Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lisa P. Jackson & Stephen Chu Need Center in China


By Norris McDonald

New EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will surely engage her International Activities office to work more aggressively with China to mitigate global warming. I hope she will also engage the Center in this mission because we have specialized expertise that can help to accomplish the agency's mission. I asked Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu right after his confirmation hearing whether he had visited the new electricity production plant outside of Beijing. He told me he had not visited the facility. We would love to arrange a tour for Mrs. Jackson and Mr. Chu. We also have 'boots on the ground' in China. Zhang Xiaoping directs the Center's China operations and she stands ready to work with the U.S. EPA to assure climate change mitigation becomes a reality for her country.

In addition to promoting efficiency, wind and solar power in China, the Center Vice President Derry Bigby, Zhang Xiaoping and I (see photo below at Tsinghua University) are also promoting nuclear power as an emission free technology for producing electricity. China leads the world in develop of new generation four nuclear technology. The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) has a revolutionary design and China has built the first research reactor. The Center team visited this reactor that is located near the Great Wall in 2007. We also toured other nuclear power plants in China. China is now breaking ground to build a demonstration PBMR. Although South Africa has been talking about building such a reactor now for years, the Chinese have built one and are starting on another. We will work with the Chinese to assure success of their unique technology.

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