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kristopher

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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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Nuclear arms advocates get bolder amid nuclear energy debate

In case you didn't know Japan has long outlawed nuclear weapons in their country. Even though they turn a blind eye to their presence on visiting US warships, the idea that they would build and possess nuclear weapons themselves is strongly rejected by a large majority of the people.
The fact that the right-wing nationalists are so open in their advocacy is extremely unusual.

Nuclear arms advocates get bolder amid energy debate
The contentious debate over atomic energy is also bringing another question out of the shadows: Should Japan retain the possibility of making atomic weapons — even if only as an option?


By YURI KAGEYAMA
AP


Hot zone: The reactor 4 building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is in ruins on March 24 last year. AIR PHOTO SERVICE / AP
It may seem surprising in the only country to have ever come under nuclear attack, particularly as it prepares to mark the 67th anniversaries of the Hiroshima A-bombing on Aug. 6 and that of Nagasaki three days later. The government officially renounces nuclear weapons, and the vast majority of citizens oppose them.

But as the nation weighs whether to phase out atomic energy generation, some conservatives, including certain influential politicians and analysts, are becoming more vocal about their belief that Japan should at least not rule out producing a nuclear arsenal in the future.

The two issues are intertwined because nuclear power plants can develop the technology and produce the fuel necessary for such weaponry, as highlighted by concerns that allegedly civilian atomic energy research in Iran is masking a bomb program, as was the case in North Korea.

"Having nuclear plants shows to other nations that Japan can make nuclear arms," ex-Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba told AP...


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120803f1.html

Hiroshima:

Em‘powered’

Em‘powered’
Advent of solar power has transformed the remote Indian village of Meerwada, writes Jo Winterbottom


LIFE in the remote Indian village of Meerwada used to grind to a standstill as darkness descended. Workers downed tools, kids strained to see their schoolbooks under the faint glow of aged kerosene lamps and adults struggled to carry out the most basic of household chores.

The arrival of solar power last year has changed all that. On a humid evening, fans whirr, children sit cross-legged to study their Hindi and mother-of-seven Sunderbai is delighted people can actually see what they are eating and drinking.

“When it was dark, we used to drink water with insects in, but now we can see insects, so we filter it and then drink,” said the 30-year-old, whose flame-orange sari and gold nose ring are small defiances in a life close to the poverty line.

Meerwada, on a dirt track rutted by rains and outside the reach of the national grid, struck lucky when US solar firm SunEdison picked it to test out business models and covered the hefty initial expense of installing hi-tech solar panels in the heart of the village.

But rapidly falling costs and improved access to financing ...


http://www.omantribune.com/index.php?page=leisure_details&&id=7671&heading=Special%20Features


(National Renewable Energy Lab) US: 200,000 GW of solar could be installed; 400,000 TWh/a

US: 200,000 GW of solar could be installed; 400,000 TWh/a
27 JULY 2012
BY: BECKY BEETZ

According to a new study released by NREL, the technical potential of photovoltaics and concentrating solar power (CSP) in the U.S. amounts to just under 200,000 GW, which could generate around 399,700 TWh of energy annually.

The U.S.-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a new report – U.S. renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis – in which it says, technically, 154,864 of photovoltaics and 38,000 GW of CSP could be installed. This would mean, photovoltaics could generate around 483,600 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy annually, and CSP, 116,100. Refer to the table for a breakdown of the different solar technologies.

Overall, it believes rural utility-scale photovoltaics has more potential than any other renewable energy technology, due to the "relatively high power density, the absence of minimum resource threshold, and the availability of large swaths for development." Meanwhile, Texas is said to have the ability to account for around 14 percent of this 153 GW, or 280,600 TWh annual potential.


Read more: http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/us--200-000-gw-of-solar-could-be-installed-4-000-twh-a_100007894/#ixzz22Tie011i




Executive Summary
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) routinely estimates the technical potential of specific renewable electricity generation technologies. These are technology- specific estimates of energy generation potential based on renewable resource availability and quality, technical system performance, topographic limitations, environmental, and land-use constraints only. The estimates do not consider (in most cases) economic or market constraints, and therefore do not represent a level of renewable generation that might actually be deployed.

This report is unique in unifying assumptions and application of methods employed to generate comparable estimates across technologies, where possible, to allow cross- technology comparison. Technical potential estimates for six different renewable energy technologies were calculated by NREL, and methods and results for several other renewable technologies from previously published reports are also presented. Table ES-1 summarizes the U.S. technical potential, in generation and capacity terms, of the technologies examined.

The report first describes the methodology and assumptions for estimating the technical potential of each technology, and then briefly describes the resulting estimates. The results discussion includes state-level maps and tables containing available land area (square kilometers), installed capacity (gigawatts), and electric generation (gigawatt- hours) for each technology.


TABLE ES-1



Introduction

Renewable energy technical potential, as defined in this study, represents the achievable energy generation of a particular technology given system performance, topographic limitations, environmental, and land-use constraints. The primary benefit of assessing technical potential is that it establishes an upper-boundary estimate of development potential (DOE EERE 2006). It is important to understand that there are multiple types of potential—resource, technical, economic, and market—each seen in Figure 1 with its key assumptions.



Download full report: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51946.pdf

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