Monday, March 26, 2007

Environmental Justice and Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power Roundtable, Thursday, March 29, 2007, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., Location: Howard University School of Law, Law Library, Room 400

Moderator, Norris McDonald, President, African American Environmentalist Association

Panelists: Mike Espy, left, Board Attorney, Claiborne County, Amelda Arnold, Port Gibson Mayor, Paul Gunter - Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Chandler Van Orman-Nuclear Energy Institute, Danielle Endres, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Utah, Eric Jantz, Staff Attorney, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, Ken Theobalds, Vice President, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, Kelly Taylor, AAEA & North American Young Generation in Nuclear, Laurent Lawrence, New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance.

The roundtable will discuss the perceived pros and cons of nuclear power in a global warming world from an environmental justice perspective. The roundtable will also address the following questions:

1) Is nuclear power beneficial for one group of minorities but bad for another group?
2) Is there another way to meet the electricity needs of America in a global warming world without using nuclear power.
3) Are nuclear power plants disproportionately located in minority communities?
4) How can Renewables Portfolio Standards and other regional greenhouse gas initiatives be accomplished without incorporating nuclear power?
5) If we shut down the nation's nuclear power fleet, how will it be replaced.
6) Are inner city minority populations well served by nuclear power plants?
7) Are Native American populations well served by nuclear power?
8) If global warming is the most important environmental issue facing us today, should emission free nuclear power be a part of the energy mix in the United States?
9) If environmental justice is to be achieved regarding clean air issues, can nuclear power be eliminated from the energy mix?
10) Are there entrepreneurial opportunities available in the nuclear industry for minority businesspeople?
11) Can nuclear power be utilized to help developing countries?

Abstract: 110606-7 – Title: The State of Environmental Justice in High-Level Nuclear Waste Siting Decisions; By: Danielle Endres, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, Danielle Endres

Abstract: 112106-2 – Title: Environmental Racism with a Faint Green Glow: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Missed Opportunity to Create a Meaningful Environmental Justice Policy; By: Eric Jantz, Staff Attorney, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Eric Jantz

1 comment:

GerryWolff said...

Regarding "Environmental Justice and Nuclear Power" (2007-03-26), there is absolutely no need for nuclear power in the US (and many other parts of the world) because there is a simple mature technology that can deliver huge amounts of clean energy without any of the headaches of nuclear power.

I refer to 'concentrating solar power' (CSP), the technique of concentrating sunlight using mirrors to create heat, and then using the heat to raise steam and drive turbines and generators, just like a conventional power station. It is possible to store solar heat in melted salts so that electricity generation may continue through the night or on cloudy days. This technology has been generating electricity successfully in California since 1985 and half a million Californians currently get their electricity from this source. CSP plants are now being planned or built in many parts of the world.

CSP works best in hot deserts and, of course, these are not always nearby! But it is feasible and economic to transmit solar electricity over very long distances using highly-efficient 'HVDC' transmission lines. With transmission losses at about 3% per 1000 km, solar electricity may be transmitted to anywhere in the US and Canada too. A recent report from the American Solar Energy Society says that CSP plants in the south western states of the US "could provide nearly 7,000 GW of capacity, or ***about seven times the current total US electric capacity***" (emphasis added).

In the 'TRANS-CSP' report commissioned by the German government, it is estimated that CSP electricity, imported from North Africa and the Middle East, could become one of the cheapest sources of electricity in Europe, including the cost of transmission. A large-scale HVDC transmission grid has also been proposed by Airtricity as a means of optimising the use of wind power throughout Europe.

Further information about CSP may be found at www.trec-uk.org.uk and www.trecers.net . Copies of the TRANS-CSP report may be downloaded from www.trec-uk.org.uk/reports.htm . The many problems associated with nuclear power are summarised at www.mng.org.uk/green_house/no_nukes.htm .