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Institute for Policy Studies
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  • November 1, 2012

    Concord Monitor

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    Hurricane Sandy’s wrath shows that U.S. regulators should swiftly implement nuclear-safety rules developed after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, a top lawmaker said, as industry officials countered the lack of major problems during the storm showed that they were ready.

    Hurricane Sandy this week pummeled the northeast United States, forcing three reactors to shut down, and a fourth, Exelon Corp.’s Oyster Creek facility in New Jersey, to declare an alert.

    . . . Sandy may be the impetus for operators to reassess disaster protection, Robert Alvarez, a scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, said in an interview.

    “There might be some interesting information about vulnerabilities being uncovered,” said Alvarez, a senior policy adviser to the Energy secretary during the Clinton administration.

  • October 31, 2012

    Bloomberg

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    Sandy may be the impetus for operators to reassess disaster protection, Robert Alvarez, a scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, said in an interview.

    “There might be some interesting information about vulnerabilities being uncovered,” said Alvarez, a senior policy adviser to the Energy secretary during the Clinton administration.

  • October 22, 2012

    Reuters UK

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    Dominion Resources Inc's plans to shut its Kewaunee plant in Wisconsin next year, the first U.S. nuclear plant to fall victim to growing competition from natural gas, triggering expectations more reactors could be forced to shut down.

    "The abundance of cheap natural gas is putting operators with aging reactors in a difficult bind," said Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, adding maintenance and operating costs are making some plants uncompetitive to gas.

    The Kewaunee shutdown did not surprise many in the industry, having watched the fizzling out of the "nuclear renaissance" that a decade ago was expected to redefine the U.S. energy landscape by providing a cheaper alternative to rising fossil fuel prices and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

  • September 28, 2012

    Kansas City InfoZine

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    Robert Alvarez is a former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and now a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. He said today: "Dr. Martino-Taylor has reopened a dark chapter of recent history in which the most vulnerable people were put in harms way without their knowledge. Along with radiation experiments for the nuclear weapons program the callus lack of medical ethics is a tragic hallmark of the Cold War era."

  • September 27, 2012

    Gulf Today features article “America's Own Loose Nukes”

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  • September 25, 2012

    The Kansas City Star features article “America's Own Loose Nukes”

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  • September 24, 2012

    Global Security Newswire features report “Managing the Uranium-233 Stockpile of the United States”

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    A report by Alvarez advocates mixing the material with uranium isotopes unable to sustain a fission chain reaction. The Energy Department has said such an effort would result in an needless use of additional funds, but the Times said the potential step's expense was unclear.

  • September 23, 2012

    The New York Times features report “Managing the Uranium-233 Stockpile of the United States”

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    Yet Mr. Alvarez maintains that the disposal plan is insufficient. Shallow land burial “sets a bad precedent in terms of international safeguards,” he said.

    In a recent research paper, he also argued that the material should be made useless for making bombs by diluting it with a plentiful form of uranium that will not sustain a nuclear reaction.

  • September 21, 2012

    The Globe and Mail (Canada)

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    “China represents, in my opinion … the last frontier of growth for nuclear power in the world, especially after the Fukushima disaster,” said Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at Washington’s Institute for Policy Studies, who under the Clinton administration served as senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. “Because China is such a big, vast nation even a goal of a small portion of their energy demand could mean substantial growth for their nuclear power industry.”

  • August 31, 2012

    Reuters

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    The facility holds the largest inventories of nuclear material in the world, said Robert Alvarez of the Institute for Policy studies, who was a senior Energy Department official in the 1990s and is an expert on the U.S. nuclear weapons program.

    "It should be one of the most well-protected facilities in the United States for that reason," said Alvarez, who said the breach in security was unprecedented.

    "This is the kind of lapse that one would expect heads to roll," he said, noting that more rigorous government oversight of contractors is needed

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