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Submission + - Updated roundtable on access to nuclear fuel banks (

Harperdog writes: "The Bulletin's roundtable on nuclear fuel banks has been updated by Ta Minh Tuan with an article examining misunderstandings (his own included) about whether nations will have to forgo enrichment in order to gain access to fuel banks. Good examination of IAEA policies vs. what nations believe those policies to be."

Submission + - Idea: Buy up fossil fuel reserves so gases aren't released into the atmosphere. (

Harperdog writes: "Kennette Benedict at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists proposes an intriguing (and hugely expensive) idea: buying up the $27 trillion in coal/oil/gas reserves so all that carbon isn't released into the atmosphere. Benedict points out that these reserves represent "five times as much coal, gas, and climate scientists think is safe to burn." Benedicts jumping-off point is the excellent piece in Rolling Stone by Bill McKibbon: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math: These are both excellent reads and worth debating."

Submission + - The nuclear approach to climate change ( 2

Harperdog writes: "A new roundtable at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists explores the question of whether nuclear energy is the answer to climate change, particularly in developing countries where energy needs are so great. This roundtable, like the ones before it, will be translated into Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish within a week of each article's publication. Here's a summary: "From desertification in China to glacier melt in Nepal to water scarcity in South Africa, climate change is beginning to make itself felt in the developing world. As developing countries search for ways to contain carbon emissions while also maximizing economic potential, a natural focus of attention is nuclear power. But nuclear energy presents its own dangers. Below, Wang Haibin of China, Anthony Turton of South Africa, and Hira Bahadur Thapa of Nepal answer this question: "Given nuclear energy's potential to slow global warming, do its benefits outweigh its risks, or do its risks outweigh its benefits for developing countries?""

Submission + - Japan creates new nuclear reg agency, links nuclear energy to "security" (

Harperdog writes: Japan has been taking steps to strengthen regulation and safety at nuclear power plants, but a surprising item in the article points out that Japan has been reprocessing fuel, so has enough plutonium to start weapons production. The government also just linked Japan's atomic energy law to national security, fueling regional distrust. Interesting read.

Submission + - MIT's low-level radiation studies are faulty (

Harperdog writes: "MIT came out with a press release yesterday ( claiming that low-level, prolonged exposure to radiation poses little risk to DNA. However, severe problems seem to exist with their data, including the fact that one study they cite (Muirhead 2009) contradicts their conclusion. Their study also relied on experiments with mice, while the epidemiological studies in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Radiation Issue relied on humans, and a great many more of them. This link is to the Bulletin's Table of Contents; access is free for another week or so."

Submission + - Economically, tar sands is energy junk. Economics of fossil fuels ( 1

Harperdog writes: "This interview with Thomas Homer-Dixon punctures holes in several fallacies regarding the economics of tar sands, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. For example: "Bitumen in Canada’s oil sands is, frankly, energy junk. The energy return-on-investment is about 4:1. Compare that with Texas in the 1930s, where the energy return on investment was around 100:1." Much more information on the incredible rate of decline of shale gas wells, etc. Great piece."

Submission + - Beyond our imagining: nuclear power and the problem with risk assessment (

Harperdog writes: "Severe accidents at nuclear reactors have occurred much more frequently than what risk-assessment models predicted. The probabilistic risk assessment method does a poor job of anticipating accidents in which a single event, such as a tsunami, causes failures in multiple safety systems. Despite industry assurances, catastrophic nuclear accidents are inevitable, because designers and risk modelers cannot envision all possible ways in which complex systems can fail."

Submission + - Is suspension of enrichment the solution in North Korea? Pros and Cons (

Harperdog writes: "In February, North Korea agreed to suspend uranium enrichment at a specific facility, but what does that mean, and how is it verifiable? David Nusbaum writes: "Unfortunately, suspension of nuclear activities remains a flimsy, ill-defined concept." His article explores the problems with achieving verification of suspension, which is becoming an increasingly relied-upon measure in non-proliferation."

Submission + - Nuclear option: The developing world weighs energy needs and security risks (

Harperdog writes: "Great roundtable discussion by authors in Brazile, Malaysia, and India about the energy needs and proliferation risks in developing countries. Articles will be posted over next few weeks in English, translations in Arabic, Spanish, and Chinese available one week after each article is published in English. Focus in on nuclear power availability and economic development vs. weapons proliferation risks, and whether the nuclear powers have a right to ask developing nations not to develop nuclear energy. Great discussion, first 4 articles published, more in coming weeks."

Submission + - Kurt Zenz House: I was wrong (

Harperdog writes: "Kurt Zenz House explains how he was wrong. Cool charts and everything. Here's a quote: "In September 2009, I authored an essay for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in which I argued that the then recent divergence between oil prices and natural gas prices was temporary. I was dead wrong.""

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