regulatory reviews of the permit application.

The Roca Honda mine is a joint project of Strathmore and Sumitomo Corp. of Japan.

Uranerz gets draft EIS for Nichols Ranch

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the company's Nichols Ranch proposed ISR mine in Campbell and Johnson counties in Wyoming. The draft EIS is a supplemental document to the NRC's generic EIS for ISR uranium mining. The release of the draft EIS is a major milestone in the application by Uranerz (AMEX:URZ) to obtain a Source Material License to build and operate the mine. Wyoming is not an "agreement state" with the NRC. The federal agency directly licenses uranium mines and mills in Wyoming.

The Preliminary Recommendation by the NRC in the draft EIS states:

"After weighing the impacts of the proposed action and comparing the alternatives, the NRC staff, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.71(f), sets forth its preliminary NEPA recommendation regarding the proposed action. The NRC staff recommends that, unless safety issues mandate otherwise, environmental impacts of the proposed action (issuing a source material license for the proposed Nichols Ranch ISR Project) are not so great as to make issuance of a source material license an unreasonable licensing action."

The NRC staff concluded that the overall benefits of the proposed action outweigh the environmental disadvantages and costs based on consideration of the following:

Potential impacts to all environmental resource areas are to be SMALL, with the exception of:

1. historical and archaeological resources during construction,

2. visual and scenic resources during construction, and

3. socioeconomic (specifically; demographics, housing and local finance) during operation, where such impacts would be MODERATE."

There were no findings in the draft EIS of "large" environmental impacts associated with the Nichols Ranch ISR Uranium Project.

George Hartman, Chief Operating Officer for Uranerz, said, "The issuance of this NRC document represents a significant step in the permitting process, and along with the recent issuance of the Air Quality Permit, moves the construction phase at Nichols Ranch closer to fruition. "

Design of the facility is approximately 90% complete and equipment orders for long lead-time items may begin as early as the first quarter of 2010.

NRC seeks comment on draft EIS for ISR mines.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statements (SEIS) for three proposed uranium recovery facilities in Wyoming.

The draft reports are the first issued by the agency under its Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities (GEIS, NUREG-1910), published in June. The GEIS analyzed environmental impacts common to in situ recovery operations in four regions of the western United States. The SEIS for each facility examines site-specific impacts unique to that proposed facility and its location, incorporating relevant discussion and conclusions from the GEIS.

The three draft reports cover license applications for the Moore Ranch Project, proposed by Uranium One in Campbell County; the Lost Creek Project, proposed by Ur-Energy's Lost Creek ISR, LLC, for Sweetwater County; and the Nichols Ranch Project, proposed by Uranerz Energy Corp. in Campbell and Johnson counties.

These reports were coordinated with the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, as well as potentially affected Native American tribes.

The reports contain the agency’s preliminary recommendations that, unless safety issues mandate otherwise, there are no environmental impacts that would preclude granting licenses for the proposed facilities.

The GEIS and the individual draft SEIS reports are available on the NRC’s Web site through the agency’s online documents database, ADAMS, at the following accession numbers;

  • ML093350050 for Moore Ranch;
  • ML093350051 for Lost Creek; and
  • ML093340536 for Nichols Ranch.
They will also be posted soon at the NRC Reading Room. Notices of the draft reports’ availability will be published Dec. 11 in the Federal Register.

More information on the in situ uranium recovery process is available at the NRC web site page about ISR mining.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tamar’s Law – I want my COP15!

Can developing nations get their money for nothing?

Guest Column by: Tamar Cerfici*

I’m back on US soil and watching the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference or more formally, the 15th Conference of the Parties  (COP15) thanks to the wonders of modern video software. 

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My last column concerned the investment commitments expected from the developed countries, amounting to trillions of dollars.  On the other hand, expectations are much lower for countries that don’t belong to the European Union or the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

The canals in Copenhagen.  Photo by: Tamar Cerafici.  There’s a much prettier picture at Climate Central’s brand-new web site.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects that developed nations will provide more financial support to developing nations for emissions reduction.  In fact, IEA’s low carbon revolution needs another major investment of $197 billion in 2020 in non-OECD countries.

There are two questions for Copenhagen delegates:

  • How much carbon will I have to reduce?
  • How much will it cost me?

