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.

Mid-October’s HeartlanHeartland Film Festival 2017d Film Festival in Indianapolis included the premier of a new pro-nuclear documentary entitled The New Fire. The movie focuses on the rise of reactor startups, particularly Transatomic and Oklo, illustrating how young inventor/entrepreneurs are striving to bring advanced nuclear power designs to market. The director, David Schumacher, hopes to not only educate and inspire his audiences to learn more about nuclear power, but to expose young people to the possibilities and excitement of a career in science or engineering.

by Hannah Ritchie

Our World in Data presents the empirical evidence on global development in entries dedicated to specific topics.
This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on Energy Production and Changing Energy Sources.

 Energy production and consumption is a fundamental component to economic development, poverty alleviation, improvements in living standards, and ultimately health outcomes. We show this link between energy production and prosperity here, where we see a distinct relationship between energy use and gross domestic product per capita.
The unintentional consequences of energy production can, however, also result in negative health outcomes. The production of energy can be attributed to both mortality (deaths) and morbidity (severe illness) cases as a consequence of each stage of the energy production process: this includes accidents in the mining of the raw material, the processing and production phases, and pollution-related impacts. We have recently explored this trade-off with respect to development and air pollution.

 

A recent article in Engineering News argued that wind and solar could provide the bulk of South Africa’s power at the least cost. Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz argued that building 22 GW of wind and solar capacity and 8 GW of “backup” (in the form of coal and/or gas) was the sensible solution to supplying a reliable 8 GW of electrical power to South Africa. Apparently his argument is that the amount of money saved on fuel will outweigh the cost of such extreme overbuilding.

Having seen actual results of such folly based on computer modelling and other types of simulations, one can be forgiven for being skeptical of such claims.

Epidemiology Without Biology: False Paradigms, Unfounded Assumptions, and Specious Statistics in Radiation Science.

Long accepted but inaccurate claims about the danger of low level radiation are crippling us. These fears fuel needless evacuations, inspire avoidance of life-saving medical procedures, and promote fear of nuclear energy.

Our understanding of radiation is based on circular reasoning of sterile error-prone statistics rather than on our knowledge of biology and chemistry. These studies have deadly consequences.

To avoid investigating nuclear energy, attention is often focused on the so-called ‘‘re-newable’’ sources, wind and solar. We adopt the fear from nuclear opponents and wind-and-solar proponents, inspired by the incorrect Linear, No Threshold (LNT) paradigm.

This exceptional paper examines the shortcomings of LNT and includes comments from qualified detractors and the author's reactions. It is a "Must Read".

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

The Center on Global Energy Policy also hosted a presentation and discussion with Nobuo Tanaka, non-resident Fellow at the Center and former Executive Director at 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.