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Nuclear energy is a delicate subject in Japan after the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe.

Japan’s prime minister on Wednesday referred to as for a push to revive the nation’s nuclear energy trade in a bid to deal with hovering imported energy prices linked to the battle in Ukraine.

Such a transfer may show controversial, after the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe led to the suspension of many nuclear reactors over security fears.

Like many nations, Japan—which is aiming to grow to be carbon impartial by 2050—has confronted a squeeze on its energy provides since Russian forces entered Ukraine six months in the past.

The nation has additionally sweltered via record-breaking temperatures this summer season, with residents requested to preserve energy wherever potential.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has vastly reworked the world’s energy panorama” and so “Japan wants to keep in mind potential disaster eventualities”, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida mentioned at an energy coverage assembly.

Japan ought to contemplate constructing next-generation nuclear reactors, he mentioned, whereas the federal government will talk about bringing extra nuclear crops on-line and lengthening the service lifetime of reactors if security may be assured.

Kishida referred to as for “concrete conclusions by the top of the 12 months” on the subject, which stays a delicate one after a lethal tsunami in March 2011 precipitated a meltdown on the Fukushima plant, the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl.

Eleven years on, 10 of Japan’s 33 nuclear reactors are again in motion, though not all are operational year-round, and the nation is closely depending on imported fossil fuels.

The nationwide nuclear security watchdog has accepted in precept the restart of seven extra reactors, however these strikes typically face opposition from native communities.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida joined the meeting remotely after testing positive for Covid-19
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida joined the assembly remotely after testing constructive for Covid-19.

‘All it takes’

“Along with securing the operations of the ten reactors which are already again on-line, the federal government will spearhead an effort to do all it takes to understand the restart” of the others whose security has been accepted, Kishida mentioned.

The prime minister, who joined the assembly remotely after testing constructive for COVID-19, additionally urged policymakers to think about “establishing next-generation nuclear reactors geared up with new security mechanisms”.

Earlier than the Fukushima catastrophe, round a 3rd of Japan’s energy technology got here from nuclear sources, however in 2020 the determine was lower than 5 %.

Japan’s authorities has overhauled and strengthened nuclear security requirements, and needs nuclear energy to account for 20 to 22 % of electrical energy manufacturing by 2030, as a part of efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.

Tom O’Sullivan, a Tokyo-based energy guide at Mathyos Advisory, mentioned constructing next-generation reactors in Japan could be a “main step”, as a result of “all the present reactors are standard ones”.

Bringing extra present nuclear crops on-line will have to be accepted by native governors, which may show “politically difficult”, O’Sullivan instructed AFP.

“However once more, there is a completely different atmosphere now after the Ukraine battle,” he mentioned. Polls in latest months additionally present that public opinion could also be softening in direction of the usage of nuclear energy.

“I do not suppose it is simply the electrical energy prices. It is the reliance on Russia, for pure gasoline, oil and coal… the Japanese public have actually woken as much as that,” O’Sullivan mentioned.

Japan has imposed sanctions on Russia over the battle in Ukraine together with different G7 nations, and the federal government has pledged to try to scale back its energy dependence on Moscow.

The value of Japanese shares associated to nuclear energy surged in afternoon commerce as native media reported the potential plans, with Tokyo Electric Energy ending up 9.96 % and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries leaping 6.85 %.

Japan court: Nuclear plant’s tsunami safeguards inadequate

© 2022 AFP

Japan eyes nuclear energy push to fight energy crunch (2022, August 24)
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Bitcoin as environmentally costly as beef production



Texas town group protests Riot Blockchain's Bitcoin mining facility

Credit score: Unsplash/CC0 Public Area

Taken as a share of the market worth, the environmental prices of mining the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin are extra similar to the local weather damages of manufacturing beef than gold mining prices, in response to evaluation revealed in Scientific Experiences. The authors counsel that quite than being thought of akin to “digital gold,” Bitcoin ought to as a substitute be in comparison with far more energy intensive merchandise corresponding to beef, pure fuel, and crude oil.

