‘Costly Morass’ in U.K-France Plan to Replace Old Plants With a Questionable Mega-Reactor

first_img‘Costly Morass’ in U.K-France Plan to Replace Old Plants With a Questionable Mega-Reactor FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Carol Matlack for Bloomberg News:As Britain races to replace its aging nuclear reactors and coal generators, it’s hoping to team up with France to build the most expensive power plant in history—a massive atomic facility with two reactors at Hinkley Point on England’s southwestern coast. It could provide 7 percent of the country’s electricity by 2025. But the design, intended to showcase the latest French reactor technology, poses engineering and financial problems that could create a costly morass for both countries. Critics question whether the EPR, an ultrapowerful, super-reinforced reactor containing about twice as much concrete as existing models, is the right choice for either Britain or France. “It has turned out to be extremely difficult to build,” says Simon Taylor, a professor at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School who specializes in energy finance. “The industry trend is toward smaller, more flexible designs.” Westinghouse Electric and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy are marketing smaller reactors, as are manufacturers from South Korea and Russia. Even in France, Taylor says, “there are voices in the nuclear industry saying, ‘We must come up with a plan B.’ ” Public support for the project in Britain has fallen to 33 percent, down from 57 percent in 2013, according to a YouGov poll released on April 26 commissioned by New Nuclear Watch Europe, a pro-nuclear group.Britain can offset the closure of old nuclear and coal plants and put off the need for new reactors for another decade by increasing its investment in renewable energy, says Deepa Venkateswaran, a utility analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London. New, less expensive technologies might be developed to store energy from wind and solar, helping to ensure reliable supply. Building Hinkley Point now, she says, “is not make-or-break.”In the end, politics could trump finance and technology. France wants to protect thousands of well-paying jobs in its nuclear industry. And British Prime Minister David Cameron, who in March joined French President François Hollande in reaffirming support for Hinkley Point, is keen for a project that would create jobs in an economically depressed region. “The decision-makers on both sides are totally underestimating” the risks, says Mycle Schneider, an independent nuclear analyst in Paris. “But the farther they go on, the more difficult it is to pull out.”Full article: French Plans for a Nuclear Plant Begin to Look Like a Bad Deal for Britainlast_img read more

Traverse City utility adopts 2040 100% renewable goal

first_imgTraverse City utility adopts 2040 100% renewable goal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Traverse City Record Eagle:Wind, solar and landfill gas could power all of Traverse City Light & Power’s customers by 2040 if the utility meets its renewable energy goals.Utility board members set the target when they adopted a 2018 strategic plan at their meeting Tuesday. It covers a wide range of topics, from maintaining good customer service to improving workflow efficiencies to keeping service reliability at more than 99.97 percent — it’s currently at 99.993 percent, TCL&P Operations Manager Daren Dixon said.It also states the utility intends to get 40 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025, and will strive to push that to 100 percent by 2040, according to the goal. That goes well beyond the city’s self-imposed challenge of powering all municipal operations with clean energy by 2020.The goal also states the utility will meet a new state renewable energy mandate to get 15 percent of its power from “clean and renewable” energy sources by 2021 — Tim Arends, TCL&P’s executive director, said a previous power purchase agreement from a wind project near Saginaw Bay will push the utility over that target.Board member Amy Shamroe said the utility’s contract with existing coal power plants keeps it from meeting the goal sooner. Both plants are set to be offline by 2030, if not sooner.Arends said he thinks the goals, while aspirational, are achievable. “The 2040, 100 percent at 2040, that’s a long time from now and a lot of questions to answer and find out how the technology evolves, but I certainly feel pretty comfortable with the 40 percent,” he said.More: TCL&P sets 100 percent renewables goallast_img read more

Trauma Tuesday: Mountain Biking Wipeouts

first_imgEvery thrill-seeking downhill biker dreams of big drops and sweeping scenery on a beautiful day. When you snag a rock or lose your footing, however, a messy fall can leave you grounded by a tree, waiting for your buddies to bring bandaids or the ambulence. This week’s Trauma Tuesday features some epic mountain biking fails.Red Bull’s Rampage Contest is one of the toughest downhill events in the world. Here are some of the worst crashes they compiled.Some serious blunders here in this 3 year compilation of wipeout footage.Downhill racing can be insanely dangerous, and this edit shows just how.From the film “ReUnion.”There is crazy, and then there’s this.last_img

