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Photo Friday: Opening fusion’s 48-ton door (1979)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

This 1979 photo is of a woman at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) opening a 97,000 pound (48.5 ton) door. Eight feet thick and nearly twelve feet wide, this concrete-filled door included a special bearing in the hinge that allowed a single person to open or close it. The door was used to shield the Rotating Target Neutron Source-II (RTNS-II), which... 

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Photo Friday: Opening fusion’s 48-ton door (1979)

8056997874_973c08ab7c_b

This 1979 photo is of a woman at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) opening a 97,000 pound (48.5 ton) door. Eight feet thick and nearly twelve feet wide, this concrete-filled door included a special bearing in the hinge that allowed a single person to open or close it. The door was used to shield the Rotating Target Neutron Source-II (RTNS-II), which... Read More

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Country of imports – a closer look at Luxembourg’s energy sector

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In the U.S., much of the energy dialogue has been around the inherent risk in depending on other countries to meet its energy needs. But, in Luxembourg – a country that imports essentially ALL of its energy supply – “energy security” takes an even more prominent role. According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country has a unique opportunity to become... Read More

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Guest Post: Supplies of rare earth materials are still far from secure

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By Raimund Bleischwitz, University College London Materials essential for technology products such as electric vehicles, wind turbines or hard disks, known as rare earth elements, aren’t becoming any less rare, or any less crucial. In fact, experts at a major rare earths conference in Milan on October 16 – the European Rare Earths Competency Network (ERECON) – agreed supply shortages will continue... Read More

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What sectors use the most natural gas?

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The shale boom has been a big force in the energy industry in the United States. Not only has it had a significant impact on the country’s economy, it has managed to touch all of the energy sectors. In 2013, the United States consumed just over 97 quadrillion british thermal units (BTUs) of primary energy. Just over one-quarter (27%) of this energy came from natural gas. This energy is used across... Read More

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Photo Friday: Nuclear Power Lands on Mars (2012)

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NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. Its primary goals were to gather geological and environmental data from the planet. This photo was taken by a navigation camera located toward the back-left of the rover. It is, one can see a part of Curisoty’s nuclear power supply. Beyond the rover itself, one can see the terrain found in Mars’s Gale Crater. Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech... Read More

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Researchers produce propane using E.coli bacteria

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A team of scientists has transformed E.coli bacteria into a propane factory. In their Nature magazine article, researchers from the University of Turku (Finland) and Imperial College (United Kingdom) described a new metabolic pathway for producing propane from Escherichia coli (E.coli). In “normal” E.coli, a biological process exists that turns fatty acids into cell membranes. In their... Read More

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Construction begins in Texas on world’s largest carbon capture facility

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Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) could be a key technology option in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s fossil fuel power plants. But, the technology has become better known for its setbacks than successes in recent years. This summer revealed a glimmer of hope for CCS supporters as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)announced that construction has begun on the world’s largest... Read More

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Photo Friday: The GoldenEye Dam (Switzerland)

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The 220m tall Contra Dam* was build in the early 1960s and forms part of the Verzasca Hydroelectric Complex in Ticino, Southern Switzerland. This three turbine hydroelectric power plant played a starring role in GoldenEye, where James Bond is shown jumping from the top of this dam (as many bungee jumpers still do today). Photo Credit: Photo titled “The GoldenEye Dam” by Dr. James Paskins... Read More

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The Shale Boom is Big and Good (Bad) for the Economy

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Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has flipped the global energy discussion on its head. Over the past five years, the world has watched the U.S. shift its focus from fears of peak oil and its level of oil imports to a new reality where domestic oil and gas production are up and imports are down. And, while global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase, U.S. emissions have now... Read More

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Clean Power Plan includes focus on climate, health, and security

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On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially released their highly anticipated rule for carbon emissions reductions in existing power plants. The numerous statements released by the EPA and White House revealed three themes – climate change, public health, and energy security. According to the EPA’s announcement: “At the direction of President Obama and after... Read More