In December 2021, Bitcoin had an roughly 960 billion US {dollars} market worth with a roughly 41% world market share amongst cryptocurrencies. Though identified to be energy intensive, the extent of Bitcoin’s local weather damages—estimates of monetary harm from and the on economies—is unclear.

Benjamin Jones and colleagues current financial estimates of local weather damages from Bitcoin mining between January 2016 and December 2021. They report that in 2020 Bitcoin mining used 75.4 terawatt hours per 12 months (TWhyear-1)—larger energy utilization than Austria (69.9 TWhyear-1) or Portugal (48.4 TWhyear-1).

The authors assessed Bitcoin local weather damages in response to three sustainability standards: whether or not the estimated local weather damages are growing over time; whether or not the market worth of Bitcoin exceeds the financial price of local weather damages; and the way the local weather damages per coin mined evaluate to local weather damages of different sectors and commodities.

They discover that the energy emissions for Bitcoin mining have elevated 126 fold from 0.9 tons of emissions per coin in 2016, to 113 tons per coin in 2021. Calculations counsel every Bitcoin mined in 2021 generated 11,314 USD in local weather damages, with complete world damages exceeding 12 billion USD—25% of market costs. Damages peaked at 156% of coin worth in Might 2020, suggesting that every 1 USD of Bitcoin market worth led to 1.56 USD in world local weather damages.

Lastly, the authors in contrast Bitcoin local weather damages to damages from different industries and merchandise corresponding to , processing, agricultural meat manufacturing, and treasured steel mining. Local weather damages for Bitcoin averaged at 35% of its market worth between 2016 and 2021. This was lower than the local weather damages in comparison with market worth of electrical energy produced by (46%) and gasoline produced from crude oil (41%), however greater than these of beef manufacturing (33%) and gold mining (4%).

The authors conclude that Bitcoin doesn’t meet any of the three key sustainability standards they assessed it in opposition to, and that important modifications—together with potential regulation—are required to make Bitcoin mining sustainable.

Bitcoin carbon emissions rise as mining moves to US and other countries

Extra info:
Benjamin A. Jones, Financial estimation of Bitcoin mining’s local weather damages demonstrates nearer resemblance to digital crude than digital gold, Scientific Experiences (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-18686-8.

Bitcoin as environmentally pricey as beef manufacturing (2022, September 29)
retrieved 29 September 2022

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Engineers plan to bring new life to electronics recycling, address supply chain shortfalls affecting national defense



Engineers plan to bring new life to electronics recycling, address supply chain shortfalls affecting national defense

Edward Sabolsky, WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources professor, uses ceramic bricks to conduct research at his lab. The Department of Defense has tasked Sabolsky and Terence Musho with developing a new process for recycling electronic waste in order to extract raw materials that are used to build technology critical to U.S. national defense, such as semiconductors. Credit: WVU Photo/Brian Persinger

West Virginia University researchers are resurrecting discarded electronics, recycling electronic waste and recovering minerals from it to make new products critical for national defense.

Terence Musho, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, is leading the project.

The U.S. currently depends on countries like China to provide raw materials that are essential to electronics enabling its national defense. But according to Musho, that “reliance on foreign national resources has led to the White House identifying a critical shortage in the semiconductor supply chain.”

Musho said that shortage is one reason the Department of Defense (DOD) is eyeing readily available like old “LEDs and microelectronic circuits used for amplifying radio frequencies, which contain critical supply chain materials.”

One key factor setting the research Musho is conducting with Statler Professor Edward Sabolskyapart from current systems for recycling is the “ability to achieve very high temperatures in a very rapid manner,” which allows their to be modular. That is, because it’s relatively small, it can easily be moved in modules from place to place.