Hogwash on the House Floor: N.C. Bill Will Shield Big Ag from Air and Water Quality Issues

first_imgOn Thursday, the North Carolina Legislature speedily passed House Bill 467, “Agriculture and Forestry Nuisance Remedies.” The legislation will regulate North Carolina residents’ right to sue agricultural giants over damages to their health, income, and more.Though worded broadly, the law is predominately regarding Eastern North Carolina’s industrial hog industry. Over the last two decades, Smithfield Foods, the Chinese-owned pork goliath, has dominated the state’s pork production — North Carolina is now the United States’ second-largest producer of pork.In recent years, Smithfield Foods and its subsidiaries have dealt with countless lawsuits over the industry’s massive amount of hog waste and its negative effect on surrounding communities. From water and air pollution, to health concerns and income loss, residents of these rural communities (who are also disproportionately low-income and/or minority populations) have stood their ground against Smithfield and its cohorts.Indeed, Murphy-Brown, a hog producing subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, is currently facing 26 nuisance lawsuits on behalf of over North Carolina 500 residents.Yet House Bill 467 will cap the amount of money residents can collect from nuisance lawsuits to his/her current property value. Because the hog industry’s expansion in Eastern North Carolina has exponentially lowered property values in the area, this cap on compensation will be staggeringly low.Critics of the legislation believe the North Carolina Legislature is putting the profits of foreign-owned Smithfield Foods above the democratic rights and long-term health of Eastern North Carolina residents. They believe the law is calculated, designed to keep the people who deal with the region’s tainted air and water quality, from receiving full and rightful compensation for their hardships and health concerns.Dan Crawford, Director of Governmental Relations for the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, wrote “It’s despicable that the bill sponsors attempt to equate the long-term suffering of their constituents to a ‘nuisance’ that can be silenced by a foreign entity.”Critics are also suspicious of the way House Bill 467 was brought to vote. On Thursday, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-NC) deviated from the legislative calendar, skipping ahead dozens of bills to vote on the legislation without recognizing the bill’s sponsor or calling for discussion.Representative Jimmy Dixon (R-NC), a retired farmer, supported the legislation because he understands how much money farmers are forced to spend on such legal battles. Indeed, proponents believe the law will help North Carolina farmers by providing clarity on damage and nuisance lawsuits.Andy Curliss, CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council, said “we would rather work with our neighbors to address problems instead of defending ourselves against frivolous nuisance complaints.” SIGN THE PETITION: People, not foreign profits, deserve legal protection in North Carolina!last_img read more

February 2019: 8 Toughest Ultras in the South

first_imgFLIP THROUGH HEREhttps://issuu.com/summit-publishing/docs/bro_0219_wbos4ugw FeaturesBig Bad Beasts of the Blue RidgeLooking for the toughest running challenges in the South? These eight ultras will take you to the edge.The Biggest Conservation Success of the DecadeIt took ten years of dedication and backbreaking work, but the Tennessee Wilderness Act finally passed in December. How did conservationists pull it off—especially in this political climate?Ski KidsTwo nine-year-olds and their parents spend a weekend on the slopes with a professional guide from Snowshoe. The biggest lesson of all: keep it fun.Summer Camps for EveryoneNew programs in the South are making the camps more accessible, affordable, and adventurous for kids of all ages.Saving Rocky Fork—AgainIn one of its newest state park, Tennessee plans to build a large road on a steep mountainside in Rocky Fork, home to some of the wildest and most pristine lands in Appalachia.Last Woman StandingCourtney Dauwalter RAN 279 Miles in Big Backyard Ultra and outlasted all but one competitor.Jason Schlarb: Born to CrushThe ultra-motivated Hardrock champ, Iraq vet and adventurer discusses the sources of his inspiration.The Pipeline vs. The Trail: How the A.T. Saved the South – For NowWhat happens when a massive $6 billion pipeline tries to cross an iconic footpath? In a modern-day David vs. Goliath showdown, the trail wins.DepartmentsQuick HitsNewswire: Southerners (Heart) Wilderness • Ferrero’s first descents • Adult adventure camp • The town with no wi-fi and the search for aliens • The Forgotten Trail FlashpointOverexposed: Is social media spoiling the best outdoor secrets?The GoodsShut-In champs reveal their favorite trail running gearTRAIL MIXRhiannon Giddens returns + 5 favorite upcoming albumsEvents GuideFestivals, marathons, mud runs, expos, concerts, and more!Last wordAwesome: What is behind the feeling we experience in the outdoors?On the CoverCanyon Woodward runs the Appalachian Trail across frosty Max Patch, N.C.Photo by Justin [email protected]last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Special Algae Creates Pink Snow in Yosemite

