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Institute for Policy Studies
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  • March 14, 2011

    The Hill

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    "Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a former senior policy adviser at the Energy Department, said he didn’t think an effort to boost loan guarantees for nuclear power would get through Congress. 'Given the combination that’s transpiring in Japan and the tremendous zeal now, especially by the Tea Party element of the Republican Party, to do deep cuts in the budget, I think the prospects of extending this loan guarantee program are very dim,' Alvarez told reporters Monday."

  • March 14, 2011

    The New York Times

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    "Some private nuclear experts called a windborne threat unlikely. Others urged caution.'We’re all worrying about it,' said Robert Alvarez, a nuclear expert who, from 1993 to 1999, was a policy adviser to the secretary of energy, who runs the nation’s nuclear complex. 'It’s going to be very important,' he added, 'for the Japanese and U.S. authorities to inform the public about the nature of the plumes and any need for precautionary measures.'”

  • March 14, 2011

    Wall Street Journal

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    "Mr. Obama's proposal to expand loan guarantees to aid construction of new reactors might also take a hit, especially given the push in Congress to cut spending, said Robert Alvarez, a former senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Energy who now works on nuclear disarmament issues. 'There might be a political tsunami,' Mr. Alvarez said."

  • March 14, 2011

    The Daily Beast

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    "Satellite photos raise concerns that the roof of the building housing the pool has been blown off, says Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a senior policy adviser to the secretary of energy and deputy assistant secretary for national security and the environment from 1993 to 1999. He and other experts are now warning that any release of radioactivity from the spent-fuel pool could make the releases from the reactors themselves pale in comparison."

  • March 14, 2011

    CNN Money

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    "In the United States, perhaps the most vulnerable plants are the two in California built on the Pacific coast near the San Andreas fault. Those plants were built to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, said Robert Alvarez, a nuclear expert at the Institute for Policy studies and a former senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy. The San Francisco quake of 1906 measured 8.3, said Alvarez, while Friday's Japanese quake was a massive 8.9. 'I don't think we should renew those operating licenses,' he said. Alvarez also said the problems at the Japanese facilities highlight the catastrophic outcome of the failure of power, pumps and other infrastructure. Such system malfunctions could happen because of an earthquake or a massive terrorist attack, such as one involving airliners."

  • March 13, 2011

    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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    "'Three Mile Island didn't get hit by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake,' said Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar on nuclear policy at the Institute for Policy Studies and a former senior adviser to the secretary of Energy. Much of Japan's electrical and transportation infrastructure has been destroyed, and the battery backups being trucked in to keep the coolant pumps running last only about eight hours apiece. That makes this 'far worse' than the threat of the Three Mile Island accident, Alvarez said."

  • March 12, 2011

    CNN

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    "The use of sea water and boron was described as a 'Hail Mary pass' by Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies focused on energy policies and a former senior policy adviser to the U.S. secretary of energy.

    "'My understanding is that the situation has become desperate enough that they apparently don't have the capability to deliver fresh water or plain water to cool the reactor and stabilize it and now, in an act of desperation, are having to resort to diverting and using sea water,' he said.

    "Boron, a chemical element, was being added to the water 'to sort of stymie other potential nuclear reactions,' he said.

  • March 12, 2011

    USA Today

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    "'It has the potential to be catastrophic,'" said Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, and a former senior policy adviser to the Energy Secretary during the Clinton administration."

    "If the cooling is not restored quickly, the core can overheat, causing the water to boil over and exposing the core to air. The interior can catch fire and cause a meltdown, releasing nuclear material into the concrete containment dome that surrounds the reactor, Alvarez says. 'Is this barrier going to be sufficient?' Alvarez said. 'It's a dicey proposition. The best you can say is, stay tuned.' If they re-establish a stable power supply and restore the cooling, 'We should all breathe a sigh of relief,' Alvarez said. 'If they can't, it's very serious.'"

  • March 12, 2011

    The Washington Post

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    "'If the reactor vessel is breached...then this radioactive stuff starts coming out in copious amounts,' said Robert Alvarez, a former senior adviser to the Department of Energy who studies nuclear power at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington."

  • March 12, 2011

    Mother Jones

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    "Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a former senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration, says that the plan to use sea water to attempt to cool the reactor is an 'act of desperation.' 'I would describe this measure as a 'Hail Mary' pass,' said Alvarez."

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