“That means the DOD can transport this technology around to the point of disposal of these e-waste materials,” Musho said. “Space debris is an issue that’s gaining attention, so one potentially far-out idea is that this potentially could be used in space. You could collect junk satellites, recycle the waste and bring the raw materials back to earth.

“Another possible application would be U.S. Navy ships, which could move this equipment around to different ports for waste recycling.”

The technology also has promise beyond the sphere of national defense. “You could have a point-of-disposal e-waste recycler in each community,” Musho suggested. “Communities could recycle their own e-waste, get the out and sell those materials back to manufacturers.”

Electronics recycling began to emerge in the 1970s but it has never gained much traction. Musho explained that when you take your old electronics to Best Buy, there are just a handful of facilities in the nation where the electronics can be processed. “Those places get a mountain of e-waste,” he said.

Electronics recycling facilities deal with that e-waste via a process of pyrometallurgy or hydrometallurgy. Both those processes use either high temperatures or to extract minerals from electronics and both need large quantities of waste in order to be economical.

Largely because of problems like those, most current e-waste heads to landfills. In its effort to change that, the DOD has focused on recovering seven specific elements from e-waste, chief among them gallium, indium and tantalum.

Musho will guide their experiments, using computational thermodynamics to simulate the mineral recovery process. Sabolsky will validate the simulations to prove the process works in practice.

Musho is confident that it will work, especially because Sabolsky’s previous research laid the groundwork for this study.

“Ed did a previous study on coal fly ash, a waste product of coal-fired power plants, and he demonstrated that this process works for other critical elements present in fly ash. Now, we’ll take that knowledge, improve upon it and apply it to e-waste.”

The project’s first phase is a nine-month study demonstrating Musho and Sabolsky’s e-waste recycling process in the lab.

After that, they’ll refine the approach to “hit tighter purity standards” for the recovered minerals. They’ll scale up to handle greater quantities of material and work on packaging the technology within a small, modular unit that’s easily transported, as they begin to consider commercialization.

“We have an abundance of critical materials currently sitting in e-waste in our landfills,” Musho said. “It’s just a matter of determining the best method to recover these elements. The technology we’re developing provides a supply chain solution not only for DOD electronics but also consumer electronics.”

Researchers introduce new step in process for saving e-waste scraps

Engineers plan to bring new life to electronics recycling, address supply chain shortfalls affecting national defense (2022, September 29)
retrieved 29 September 2022

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A long-awaited solution for hard-to-abate sectors?



A long-awaited solution for hard-to-abate sectors?

Carbon emissions of key nations and analytical mechanism for hydrogen within the energy system. a, China’s carbon emissions in 2019 in contrast with america, Europe, Japan and India, by gasoline. In 2019, coal combustion took the most important share of the carbon emissions in China (79.62%) and India (70.52%), and oil combustion contributed most to the carbon emissions in america (41.98%) and Europe (41.27%). b, China’s carbon emissions in 2019 in contrast with america, Europe, Japan and India, by sector. Emissions are displayed on the left and proportion on the best in a and b. The proportion of carbon emissions from trade in China (28.10%) and India (24.75%) was a lot increased than that of america (9.26%) and Europe (13.91%) in 2019. c, Technical pathway with hydrogen applied sciences utilized within the HTA sectors. SMR, steam methane reforming; PEM electrolysis, polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis; PEC course of, photoelectrochemical course of. Credit score: Nature Energy (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41560-022-01114-6

One of many world’s largest local weather challenges is decarbonizing fossil energy makes use of that can’t be straight electrified utilizing renewable energy. Amongst so-called “hard-to-abate” (HTA) sectors are main industries that depend on fossil fuels, both for high-temperature energy or for chemical feedstocks. These embody iron and metal, cement, chemical substances, and constructing supplies, collectively liable for roughly 30% of the world’s annual CO2 emissions.

One other HTA sector is heavy-duty transportation comparable to trucking and delivery, which is tougher to affect than passenger transport as a result of it might require monumental batteries that add to automobile weight and take a very long time to cost.

