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Net-zero world must conquer its irrational fear of nuclear power

FINANCIAL TIMES – Jonathan Ford writes: One person died from radiation exposure due to the Fukushima disaster. Yet thousands may have died because of the later decision to switch off all Japan's reactors. My piece on why we need to conquer our irrational fear of nuclear.

UK Government to invest £220m in nuclear fusion plant concept

ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY – The UK Government has committed £220m for the conceptual design of a fusion power station – the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) – in a move towards zero-carbon, safe and abundant commercial fusion electricity.

Council maintains nuclear as eligible for ‘green’ finance

EURACTIV – In a small but significant win for science-based climate policy-making, it was announced that EU ministers decided not to restrict nuclear energy for inclusion on the sustainable finance taxonomy.

Analysis: Record-low price for UK offshore wind cheaper than existing gas plants by 2023

CARBON BRIEF – The UK is to get its first subsidy-free offshore windfarms after the government awarded contracts today for nearly 6 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, at prices below those it expects on the open market.

Climate change: Electrical industry's 'dirty secret' boosts warming

BBC – It's the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity, and emissions have risen rapidly in recent years, the BBC has learned. Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents. But leaks of the little-known gas in the UK and the rest of the EU in 2017 were the equivalent of putting an extra 1.3 million cars on the road. Levels are rising as an unintended consequence of the green energy boom.

US Department of Energy launches National Reactor Innovation Centre

POWER TECHNOLOGY – The US Department of Energy (US DOE) has opened the National Reactor Innovation Centre (NRIC) to support the development of advanced nuclear energy technology. A result of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA), the new centre is located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho Falls, US. The act was signed into law in 2018 to accelerate the development of advanced reactors in the country by eliminating financial and technical barriers.

2°C BEYOND THE LIMIT: Extreme climate change has arrived in America

WASHINGTON POST – A Washington Post analysis of more than a century of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temperature data across the Lower 48 states and 3,107 counties has found that major areas are nearing or have already crossed the 2-degree Celsius mark.

Liebreich: We Need To Talk About Nuclear Power

BLOOMBERG – Michael Liebreich, Senior Contributor BloombergNEF: We need to talk about nuclear. And I mean really talk, in a truth-and-reconciliation, moving-forward kind of way, not a let’s-all-shout-slogans-at-each-other, my-tribe-versus-your-tribe kind of way. Serious people are finally talking about decarbonizing national economies by mid-century, but such talk must be accompanied by credible plans – and no plan can be considered credible if it does not deal explicitly with nuclear power.

Could small nuclear reactors be the answer to powering off-grid mines?

MINING TECHNOLOGY – At this year’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) extolled the benefits of small nuclear reactors as an alternative to diesel generators for powering remote, off-grid operations. Here, Scarlett Evans looks at the benefits of such a shift, and what it could mean for the wider energy landscape.

Green hydrogen airs at G20 meeting of energy ministers this week

PV MAGAZINE – Hello hydrogen! A number of factors are floating renewably powered hydrogen to the top of the agenda for worldwide energy ministers. Australia is among the countries most favourably placed to turn hydrogen hype into the biggest source of decarbonized energy the world has yet seen.

More natural gas isn’t a “middle ground” — it’s a climate disaster

VOX – To tackle climate change, natural gas has got to go. You see, all those arguments for natural gas that seemed so compelling during the Obama years have fallen apart. It’s now clear that if the world is to meet the climate targets it promised in Paris, natural gas, like coal, must be deliberately and rapidly phased out. There’s no time for a bridge. And clean alternatives are ready.

Valuing UK industry

NEI – The UK sector gathered in December at the Nuclear Industry Association’s annual conference to discuss plans to grow the country’s nuclear capabilities, NEI reports.