Wind and solar droughts can hit during peak grid demand—and last nearly a week

December 13, 2023, 12:05PMNuclear News

Cloud cover cuts solar generation, and on calm days wind turbines won’t spin. When cloudy and windless conditions coincide for hours or days, the result is called a compound energy drought. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently found that these energy droughts can last nearly a week in some parts of the country and that they overlap with periods of peak grid demand more often than would be expected by chance.

COP28: American Nuclear Society cheers nuclear-inclusive climate deal

December 13, 2023, 12:01PMPress Releases

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Statement from American Nuclear Society (ANS) Executive Director and CEO Craig Piercy on the finalized text of the first global stocktake of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

“On behalf of our 10,000 members around the world, the American Nuclear Society applauds the nuclear-inclusive climate deal reached at COP28. This historic climate agreement urges countries to forge ahead on climate progress by accelerating the deployment of zero-carbon technologies, notably embracing nuclear energy, and transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Survey reveals support for, but misconceptions about, nuclear energy

December 6, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Fifty-two percent of Americans either “strongly” or “somewhat” support nuclear energy as part of the United States’ energy mix, with the strongest support among Republicans (59 percent) and self-described independents (53 percent). Support among Democrats is 48 percent. Those are some of the results from the sixth annual American Climate Perspectives Survey conducted by ecoAmerica.

Research quantifies the health and climate value of the U.S. nuclear fleet

May 9, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
A still from a video posted by MIT that illustrates the air pollution that would be generated over one year by a grid with no nuclear power. (Credit: MIT)

Nuclear power is the single largest source of clean energy in the United States, but how can the value of “clean” be measured? Two recent reports by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, respectively, measured the clean energy benefits of nuclear energy in different ways: the benefits to human health from the air pollution avoided and the future economic value of avoided carbon emissions.

Five G7 nations form alliance to reduce reliance on Russian nuclear fuel

April 20, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
The ministers representing their respective nations as the statement on civil nuclear fuel cooperation was announced were (from left) Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of natural resources of Canada; Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s minister of economy, trade, and industry; Jennifer Granholm, U.S. energy secretary; Grant Shapps, U.K. energy security secretary; and Agnes Pannier-Runacher, French minister for energy transition.

A civil nuclear fuel security agreement between the five nuclear leaders of the G7—announced on April 16 on the sidelines of the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo, Japan—establishes cooperation between Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States to flatten Russia’s influence in the global nuclear fuel supply chain.

Germany’s “senseless act of folly”

April 20, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe


The recent shutdown of Germany’s three remaining nuclear reactors is “a senseless act of folly, against all the science and available evidence.” So writes Lincoln Hill, director of policy and external affairs at the Nuclear Industry Association, in a strong opinion piece on CapX, a publication of the London-based Centre for Policy Studies.

Illogical: Hill is emphatic is criticizing Germany’s move as an antiscience action that is ideologically driven and harmful to the cause of battling climate change. He calls it “the single worst decision Europe has taken in the fight against climate change, and one for which we all are paying the price.”

He points out that Germany’s former chancellor, Angela Merkel, “ostensibly” made the decision to phase out nuclear energy as a reaction to the Fukushima accident in Japan. However, Japan itself is seeking to “restart its 30-GW nuclear fleet, even as Germany finishes shuttering a fleet of 20 GW.”

Fashion inspired by nuclear fusion and climate concerns

February 27, 2023, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Gabriela Hearst (Photo:

One doesn’t typically come across nuclear fusion in a fashion magazine, but a recent issue of Vanity Fair profiled the creative director of a famous luxury fashion house who has made nuclear fusion a conceptual focus of her clothing creations. According to the article, Gabriela Hearst, the creative director at the New York City office of Paris-based Chloé, has designed a spring-summer 2023 collection “inspired by site visits to labs in the Pacific Northwest, New England, and southern France, where hundreds of scientists and engineers are working to develop technology that will produce a net energy gain through fusion.”

Lecture on nuclear energy’s role in climate-related innovation coming up

November 29, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe


As part of the Purdue University–Duke Energy Understanding Tomorrow’s Nuclear Energy Lecture Series, Richard K. Lester of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give a speech on Wednesday, November 30, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. EST. Lester, associate provost and a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, was previously head of the university’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. The event will also feature a panel discussion with Lester, Lefteri H. Tsoukalas, and Morgan Smith.

Register now: The lecture, “Tough Tech for Climate: Innovation Challenges, University Responsibilities, and Some Comments on the Nuclear Role,” can be attended in person at Eliza Fowler Hall, in the Stewart Center of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The talk will also be available to watch on YouTube, where it will be live streamed. Advance registration is required. Following registration, individuals will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Byron, Dresden saved by the bill? An update

September 10, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Byron nuclear power plant

(This story has been updated from yesterday's post about the Illinois energy package.)

With only days remaining before the scheduled retirement of Exelon Generation’s Byron nuclear plant, the Illinois House has approved a comprehensive energy package (S.B. 2408) that would save the plant, as well as the state’s similarly struggling Braidwood and Dresden facilities.