As nations look at pathways in direction of decarbonization, comparatively rich ones just like the U.S. and far of Europe are pursuing methods centered on renewable energy technology and electric autos. China faces considerably totally different challenges as a consequence of a particular carbon emission profile ensuing from the a lot bigger roles that HTA heavy industries play in its financial system.

New analysis printed in Nature Energy examines how China—by far the most important producer of iron, metal, cement, and constructing supplies—can probably make the most of clear hydrogen (“green” and “blue” hydrogen) to decarbonize HTA sectors, and support in reaching its 2030 and 2060 decarbonization pledges. Green hydrogen is made by splitting water molecules—H2O—utilizing , whereas blue hydrogen is produced conventionally, from , however mixed with carbon seize and storage.

The brand new paper from the Harvard-China Venture on Energy, Economic system and Surroundings, a U.S.-China collaborative analysis program based mostly on the Harvard John A. Paulson College of Engineering and Utilized Sciences, is the primary research up to now that makes use of an built-in modeling strategy to judge the potential use of unpolluted hydrogen throughout China’s energy system and financial system, with the intention to meet its 2060 net-zero goal.

“Filling this analysis hole will assist draw a clearer roadmap for China’s CO2 ,” explains lead creator of the paper Xi Yang, a researcher on the Harvard-China Venture. “Our purpose with this research was to check a job for clear hydrogen in China’s energy financial system, which might then present a reference for different growing economies with giant heavy industrial and transportation sectors.”

The research evaluated three questions: What are the important thing challenges of decarbonizing HTA sectors? What are the possible roles for clear hydrogen as each an energy service and feedstock in HTA sectors? And would widespread software of unpolluted hydrogen in HTA sectors be cost-effective in comparison with different choices?

To investigate the and function of unpolluted hydrogen throughout China’s whole financial system—with an emphasis on the under-researched HTA sectors—the staff constructed a mannequin of an built-in energy system that features provide and demand throughout sectors. Outcomes present {that a} widespread software of unpolluted hydrogen in HTA sectors will help China obtain carbon neutrality cost-effectively in comparison with a state of affairs with out clear hydrogen manufacturing and use. Clear hydrogen can save $1.72 trillion in funding prices and keep away from a 0.13% loss within the combination GDP (2020-2060) in comparison with a pathway with out it.

The researchers additionally examined the kind of clear hydrogen—green or blue—that may be most price efficient. Their research signifies that the typical price of China’s green hydrogen may be diminished to $2/kg of hydrogen by 2037 and $1.2/kg by 2050, when it is going to be far more cost-effective than blue hydrogen ($1.9/kg).

“China has wealthy untapped sources of {solar} and , each onshore and offshore,” explains Chris P. Nielsen, co-author of the paper and Govt Director of the Harvard-China Venture. “These sources give China benefits in direction of growing green hydrogen to be used in its industrial and transportation sectors.”

And whereas decarbonizing such hard-to-abate sectors is vital to local weather motion, it might have further advantages. New markets for green hydrogen might additionally assist the facility system transition to renewable sources. Nielsen explains that green manufacturing would do that by offering a relatively versatile type of electrical energy demand that needn’t be met instantaneously, like most electrical energy masses. As an alternative it will probably usually be scheduled, at the very least inside quick time frames. Such demand flexibility is effective to grid managers, serving to them to accommodate the inherent variability of renewable energy sources as they’re affected by altering meteorological circumstances.

Green hydrogen from expanded wind power in China: Reducing costs of deep decarbonization

Extra data:
Xi Yang et al, Breaking the hard-to-abate bottleneck in China’s path to carbon neutrality with clear hydrogen, Nature Energy (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41560-022-01114-6

Clear hydrogen: An extended-awaited resolution for hard-to-abate sectors? (2022, September 29)
retrieved 29 September 2022

This doc is topic to copyright. Other than any honest dealing for the aim of personal research or analysis, no
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