Playing percentages

Roulette-Wheel There is a deep division at the COP about the fairness of carbon reduction goals.  IEA  and the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that most developed countries should reduce their carbon emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels. These are really aggressive targets, and the developing nations would like to see these goals met.

Most developed countries balk at that, and have committed to much lower levels.  Commitments range from 3% to 33% below 1990 levels, according to the latest study from the UN Environment Programme released Sunday.

Even this is a numbers game.  The US commits to a 17% reduction from 2005 levels. Well, since it's 2005 levels were more than 15% above 1990 levels, The reduction really is a 3% reduction, and not much to get excited about.

The EU claims it will bring a 30% reduction to the table.  However, the other developed nations have to play along, and promise to foot some of the bill for climate mitigation in developing countries.

Australia  has some aggressive targets, too, with five conditions that must be met by other developed countries before they’ll commit. 

All of the developed countries want the developing world to have a stake in the game, and some emerging economies are willing to reduce emissions by almost 20% from the current (or business as usual) emissions.  If, of course, they get financial help from the developed countries.

Money for nothing?

The developing nations’ willingness to build a decent pact in Copenhagen rests on the developed countries’ willingness to help mitigate the cost of “clean” technology.

The idea of a “climate fund” has been on the table for some time, now.  France has suggested that all financial transactions be taxed to help fund the program.

Bangladesh wants 15% of any climate fund that is negotiated into the treaty.   More than 20 million Bangladeshis stand to lose their homes if the predicted climate disasters occur.

bangladesh_flood_bus_20091112-050707-6_web

According to a report from Sunday’s Wall Street Journal, most developing countries want billions to combat the effects of climate change in their countries.  On the other hand, oil rich nations like Nigeria want compensation for expected declines in oil use by industrialized nations. 

Ecuador, which will assume presidency of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), wins the prize for the most creative financing scheme: the rich countries pay Ecuador (and possibly all of OPEC) to keep the oil in the ground.  Industrialized countries who start to slack off in their oil consumption pay Ecuador $3.5 billion to keep its oil in the ground.

Can’t we just get along?

The latest news from Copenhagen describes rift between small island nations and rapidly developing economies over an enforceable maximum temperature target in the agreement, claiming Kyoto wasn’t tough enough. These small island countries have the most to lose, like the Maldives and Tuvalu.

tropical islandNow that the developing economies are going to have to shoulder some of the  burden to reduce carbon emissions, they’re balking at the idea.  China objected strenuously, noting that  it was still developing its own carbon reduction strategies.

Kyoto doesn’t require developing countries to limit their carbon or contribute to global funding of climate mitigation. Some are looking to Copenhagen negotiations to change that lopsided equation.

China doesn’t think the developed economies are bringing enough to the table. Along with its 3% reduction promise, the US and EU delegations has offered a fast start fund of $10 billion a year to pay for climate change projects.  That’s not enough, according to China and Brazil, the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world. 

The developing countries have accused the richer nations of shifting responsibility for carbon reductions on the poorer countries.  The leader of the Sudanese Delegation notes “a huge gap in developed countries leadership in modifying their longer-term trends in anthropogenic emissions" as required by the convention.

Developing countries see themselves as “being required to take the leadership in cutting emissions while developed countries are continuously increasing their emissions and hence continuously over-occupying the global climate space."

Well, a whimper is better than nothing

cop_logo_1_rMost delegates have given up the notion that a legally binding  agreement can emerge from Copenhagen.  Now they’re working toward a politically binding deal, outlining promised actions by each participating country.

The sad result is that the outdated clean development ad joint implementation mechanisms will remain in place, severely limiting the growth of nuclear energy in developing countries.

Carbon reduction and climate mitigation costs money.  That’s in short supply, and the rich nations are still in shock from the financial collapse.  Poorer countries expect assistance (not unreasonably).

Assistance can come in the form of reasonable and economic energy sources, including nuclear energy, whether from large baseload to smaller scale plants.

But it is all about the money.   The great sage of the 20th century, Eric Idle, clarified the issue:

There is nothing quite as wonderful as money
There is nothing quite as beautiful as cash
Some people say it’s folly
But I’d rather have the lolly
With money you can make a splash

The Money Programme” (1972)

Or how about “Dire Straits” Money for Nothing

* Author ID

Tamar_Cerafici_profile* Ms. Cerafici (right) is an attorney in private practice with expertise in nuclear licensing and environmental law.

