Tag: nuclear power plants
Rosatom – Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation – has recently signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with a number of African nations to build nuclear power plants within their borders. I spoke to David Himbara, a professor of international development and African energy activist, about the likelihood of Rosatom actually building these nuclear plants. Currently, Sub-Saharan Africa faces an extraordinary level of energy poverty.
Sixty years ago the name Bikini became famous for the nuclear bombs detonated there. The military took ships that had been exposed to fallout during those nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands to the United States Radiological Defense Laboratory (USNRDL) located at Hunters Point in San Francisco. In addition to toxic chemicals and nuclear isotopes, the USNRDL is contaminated with asbestos, from the extensive ship building and reconstruction.
Just 70 years ago, on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated at the Alamogordo Nuclear Site in New Mexico. Trinity was the name chosen by J. Robert Oppenheimer, who later recalled that the explosion had reminded him of a line from the Bhagavad-Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” The terrifying destructive power of atomic weapons was to haunt many of the Manhattan Project scientists for the remainder of their lives.
While sorting through papers, correspondence, news clippings, records etc., I realized that nuclear bomb and nuclear power development has occurred within my lifetime. It was July 16, 1945, when Trinity, the first atomic bomb, was detonated at Alamogordo nuclear site in New Mexico, followed by the uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the hydrogen bomb on Nagasaki in August.
The good news is that 11 months after the Fukushima meltdown, thousands of Japanese marched in the streets to protest the continuing operation of nuclear power plants in their country, and urged a shift to renewable energy. Meanwhile in the U.S. the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the building of two new nuclear power plants in Georgia.
In early October, ethics reporting revealed that PG&E is the source of all but $100 of the entire $5.5 million spent so far to attack Prop H - the San Francisco Clean Energy Act. Prop H is a vital ballot measure that will switch us to 100 percent clean electricity in just three decades, and at the same or lower rates than PG&E.