The Biden Administration Weighs the Social Cost of Carbon

The Biden Administration Weighs the Social Cost of Carbon

The federal government began incorporating the social cost of carbon in climate-related regulations in 2010, factoring it into requirements for the fuel economy of cars and trucks, the levels of air pollution from power plants, and the energy efficiency of consumer appliances.

Nuclear ‘Power Balls’ May Make Meltdowns a Thing of the Past

Nuclear ‘Power Balls’ May Make Meltdowns a Thing of the Past

In a conventional nuclear reactor, the main line of defense against a meltdown is the fuel control rod, which power plant operators use to control the fission rate in the core.

How to Refuel a Nuclear Power Plant During a Pandemic

How to Refuel a Nuclear Power Plant During a Pandemic

The latest shipment of fuel arrived at the plant well before the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill, says Greg Cameron, the nuclear communications director at Palo Verde.

Enhanced Intelligence, VR Sex, and Our Cyborg Future

Enhanced Intelligence, VR Sex, and Our Cyborg Future

If you could press a button to merge your mind with an artificial intelligence computer—expanding your brain power, your memory, and your creative capacity—would you take the leap?“I would press it in a microsecond,” says Sebastian Thrun, who previously led Stanford University’s AI Lab. Turning yourself into a cyborg might sound like pure sci-fi, but recent progress in AI, neural implants , and wearable gadgets make it seem increasingly imaginable.

The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer

The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer

Operated by NuScale Power, an Oregon-based energy startup, this prototype reactor represents a new chapter in the conflict-ridden, politically bedeviled saga of nuclear power plants .NuScale’s reactor won’t need massive cooling towers or sprawling emergency zones.

Cryptocurrency Mining Employees Expose Nuclear Plant to Internet

Cryptocurrency Mining Employees Expose Nuclear Plant to Internet

Employees at a Nuclear Power Plant Mined Cryptocurrency on the Job. Cryptojackers—the hackers who insert themselves into networks to mine cryptocurrency—have targeted critical infrastructure before .The bad news is that they exposed the plant to the broader internet, which is understandably not ideal for high-security nuclear plants.

Why It's So Hard to Restart Venezuela's Power Grid

Why It's So Hard to Restart Venezuela's Power Grid

Government statements and reports indicate that the blackout stems from a problem at the enormous Guri dam hydropower plant in eastern Venezuela, which generates 80 percent of the country's electricity.

China Is Both the Best and Worst Hope for Clean Energy

China Is Both the Best and Worst Hope for Clean Energy

That’s going to require every nation to make changes, as well as individual cities, states and businesses.“It will require things that are more aggressive, like shutting down existing power plants and by 2030, we probably need to reduce global coal power production by 70 or 80 percent,” says Nathan Hultman, director of the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland.Hultman, who worked on climate issues in the Obama White House, says the solutions may be politically impossible for now.

A Nuclear Plant Braces for Impact With Hurricane Florence

A Nuclear Plant Braces for Impact With Hurricane Florence

But Lochbaum points out that history proves such preparation might not be enough.In its 2012 post-Fukushima review, Florida Power & Light told the NRC that flood protections at its St. Lucie plant on South Hutchinson Island were adequate, despite failing to discover six electrical conduits with missing seals in one of the emergency core cooling systems.

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air

And in August, the agency proposed replacing the rule on carbon dioxide pollution from coal-fired power plants with a weaker one that would allow far more global-warming emissions to flow unchecked from the nation’s smokestacks.“They’re taking them down, one by one,” said Janet McCabe, the E.P.A.’s top climate and clean-air regulator in the Obama administration.Officials from the E.P.A., the Interior Department and the White House did not respond to emails and telephone calls seeking comment.Industry groups praised the expected changes.

The E.P.A.’s Review of Mercury Rules Could Remake Its Methods for Valuing Human Life and Health

The E.P.A.’s Review of Mercury Rules Could Remake Its Methods for Valuing Human Life and Health

The formulas are complex, but the bottom line is that reducing the emphasis on health makes it tougher to justify a rule.Last week the Trump administration took a crucial step toward de-emphasizing the life and health benefits in this calculus when the Environmental Protection Agency said it would rethink a major regulation that restricts mercury emissions by coal-burning power plants.

Wind and solar power plants in Sahara could turn desert green

Wind and solar power plants in Sahara could turn desert green

Scientists predict that when sufficiently large arrays of wind turbines and solar panels are installed, their presence could change the reflectivity of the land and movement of air currents.

E.P.A. to Reconsider Obama-Era Curbs on Mercury Emissions by Power Plants

E.P.A. to Reconsider Obama-Era Curbs on Mercury Emissions by Power Plants

That rule would have restricted coal plants’ emission of a different pollutant: carbon dioxide, one of the chief causes of global warming.At the time the Obama administration put forth the mercury regulations, which took more than 20 years to formulate, E.P.A. officials estimated they would save thousands of lives and return economic and health benefits many times their estimated $9.6 billion annual cost.While owners of coal plants fought the rule in the courts, most have since complied with regulation.

President Proposes Unwinding Coal-Plant Pollution Curbs

President Proposes Unwinding Coal-Plant Pollution Curbs

President Donald Trump’s administration on August 21 unveiled its plan to dramatically weaken carbon dioxide limits on coal-fired power plants by shifting most of the regulatory burden to states in a further assault on the Obama climate legacy.