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Institute for Policy Studies
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    • Released March 1, 2008
    Nuclear Power in the Age of Global Warming
    By Robert Alvarez

    In the past several years, there has been renewed interest in nuclear energy as a means to mitigate the impacts of global warming due to carbon emissions. An expansion of nuclear power to effectively mitigate greenhouse gas emissions would be prohibitively expensive and risky, requiring at least 1,000 reactors over the next 45 years. It also would be an extremely slow process, taking decades to achieve any reductions in world CO2 emissions, if, indeed, it ever does. This would be a much longer time frame than implementing energy efficiency measures, distributed generation, or renewable alternatives, such as wind. Such a massive expansion of nuclear power also would divert capital resources from investments in other faster and more easily deployed alternatives for reducing world CO2 emissions.

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    • Released February 7, 2008
    Analysis: U.S. Department of Energy Budget FY 2009
    By Robert Alvarez

    Despite extraordinary dependence on foreign oil, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2009 budget does little to find alternatives. Instead, the Bush Administration's single largest funding priority for the Energy department is to maintain a large, oversized nuclear arsenal and to build new weapons. The imperative to maintain DOE’s large and antiquated nuclear infrastructure is a major impediment to achieving a balanced and sound national energy policy.

  • Download Radioactive Waste and GNEP

    • Released April 16, 2007
    Radioactive Wastes and the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership
    By Robert Alvarez

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is now heralding the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) as the fulfillment of the government’s decades-long effort to diminish the environmental footprint of nuclear byproducts so they no longer pose a public health threat. This review has found, however, that the program is likely to squander billions in taxpayer dollars on an unproven reprocessing technology that will generate unprecedented and unmanageable amounts of highly radioactive wastes without plausible disposition paths.

    To reduce the amount of radioactive wastes slated for a deep geological repository, the DOE is seeking to store the vast majority of radioactive byproducts in shallow burial. Far from containing toxins, however, this proposal would pose threats to nearby water supplies. The site selected for the GNEP reprocessing facility would become a de-facto waste dump, creating unprecedented public health and security threats.

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