Alert of a nuclear collapse: The US is "asleep at the wheel" of its industry

The results of the research, which has been published in the National Academy of Science of the USA under the title "US nuclear power: The vanishing low-carbon wedge" -'The nuclear power of the USA: the opportunity low in carbon that vanishes' -, are based on the analysis to which 99 nuclear reactors controlled by 30 companies in 30 states of the country were subjected.



As of 2017 there are 34 reactors that have been closed when they reach their useful life, and only two are being built. And this at a time when it is more pressing than ever to tackle the issue of climate change, warns the report.
The nuclear reactor fleet in the United States is made up of large light-water nuclear reactors ('LWR', for its acronym in English). During the last three decades, 20% of the energy generated by the United States has come from these reactors, now outdated and whose maintenance and reconditioning are excessively expensive. Especially if compared to natural gas, much cheaper.

"We are asleep at the wheel on a very, very dangerous highway (...) We really need to open our eyes and study the situation," says Ahmed Abdullah, a professor at the School of Strategy and Global Policy at the University of California at San Diego. one of the authors of the report.

The rest of the researchers warn that the boom in the US industry, which is very polluting, could lead to a significant number of nuclear power plants closing down over the next few years. They explain that the country is at a serious crossroads: either completely abandon nuclear energy or adopt the next generation of small modular reactors, more efficient and whose cost is considerably lower.
The authors of the study warn that this dilemma has been reached not because of the shortcomings of the United States in technical matters, but because of lack of will.

Because of how the energy market is set up, researchers are not convinced that nuclear power will be competitive in the future. At the same time that efforts are being made to improve the capacity of the electric batteries that are used to store solar and wind energy, natural gas is also being promoted a lot.
As of 2018, fossil fuels are responsible for 32% of the energy consumed by the United States. So, in case the collapse of the US nuclear industry ends up being a reality, researchers doubt that the benefits of renewable energy will be enough to fill the gap.



Hence, the conclusions of the report are so clear and premonitory: "It should be of great concern to those who are concerned about climate change that, because of predictable problems that have a solution, the United States has all of them to lose its nuclear power and , therefore, a reef of renewable and low carbon energy in the decades to come ".

Russia and Rwanda plan to cooperate in civilian use of atomic energy

The Russian state corporation Rosatom and the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure signed a memorandum on cooperation in the civil use of atomic energy, Rosatom said.




Rosatom Deputy Director General Nikolai Spasski and Rwanda's Ambassador to Russia, Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, signed their documents at the bottom of the document.

"The memorandum is the first document signed by both countries on the civilian use of nuclear energy, laying the basis for cooperation in various sectors, developing the nuclear infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda, developing programs to better inform the population about nuclear technologies and to organize the use of isotopes and radiation technologies in industry, agriculture and medicine, "the statement said.
Mixed working groups will be created to determine joint joint projects, and an intergovernmental framework agreement will be prepared as a next step, it says.

The luxury yacht that sails with solar energy and does not pay taxes

Recreational navigation can also be linked to the protection of the environment. Although at the moment the proposal is only within the reach of a privileged minority, the catamaran Soel Cat 12 is presented as the cleanest alternative of the oceans. It is not the first or the only yacht powered by photovoltaic technology but it is undoubtedly one of the most advanced and luxurious models in the world.

The pollution caused by this yacht originating in the Netherlands and manufactured in New Zealand is so small that the local authorities of Bora Bora (French Polynesia), where one of the prototypes of this modern catamaran sails, have decided to apply a significant tax credit.



Some media have chosen to qualify SoelCat 12, as "the Tesla of yachts" (in reference to the well-known brand of electric vehicles). Two elements give the reason. On the one hand, it is a ship driven by the electricity of the photovoltaic cells installed on its roof. In addition, the price of the first prototypes of this catamaran of the firm Soel Yacht are only available to some privileged: about 500,000 euros, according to some sources not confirmed by the manufacturer.


The first yacht of the Soel Cat12 model, baptized as Okeanos Pearl, has been developed by the company Soel Yachts, with the collaboration of the Okeanos Foundation and the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort. This luxury boat is offered for cruises to visitors from this area of ​​Polynesia, with the added value of being a new proposal in favor of the ecological tour.

The electric boat is completely silent and when it is not sailing it becomes a small electricity production station to supply the local network. The promoters assure that the photovoltaic plates of this ship can produce the necessary electricity for quartan homes in this area of ​​the planet.

In addition, whenever possible, the electricity from these plates is used to run a local seawater desalination plant (with a production of up to 4,000 liters of fresh water every hour, says Soel Yacht.



In a normal day of navigation and sun, the photovoltaic plates allow a speed comparable to catamarans powered by combustion engines and, in addition, their batteries can accumulate the energy necessary to continue sailing for another eight hours (without sun).

"The dependence of tourism on fossil fuels is problematic, especially in remote areas. In the interest of the boat operator, the solar option is much more attractive, "according to Susanne Becken, director and professor of Sustainable Tourism at the Griffith Institute of Tourism.

The SoelCat 12 model has two groups of 60 kWh lithium-ion batteries, with a total capacity of 120 kWh. The Okeanos Pearl yacht has capacity for 16 people and is currently being used for tourist routes in Bora Bora and rent for days.