Books, Video, Audio
The Science Council for Global Initiatives (SCGI) is an international NGO dedicated to uplifting the standards of living of people of all nations while repairing our damaged environment.
The Center on Global Energy Policy hosted a panel discussion on the future of nuclear power. This event focused on important questions including: how can the lessons from the Fukushima disaster be used to contribute to convincingly safer construction and operation of nuclear reactors? Can new technology - such as Integral Fast Reactors or Small Module Reactors - help restore public confidence and improve the commercial viability of nuclear power? What pathways exist for global collaboration on high-level waste management technology? In the evolving energy and climate landscape, how should society think about nuclear power as a zero-carbon fuel versus its other social externalities (radioactive waste, risk of disaster, water-intensity, etc.)? These and other issues were discussed by our distinguished guests, who included:
- Tom Blees, President, the Science Council for Global Initiatives
- Dr. Yoon Chang, Senior Technical Advisor, Distinguished Fellow, Argonne National Laboratory
- Joyce Connery, Director, Nuclear Energy Policy, National Security Staff, the White House
- Ray Hunter, former Deputy Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology, U.S. Department of Energy
- Nobuo Tanaka, Distinguished Fellow, CGEP; former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency
Mr. Tanaka was then joined by Robert Stone, Tom Blees, Travis Bradford and Eric Lowen in an enlightening discussion on nuclear technology and policy. Click here to see the video.
by Barry Brook
Guest Post by Geoff Russell. Geoff recently released the popular book “Greenjacked! The derailing of environmental action on climate change“.
The Climate Council has a new report out. The Global Renewable Energy Boom: How Australia is missing out (GREB) is authored by Andrew Stock, Tim Flannery and Petra Stock. The lead author is listed on the Climate Council website as a "Non Executive Director of several ASX listed and unlisted companies in the energy sector, ranging from traditional energy suppliers to emerging energy technology companies." He's also a chemical engineer.
by Barry Brook
Below is a highly informative presentation given by Dr John Sackett (Idaho National Laboratory, Retired) at the International Conference on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles (Paris, 2013). John, with a 34-year career in advanced reactor and fuel-cycle development (including work on the Integral Fast Reactor from 1984-1994), provides a clear summary of historical-international experience with fast reactor programmes and initiatives to recycle used fuel.
This is important information for advocates of 'Generation IV' nuclear technologies to understand, because the question of "is it proven to work?" is often asked by the skeptical. Much of this will be familiar to those who have read "Plentiful Energy", but this is an excellent condensed version of that material. This is also highly relevant in the context of the recently commenced Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.
Nuclear power is one of the least damaging sources of energy for the environment, and the green movement must accept its expansion if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, some of the world's leading conservation biologists have warned.
Rising demand for energy will place ever greater burdens on the natural world, threatening its rich biodiversity, unless societies accept nuclear power as a key part of the "energy mix", they said. And so the environmental movement and pressure groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace should drop their opposition to the building of nuclear power stations.
by Tom Blees
The past year has been busy and productive. The nature of our work at SCGI often doesn’t allow us to be entirely forthcoming because it often involves consultations with companies and/or governments that are in the midst of negotiations. But I’d like to convey at least a general idea of the progress that’s being made and the promise that the future holds for our goal of promoting an energy-rich planet while addressing the pressing environmental challenges of our time.
For the past few years we’ve been advising the UK government regarding their plutonium disposition issue. With the world largest inventory of plutonium (about 140 tons), SCGI suggested to the British Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) that building PRISM fast reactors would be the best solution to their problem. GE-Hitachi then stepped in and offered to build a pair of those reactors and it currently appears to be highly likely that the NDA will choose the PRISM option. If so, it would mean the first commercial-scale metal-fueled fast reactors may well end up being built in England. We continue to encourage cooperation between the US, the UK, and other countries that are interested in this project. 2015 will probably see a final decision being made on this issue.
Every branch of the United States Military is worried about climate change. They have been since well before it became controversial. In the wake of an historic climate change agreement between President Obama and President Xi Jinping in China this week (Brookings), the military’s perspective is significant in how it views climate effects on emerging military conflicts.
China will be our biggest military and political problem by the middle of this century. It would be nice to understand what issues will exacerbate our struggles.
Peter W. Davidson, Executive Director of the Loan Programs Office (LPO)
Today, the Energy Department is announcing a significant step to help meet America’s future low-carbon goals with the release of a draft $12.6 billion loan guarantee solicitation for advanced nuclear energy projects.
If finalized, the Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects Loan Guarantee solicitation will build upon the work the Department’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is already doing to revitalize America’s nuclear power industry.