President Donald Trump digs coal, apparently more than he likes clean air or a healthy climate. And, as a recent document leaked by his administration indicates, he also favors coal industry profits over a free market. Last month, Bloomberg published a draft Department of Energy directive that would employ Cold War-era laws to force utilities to purchase enough power from coal and nuclear power plants over the next two years to keep them running, thereby throwing a lifeline to the drowning industries. This is a repeat of Trump and Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s attempt last year to make the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission give preference to coal and nuclear. FERC refused, saying that there was no evidence to suggest that any past or imminent power plant retirements would affect grid resilience. A study by Perry’s own department reached a similar conclusion. Trump’s new directive, which has been endorsed by Perry, appears to provide a way around the Energy Department’s own regulatory body. The draft document argues that the government must step in and prop up coal and nuclear because the rash of plant retirements threatens the reliability and resilience of the electrical grid, and that, in turn, is a threat to national security, to the economy, and — ironically enough — the environment. The document provides a case study in logical contortionism, a tortured attempt to rationalize irrational meddling with markets.
High Country News 25th June 2018 read more »
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $64 million (£48m) for advanced nuclear technology development. The funding will be allocated to 89 projects amongst laboratories, industry and 39 US universities. Some of the selected projects cover areas such as developing advanced sensors, educational upgrades to universities’ research reactors, experimental neutron and ion irradiation testing. Other areas of research will include civil nuclear capabilities, manufacturing and instrumentation methods and fuel applications.
Energy Live News 25th June 2018 read more »