Japan and several nations are trying to reduce their current nuclear electrical production while one nation stands out as it quickly looks toward increasing the atomic source of power- England. While North Sea oil production has been useful in the past, for domestic purposes it looks like the U.K. is committing to more use of nuclear plants. The hope is that there can be a 80% cut in carbon by 2050 with bringing more plants online (as many current plants reach the end of their life in two decades). If you are interested, take a look at: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/increasing-the-use-of-low-carbon-technologies/supporting-pages/new-nuclear-power-stations.
Many folks remember the efforts in the late 2000’s to plant a suitcase nuclear reactor in Galena for about 10MW of power. (It was noted as the first non-military nuclear application in the state, provided by Toshiba corporation). At the time some of the villages downriver expressed concern over the effects of fish habitat from affluent warm water be added to the Yukon . Thoughts were the reactor could be operational by this year …. yet the project never went through the lengthy, expensive steps to gaining approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Now many folks don’t know that in the early 1960’s an atomic reactor was put into Delta Junction over at Ft. Greely as a part of the ANPP program through the military with a pressurized water reactor which ran until 1972. So, there have been attempts in Alaska- yet with other systems that have been looked into the scale tends to be too large for what would work for our population.
Looking at the increased traffic through the Bering Straits for trade and energy production, Alaska would need a port for transit from trade and shipping. At the First Arctic Circle conference it was mentioned today by a reliable- yet unofficial- source mentioned that the likely location for such a port may be Port Clarence (~70 miles by land north of Nome). This would assist in what has been estimated as halving shipping time from Asia to N. Europe. Requiring much less fuel. Cutting down on emissions. And locating possibly up to 20% of undiscovered oil reserves. If this is a case, will the state punch through the long spoken about ‘road to Nome’? Possibly not- as it may be dedicated to international trade, yet as a side winder it may increase barge traffic up and down the rivers with new imported goods to villages.
After sitting in on a session about transportation and logistics per polar drilling and shipping, it is clear that the race has been on to move through the ice above the Bering Straight. Russian nuclear ice breakers, ice free/stable drilling platforms, data collection via various information above Canada, Alaska, Russia, Scandinavia, etc… have been discussed. It will be big movements, big dollars and big exploration concurrently. Amongst all this changes have been noted to the landscape as things warm up. (Literally).
This week the Arctic conference and Polar Energy Summit will bring together politicians, teachers, and policy makers will be in Iceland. The trip will show what a small, homogeneous nation has been able to produce across economic sectors by specializing on Geothermal expertise and energy production. I will try to keep folks up to speed, and if you’d like you can view part for free at: http://portlets.arcticportal.org/live-from-akureyri.
A new report ranking the nation’s largest 3 dozen or so cities is out- it is the first one to be published. (You can view it at: http://aceee.org/local-policy/city-scorecard). Looking at five different areas, the report also includes recommendations and strategies for all cities to lower energy use, including:
- Lead by example by improving efficiency in local government operations and facilities.
- Adopt energy savings goals.
- Actively manage energy use, track and communicate progress toward goals, and enable access to data on energy usage.
- Adopt policies to improve efficiency in new and existing buildings.
- Partner with energy and water utilities to promote and expand energy efficiency programs.
- Adopt policies and programs to lower transportation energy use through location-efficient development and improved access to additional travel mode choices.
Take a look and see what’s interesting!