first_imgPink snow with an adorable name (watermelon snow!) is a somewhat common occurrence in Yosemite National Park and it’s happening now in parts of the park with elevations over 9,500 feet. The colorful snow is a natural phenomenon caused by Chlamydomonas nivalis algae that lives on the snow and thrives in freezing temperatures. Watermelon snow is a thing and it’s happening now in Yosemite National Park The voters polled also overwhelmingly stated that addressing deferred maintenance projects in the national parks was important to them personally. This was true regardless of gender, political affiliation or demographics. Even voters who had never visited a national park site deemed these projects vitally important. According to a Yosemite National Park Facebook post, Chlamydomonas nivalis algae is green but the snow appears pink or red because the algae contains a special pigment that shields its chlorophyll like a sunscreen to protect against too much heat and UV radiation. The pigment dyes the surrounding area a darker color, giving the effect of a pink or red snow field, allowing the snow to heat up faster and melt more quickly. In late July, a similar crime was committed when three tulip poplars at North Carolina’s Alexander River Park had large pieces of barked removed. The bark is often harvested for high-end furniture, design finishes and craft projects. Anyone witnessing vandalism of natural resources is encouraged to report the crime to park rangers or the Buncombe County Crime Stoppers.  A recent poll commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trust shows that more than 4 out of 5 U.S. voters strongly support a proposal to dedicate oil and gas leasing fees on public lands to fund the backlog of repairs needed in national parks. Support for this proposal is higher than it was in a poll conducted last year (82% polled fully support the plan this year vs. 76% last year.) Blue Ridge Parkway tree killed by vandalism, such incidents are on the rise Poll shows most Americans want Congress to dedicate funding to national parks deferred maintenance The Asheville Citizen Times reports that a tulip poplar living along the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Rattlesnake Lodge Trailhead has been cut down after vandals lethally damaged the tree by ripping large sheets of bark off of its trunk. When large amounts of bark are removed from a tree the tree often dies from damage to the tissue underneath that carries nutrients from the leaves to the roots, the Citizen Times reports. Because this tree was vandalized on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the vandalism is considered a federal crime.last_img read more

