Cattle industry poised to lead the way to a cooler Earth

April 16, 2024, 3:04PMNuclear NewsJames Conca
Methane emissions from cows are surprisingly important as a greenhouse gas. (Photo: Martin Abegglen)

In discussing how to counter global warming, it’s pretty easy to argue that nuclear should be the major electricity source and heat producer to replace fossil fuels. At 6 grams per kilowatt-hour, it has the lowest carbon emissions of any energy source, according to the United Nations, and is objectively the safest form of energy for humans and the environment alike, again from a recent UN report.

After a historic COP28, it’s what happens next that matters

December 14, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Applause at the conclusion of COP28. (Photo: Kiara Worth/UN Climate Change)

The United Nations' Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, closed on December 13 after debate on a “global stocktake” pushed negotiations a full day past the scheduled end date. Though advocates hoping for a phaseout of fossil fuels were ultimately disappointed and must settle for “transitioning away,” another first—after 30 years of global climate conferences—is the inclusion of nuclear energy among the zero-emissions and low-emissions technologies that still could, if deployment is accelerated, support deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

The U.S. NRC’s global efforts benefit everyone

March 14, 2023, 7:03AMNuclear NewsChristopher Hanson

Christopher Hanson

The origins of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s robust international program date back to 1953, when President Eisenhower, in an address to the United Nations, promised to share U.S. nuclear expertise with the world. This commitment underpins our international programs today.

The NRC’s early focus was cooperating with countries operating U.S. reactor technology to leverage collective operating experience. But requests for assistance grew steadily, and the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident made clear that international assistance was vital for global safety. We helped promote development of independent regulators in the former Soviet Union, and in a 1994 report, the independent NRC Office of the Inspector General praised how the NRC assisted Ukraine in establishing laws, regulations, and enforcement capacity.

The male business of nuclear diplomacy

November 30, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear CafeMaria Rentetzi

Maria Rentetzi

An unusual event during the recent General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency distracted the delegations of member states and the press from the Russian war in Ukraine and the fear of the next nuclear disaster. It was a small exhibition, Building the IAEA Headquarters and its Laboratories, at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, which brought to life the history of the agency’s laboratories through photographs, original letters and documents, explanatory texts, and timetables.

I was invited to participate in a related panel discussion that shed light on the early days of the “world’s first full-fledged laboratory of a truly international character” (in the words of an article about Seibersdorf Laboratory that ran in the January 1962 edition of the IAEA Bulletin) and its role in science diplomacy. There, I spoke of something that had struck me: Women were totally missing from the agency during this early period—making nuclear diplomacy an exclusively male business. To a large extent (as, for example, the recent IAEA missions to Ukraine show) nuclear continues to be a gendered endeavor.