Contact info

Tamar Jergensen Cerafici, tnelaw@gmail.com 
349 Shaker Road
Northfield NH 03276
(603) 496-2575

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

PST Names Energy Advocate Award Winners

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Media Contact: Lane Allgood (208) 313-4166

Idaho Falls, ID - December 8, 2009 – The Partnership for Science and Technology (PST) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2009 Energy Advocate Awards. The awards are presented to individuals or organizations that were central to a noteworthy achievement in an energy or environmental field that is of interest to PST and its membership.

Awards Banquet December 19th, Red Lion Inn, Idaho Falls, ID

This year’s winners will be honored at the Annual Awards Banquet on December 19, 2009 at the Red Lion in Idaho Falls. The banquet is open to the public. For ticket information, contact the PST at (208) 313-4166 or visit the web site or see us on Facebook. Email: lallgood@partnershipforscienceandtechnology.org

2009 PST Energy Advocate Award Winners

Mike_Crapo_official_photo National Award: U.S. Senate Western Caucus, Senator Mike Crapo (right) accepting. The U.S. Senate Western Caucus (video) was selected based on the introduction of the Clean, Affordable. Reliable Energy Act of 2009, which will promote the development and deployment of clean energy systems including renewable, nuclear and other forms of energy.

Members of the U.S. Senate Western Caucus include; Senators Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho, John Barrasso (Caucus Chairman) and Michael Enzi of Wyoming, Robert Bennett and Orrin Hatch of Utah, John Ensign of Nevada, John Kyl of Arizona, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Pat Roberts of Kansas and David Vitter of Louisiana.

Brian Schwitzer gov MT Regional Award: Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. Governor Schweitzer (left) has been a tireless and effective advocate for sound national energy policy and for the clean development of the West’s abundant energy resources. He has worked effectively to promote clean energy investment in Montana.

His hard work has paid off for the people of Montana in the form of new wind farms, transmission lines, and the promise of a wind turbine manufacturing facility and a carbon-sequestering liquid fuels plant.

As the Chairman of the Western Governors’ Association, he has promoted the formation of a Canada-U.S. energy corridor to increase cooperation across state and national borders, and he has pledged to keep energy and climate change as top priorities for the association over the next year.

BU010429 Local Award: Idaho Building & Construction Trades Council, Rod Fuger IBCTC President accepting. The Idaho Building & Construction Trades Council was selected for the award based on its long history of supporting projects at the Idaho National Laboratory and other energy related initiatives in the region.

Over the past 30 years, members of the Council’s union locals have proven to be effective citizen advocates through their attendance and testimony at public hearings in favor of projects that are in the public interest.

IBCTC members also have a long history of keeping a focus on working safety through constant training, communication, and commitment. This proactive approach to make safety a top priority and fundamental value for all workers has led to a safety culture that is second to none in the industry.

SteveHerring_ANS Fellow Nuclear Energy Advocate Award: Dr. J. Stephen Herring, INL Fellow, ANS Fellow. Dr Herring (left) was selected based on his noteworthy achievements in nuclear energy which include advancements at the Idaho National Laboratory on the science and engineering of the production of hydrogen from nuclear energy.

Dr. Herring is responsible for breakthroughs in High Temperature Electrolytic production of hydrogen using the heat and electricity from advanced nuclear reactors. The development and commercialization of this technology could have a long-term and significant impact on future clean energy production in the world and the revitalization of the nuclear industry in the United States.

CAES LogoEnergy Education Advocate Award: Dr. Harold Blackman, Director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies. Dr. Blackman was selected based on his tireless work to cement the CAES partnership, to build competitive energy research programs, to attract bright graduate students and outstanding faculty to Idaho’s universities, and to reach across Idaho to promote an informed energy policy dialogue.

~ & ~

The Partnership for Science & Technology is a non-profit, public interested organization advocating for advancement of science, energy and technology and providing accurate and timely information on related regional activities including those at the Idaho National Laboratory.

For more information: Contact PST or check us out at Facebook

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Overwhelmed by climate conference news?