Best in Backpacking

first_imgBased on its proven durability, compact size,  and overall comfort, the Klymit V Static Sleeping Pad is my favorite. I’ve had lots of different brands and models of sleeping pads and this thing outshines them all. ($40) LifeProof’s insulated Backpack Cooler holds 24 cans and keeps ice up to 48 hours. It also comes with a re-freezable ice pack to lock in the chill, built-in bottle opener and features a forward flip lid for easy access. Patagonia Black Hole 100L Duffel, $179 Corinna Mokotoff, a 21-year-old student at Appalachian State University, knows a thing or two about backpacking. From participating in multiple NOLS courses to guiding trips for the Outdoor Programs Department at ASU to countless overnight hikes with friends on the weekends, Mokotoff has spent her fair share of time backpacking, both locally and internationally. Having the chopsticks, especially the collapsible ones that take up like no space, actually forces you to slow down a little bit and not just scarf down everything as quick as possible. The slower pace makes the meal that much sweeter. ($22) In the summer of 2016, with no prior experience, the then 18-year-old Mokotoff took a giant leap and signed up for a four-week NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) backpacking trip through the backcountry of Wyoming. Weighing in at only 69 grams and offering a runtime of 40 hours, the fully adjustable BioLite 330 is built for trail running and long-distance adventure. The moisture-wicking fabric eliminates chafing, and its slim profile allows it to sit flush against the forehead. Klymit V Static Sleeping Pad  Outdoor guide Corinna Mokotoff picks her go-to gear Salewa Ortles Light 2 Down Jacket  A down jacket can provide warmth and comfort when out in the elements. Like most clothes, a jacket comes down to personal preference. Knowing the materials it is made from and how they fare against the environment can be crucial to having the right piece of gear in the right situation. ($135) This portable, durable Bluetooth speaker provides clear, crisp sound and is built for the backcountry, featuring components for unbeatable durability, providing full protection against rusting, rain, snow, and sun.  Osprey Aura 65 I highly recommend the Osprey Aura 65. Above all else, I use this backpack because of Osprey’s AntiGravity suspension backing. It just makes carrying heavy loads for long periods more comfortable and easy on your body. ($270) Salomon Authentic LTR Hiking Boots Soundcast VG5 Bluetooth Speaker, $499center_img Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow – Designed to Flow from Trail to Pavement, $130 Staying hydrated can be accomplished through water filters (i.e. LifeStraw or Sawyer Squeeze) or water treatment (i.e. Aquamira or Iodine drops). “I’ve always gone with purifying over filtering,” Mokotoff said. “But it’s kind of a personal preference, I just like how well Aquamira works and it doesn’t leave the bad after taste like iodine.” ($15)  BioLite HeadLamp 330, $50 LifeProof Cooler Backpack, $70 “I fell in love with backpacking on that trip,” Mokotoff said. “It was just an awesome learning experience overall, from learning about backpacking to the wilderness around us to learning about myself even.”  I’ve had great success with these boots. They’re durable, reliable, and hold up well to the wet, muddy conditions in Southern Appalachia. ($140) More Gear Montbell Collapsible Chopsticks  Since that trip it’s been game on, Mokotoff explained, noting how a lot of her experience and knowledge in regards to packing has come from working as a leader and supervisor for backpacking trips led by the university. And her packing career hit a new high point just this summer backpacking in the mountains of Switzerland. With all that time on the trails and in the woods, Mokotoff has got her kit dialed…here’s what she says are some must-haves for any backpacking trip. Built for a smooth roll-off on any surface, these shoes offer versatility for running on or off road. A responsive Boost midsole delivers endless energy while the smooth, flexible feel adapts to uneven terrain. Aquamira Water Treatment Proud members of 1% For the Planet and BYOBottle, a music industry effort to turn the tide on plastic, HYDY water bottles are made from BPA-free stainless steel and designed for 12 hours hot thermal insulation and 24 hours cold thermal insulation.  Patagonia’s Black Hole collection is made from 100% recycled materials. The 100-liter Duffel is burly, lightweight, weather-resistant, and built for rugged and gear-intensive adventure travel.  HYDY Water Bottle, $43 last_img read more

Fill Your Parks Rx in Washington County, MD!

