Monday, March 31, 2008
Pedreira currently produces 25 tons of trash per year and the local population is still unfamiliar with separating trash from reuseable materials. Pedreira City seeks to develop strong recycling and environmental education programs in order for the community to have a program to protect their environment. Some materials previously thrown into the sanitary landfill are now being recycled, but it is not sufficient to reduce the waste. Pedreira City is seeking professionals that can help to organize the collection and reprocessing of recyclable materials, the dissemination educational information to the public and training programs.
The Center will promote this Sister Cities Program between Pedreira City (PC) and Prince George's County (PGC) in order to fulfill our commitment to 'think globally and act locally.' The Center was contacted by a representative of Pedreira's Selective Collection agency and we agreed to work together to promote a Sister City Recycling program between Pedreira City and Prince George's County. Pedreira city is a small city with approximately 40,000 people and many of its inhabitants are ready to work for a better world and environment. Prince George's County has about 900,000 inhabitants.
Christie Todd Whitman, left, seems to be missing in action on the front lines of the fight to renew construction of nuclear power plants. She is the former administrator of the EPA and former governor of New Jersey. She is cochair of a nuclear industry coalition created to promote nuclear power, but we have observed that she is MIA on numerous battle fronts. Maybe the industry is assuming the nuclear renaissance many are 'talking about' will be a walk-over. We think with a very shaky economy and a possible shift in national political leadership combined with increasing plant costs and the monolithic opposition of the entire environmental movement, that an extremely small bench of active individual environmentalist supporters cannot afford to have any players on the backbench. Let's see:
Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearings and meetings: No
Network Television News Programs: No
Major newspaper articles: No
Oyster Creek (New Jersey) License Renewal campaign: No
NEI Nuclear Notes Blog: Rarely
These are just a few of more examples we could cite. Considering the nonexistent environmental activist support for nuclear power, one would think that all troops would be completely engaged in outreach. Only two American environmentalists are actively supporting nuclear power: 1) Whitman and 2) Center President Norris McDonald. Again, Whitman's role seems to be quite limited, particularly compared to her Canadian co-chair. It is probably none of our business but since our outreach arm is fighting hard on the front lines to the extent we can, it is curious to us that Whitman is not utilized more in the numerous activities related to relicensing and pending proposals for new plant licenses. Just wondering.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Standing feet above reprocessed nuclear fuel (I'm in the middle)
[Rest of tour party not members of NFR Coalition]
The Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition was established in 2004 to promote the construction and operation of nuclear fuels reprocessing facilities. NFR promotes reprocessing commercial spent nuclear fuel that is generated by commercial nuclear power plants. Reprocessing dramatically reduces the amount of high-level radioactive waste that would have to be stored in a geologic repository. We also support reprocessing plutonium and highly enriched uranium from nuclear warheads into fuel for use in commercial nuclear power plants.
The NFR Coalition is working to amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 with the Nuclear Waste Management Agency Act of 2008 to establish the United States Nuclear Waste Management Agency to manage all Federal and civilian spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste management programs currently under the control of the United States Department of Energy; to establish and operate low-level radioactive waste receipt, supplementary segregation, treatment and burial or monitored/retrievable storage facilities on a fee basis; and to promote spent nuclear fuel reprocessing as a viable technology to aid in achieving and maintaining our national security and National Energy Policy goals, and for its potential to significantly reduce the total volume of radioactive waste designated for disposal in a Federal geologic repository.
The importance of our proposal is clearly illustrated by recent events. In 2007 the U.S. Department of the Interior decided to disapprove the Goshute Private Fuels Storage LLC (PFS) lease and the use of public lands for an Intermodal Transfer Facility (ITF) in Utah. The ITF would have been a temporary facility to store spent nuclear fuel rods. The DOI was jointly sued by PFS (a consortium of eight electric utility companies) and the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians in the federal court. Utilities are also suing over the delay in opening Yucca Mountain.
The U.S. Court of Claims decided in favor of Xcel Energy (formerly Northern States Power) for the sum of $116.5 million in Xcel's lawsuit against the Department of Energy over the federal government's failure to open the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility on time. Northern States Power originally filed the suit in 1998. DOE failed to provide suitable off-site commercial spent nuclear fuel (SNF) disposal to the commercial nuclear utilities per the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987; yet to date, over $30 billion dollars (including interest) has been paid into the Nuclear Waste Fund by the electric utility ratepayers.
Unfortunately, the projected date for completion of the geologic repository by the DOE to begin emplacement of SNF has recently been revised from 2010 to a new projected date of 2017, while the original Congressionally mandated date for having a geologic repository available was 1998. A fee of 1/10th of one cent (one mil) per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by each nuclear power plant is paid into the fund. All settlements against the DOE are paid by the Judgement Fund, which is funded by our tax dollars. Understand why I am angry?
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
"intelligent technologies" that more precisely calibrate energy use; make cars, appliances, buildings, airplane engines, and industrial processes more energy efficient; and assist in reducing the need for energy-intensive travel can significantly cut back on the use of carbon based fuels. Many of the examples in that report rely on broadband and communications networks to produce results.Another study:
identifies ways in which broadband can reduce or avoid energy use – totaling up to 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions - over the next 10 years.Hoewing cites other studies that:
point to the positive and significant impacts widespread broadband deployment and use could have as part of the solution to our environmental problems. Indeed, as the strategy for achieving deep reductions in greenhouse gas is developed, it would make little sense to overlook the role of a national and global network that is, even today, changing the way we live, work and play—and how that has fundamentally effected energy usage.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
In December, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, which responded to his "Twenty in Ten" challenge in last year's State of the Union Address to improve vehicle fuel economy and increase alternative fuels.
· The Renewable Fuels Mandate will increase the use of renewable fuels by 500 percent – requiring fuel producers to supply at least 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel in the year 2022.
· The Vehicle Fuel Economy Mandate specifies a national mandatory fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, which will save billions of gallons of fuel and increase efficiency by 40 percent.
Additionally, the Act advances the following efficiencies:
· The Lighting Efficiency Mandate will phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs by 2014, and improve lighting efficiency by more than 70 percent by 2020.
· The Appliance Efficiency Mandate sets over 45 new standards for appliances.
· The Federal Government Operations Mandate will reduce the energy consumption of Federal Government facilities 30 percent by 2015. Additionally, all new Federal buildings will be carbon-neutral by 2030.