Here are some places to catch up on what’s happening in Denmark

Arevafollowingcopenhagen The opening waves of two weeks of all climate all the time from Copenhagen are crashing ashore on to the beach of the news reading public. OK, so what are you going to read about the conference? Here are a few sources. Please feel free to suggest other sources in a comment.

  • Official site for the conference

The United Nations conference web site has a lot of information include a daily summary of events.

The U.S. government delegation’s website has information on how our country is participating in the conference.

  • Nuclear Energy Institute

Paul Genoa, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s director of policy development, is attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) in Copenhagen, Denmark, from Dec. 7-18. Genoa is posting dispatches during COP15 at The National Journal and NEI's blog, NEI Nuclear Notes.

Genoa and others are also blogging at the National Journal. It’s pages are open to anyone for this topic.

NEI has additional sources and information about the climate conference at this web page. It includes listings of official U.N. and U.S. web sites about the conference and sources of video coverage from Copenhagen.

Follow NEI on Twitter @N_E_I

  • New York Times

The New York Times has a special section on the climate talks. It assembles all of the newspaper’s extended coverage of the conference at one place. This includes Andrew C. Revkin’s Dot Earth blog and his coverage from Copenhagen along with that of other reporters from the newspaper.

You can get breaking news by following him on Twitter @revkin

The Twitter hashtag for the conference overall is: #COP15

  • Energy Collective

The Energy Collective has fielded three bloggers in Copenhagen and has a special section for coverage of energy and climate issues.

The Energy Collective now has a special online community dedicated specifically to Copenhagen called The Cop15 Copenhagen Conversation. You can join the conversation with commenting and posting there. It features on-site coverage from Marc Gunther, Mike Smith and Rebecca Lutzy.

Follow them on Twitter @EnergyCollectiv

What others are saying

  • Areva

Our friends at Areva US blog have gone all out with a full court press rounding up blog and nuclear energy industry coverage of the conference. Check back daily or sign up for the RSS feed.

Constellation Energy, which plans to build an Areva EPR as Calvert Cliffs III, says nuclear energy plays an indispensable role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company made the comments in a statement issued Dec 7 about the climate change conference in Copenhagen.

"Constellation Energy is hopeful that the international community will agree to a political framework that will ensure the conclusion of negotiations in 2010 for a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol," said Mayo A. Shattuck III, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Energy.

"The world's climate experts, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, believe that nuclear energy, in particular, plays an indispensable role in substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and strengthening energy security in a sustainable manner that takes into account economic development and poverty eradication goals," said Mayo A Shattuck, CEO.

Constellation says nuclear energy provides about 14% of the world's commercial electricity, a number that needs to increase substantially if long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals are to be met.

Follow Areva on Twitter @ArevaInc

(Thanks Areva for the cool graphic used in this blog post.)

INL in video at Copenhagen

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) footage and research are featured in a video presented at the World Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen. President Obama introduced the video, which is titled "America's Response to Climate Change" and discusses how varied energy technologies can combat climate change.

It features a video clip and interview INL Fellow Dave Petti, director of INL's Very High Temperature Reactor Technology Development Office.

The Idaho Falls footage can be seen briefly in the first 90 seconds of the video, and the nuclear energy segment featuring Petti starts around 10:35. The entire video is more than 17 minutes long and discusses a variety of energy research projects occurring throughout the country and at INL.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

India’s climate change goals and nuclear energy

A series of groundbreaking deals are part of a drive to build 20 GWe by 2020

The visit to the U.S. of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the week before Thanksgiving was marked by a series of events related to India’s commitments to action on climate change and the use of nuclear energy to meet them.

At the same time, Singh signed new cooperative agreements with Canada and Russia for trade in nuclear technologies and fuel.

India steps up to climate change commitments

On the climate front, on Dec 4 India announced it would slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2020 following similar announcements by the U.S. and China.

India is a key player in the climate conference. It is ranked second globally in terms of population with an estimated 1.2 billion people and fifth in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

Jairam Ramesh, India’s Environmental Minister, in a speech to Parliament on 12/3, laid out a plan to reduce the growth of GHG by up to 25% by 2020 using 2005 as a baseline. He said that India is prepared to do more if an equitable deal can be worked out in Copenhagen.

Read the rest of the story exclusively at the Energy Collective.

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