first_imgFor more information, visit our website: www.visithagerstown.com  Time alone spent in nature can be very therapeutic, but it can also encourage social interactions and integrations. Positive experiences in nature can lead to a lifelong commitment and dedication to caring for and conserving natural resources, creating stewards for our public lands. So grab some friends, your family or your best adventure sidekick and fill your park prescription in Washington County, MD. Your mind and body will thank you for the nature therapy! Some of our suggestions: If you find yourself craving time in nature, Washington County is the perfect destination for you! With 5 National Parks and 8 State Parks, there’s an abundance of hiking and biking trails throughout the county where you’ll find vast opportunities to view beautiful landscapes, see abundant flora and fauna, and enjoy the peaceful outdoors. Anyone, at any age, can reap the benefits of connecting to nature and you don’t have to climb a mountain to do so.  Geocaching – Some call it a sport, some say it’s a treasure hunt. We think of it as a real-time adventure! Our counties three official Geo-Trails will challenge and engage you in your pursuit to locate over 50 caches.  The beauty of our area coupled with our history, arts, and culture will surprise and enlighten you as search. Geo-Trail caches can be found at our national, state, county and town parks, as well as at museums, wineries, historical sites and places of natural beauty.  Cachers have come from all over the USA to take on our trails. Horseback Riding – Guided Western Pleasure Horseback Riding is available through Elk Mountain Trails, where you can ride the trails near historic along the Potomac River/C&O Canal in Maryland’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Horses available for all levels of rider, including beginners. Enjoy the peace, beauty and relaxation known as the experience of time spent in the wilderness with a horse. Reservations recommended. Kayaking/Canoeing/Rafting– River & Trail Outfitters offers guided whitewater rafting, tubing, kayaking and canoeing tours in Knoxville, MD, right next door to Harpers Ferry, WV. For those on the adventurous side, they have a 840 foot zip line. For those looking to explore the C&O Canal and other scenic trails in the area, biking and hiking are also available. Offering themed paddling tours, featuring wine & beer tastings, environmental educational trips for schools and youth groups, as well as unique team building experiences on land and water. Our paddling shop offers new and used canoes and kayaks from 5 manufacturers, as well as a variety of paddling gear and accessories. Bird Watching – Bird is the Word! Birdwatching has long been a favorite activity in Washington County. Professional ornithologists, photographers, birdwatching enthusiasts and nature lovers come from across the USA to soak up the scenery and snap the common and elusive bird pics, do scientific research, and simply enjoy. Scientific evidence indicates that exposure to natural environments is associated with better health and well-being. Experiencing the awe and wonder of the natural world positively affects mental health as well as chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Doctors have recognized that being active outdoors is even more beneficial than being active indoors and many are prescribing park prescriptions for their patients.  last_img read more

Shenandoah National Park Will Temporarily Close

first_imgThe National Park Service (NPS) received a letter from the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District of the Virginia Department of Health recommending the full closure of Shenandoah National Park. Upon receiving this request from the health department, Superintendent Jennifer Flynn, with the support of the NPS Deputy Director, Operations, David Vela and Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, made the decision to immediately close the park until further notice. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please visit www.goshenandoah.com for updates about park concessioner, Delaware North’s operations. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The NPS is working servicewide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. The park will notify the public when it resumes full operations and provide updates on the park website https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/alerts.htm and social media channels. The NPS encourages people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Shenandoah National Park, including:  center_img Visit the NPS website for interactives, photo galleries, videos, and webcams: https://www.nps.gov/shen/learn/photosmultimedia/index.htmSubscribe to the NPS YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ShenandoahNPSJoin the NPS on social media where thy will host new content in the coming weeks: https://www.facebook.com/shenandoahnps/, https://twitter.com/ShenandoahNPS, and https://www.instagram.com/shenandoahnps/.     Virginia State Highways 211 and 33 will remain accessible to pass-through.  last_img read more

High-Ranking Officers from the Americas Will Participate in Disaster Relief Exercise in Chile

first_imgBy Dialogo July 17, 2009 Santiago de Chile, 15 July (EFE).- High-ranking army officers from eleven countries in the Americas will participate in the first multilateral disaster cooperation exercise in Santiago from July 20 to 24, the Chilean Army announced today. The exercise, organized by the Conference of Army Commanders in the Americas (CEA), will include high-ranking military officers from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Chile. The meeting, which will be held at the Chilean Army Center for Computational Operational-Tactical Training, will include the first application of the simulation system for emergency situation management and training (SIGEN) created by this institution. The simulation consists of sending an email reporting a fictional major catastrophe to which the officers will have to respond by taking decisions to maintain the security of the population in a coordinated manner. A multilateral operation of this type has never been carried out before in the Americas, for which reason it is hoped that the exercise will lead to improvements in management, reaction capabilities, and decision-making among the various armies. In addition, roundtables will be held with Chilean and foreign presenters who will draw up recommendations to be presented at the CEA’s meeting of army commanders to be held in Buenos Aires in October.last_img read more