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Nuclear power and reactors

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WBUR

Prof. Ernest Moniz speaks with On Point host Meghna Chakrabarti about President Biden’s recent infrastructure bill and the future of nuclear power in the United States. “Climate change is the problem of our time,” says Moniz. “And we need every tool at our disposal to address that. It’s about the emissions, not about one’s favorite or disfavorite technology and I think that’s the way we have to look at this. It’s all about getting to low carbon.”

The Washington Post

The Washington Post Editorial Board highlights a new report co-authored by MIT researchers that finds keeping the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California open would help the state reach its climate goals. "The experts project that keeping Diablo Canyon open just one more decade would cut California’s power-sector emissions by more than 10 percent, because it would burn far less gas, and save the state $2.6 billion in power system costs."

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times reporter Rob Nikolewski spotlights a report by researchers from MIT and Stanford University that finds keeping the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in California running would reduce electricity costs and help the state achieve its climate goals. “Nuclear plants – and Diablo Canyon is no exception – are one such clean and firm [source of] power capacity that we think should be preserved,” says Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno.

Forbes

Forbes reporter Ken Silverstein highlights a joint study by MIT and Stanford researchers that finds that extending the California Diablo Canyon Power Plant will save customers billions while reducing carbon emissions. The researchers found that “if the plant stayed operational from 2025 to 2035,” writes Silverstein, “CO2 levels would drop by 10% a year and displace natural gas use, saving customers $2.6 billion.”

Bloomberg

Bloomberg reporter David R. Baker writes that a new report co-authored by MIT researchers keeping California’s last nuclear power plant open could help reduce energy costs and provide water to the state. Keeping the “Diablo Canyon open through 2035 would cut greenhouse-gas emissions from California’s power sector 10% each year, by reducing the amount of electricity needed from natural-gas plants,” writes Baker.

Reuters

A new report by researchers from MIT, Stanford and other institutions finds that extending the life of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California should help the state meet its climate goals, reports Timothy Gardner for Reuters. The researchers found “delaying closure of the plant to 2025 would reduce California's carbon emissions from power plants by more than 10% from 2017 levels, reduce dependency on natural gas, and save up to $21 billion in power system costs.”

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporters Andrew Fillat and Henry Miller highlight Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno’s calculations which find that “over the life cycle of power plants, which includes construction, mining, transport, operation, decommissioning and disposal of waste, the greenhouse-gas emissions for nuclear power are 1/700th those of coal, 1/400th of gas, and one-fourth of solar.”

AP- The Associated Press

Prof. Kerry Emanuel speaks with AP reporter Angela Charlton about nuclear power and climate change. “People are beginning to understand the consequences of not going nuclear,” says Emanuel. Amid a “growing awareness of the rise of climate risks around the world, people are beginning to say, ‘that’s a bit more frightening than nuclear power plants.’”

Financial Times

Financial Times reporter Tom Wilson writes that researchers from MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) have successfully demonstrated the use of a high-temperature superconductor, which engineers believe can allow for a more compact fusion power plant. “It’s the type of technology innovation that you know shows up every once in a while in a given field,” CFS chief executive, Bob Mumgaard, tells Wilson.

The New Yorker

Researchers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Commonwealth Fusion Systems speak with The New Yorker’s Rivka Galchen about the history of fusion research and the recent test of their large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet. “I feel we proved the science. I feel we can make a difference,” says MIT alumna Joy Dunn, head of manufacturing at CFS. “When people ask me, ‘Why fusion? Why not other renewables,’ my thinking is: This is a solution at the scale of the problem.”

The Codcast

Dennis Whyte, director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, and Bob Mumgaard, CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, join Bruce Mohl on CommonWealth Magazine’s podcast, The Codcast, to discuss how their recent successful test of a high-temperature superconducting electromagnet will impact the quest for fusion energy. “With the advent of this new technology, there is nothing stopping us from building that first demonstration, the Kitty Hawk moment of fusion, when you see net energy from a system for the first time on earth,” said Whyte.

Motherboard

Motherboard reporter Matthew Gault spotlights how scientists from MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems developed a large high-temperature superconducting magnet that can create a magnetic field of 20 tesla, “a breakthrough that paves the way for carbon-free power.”

WBUR

WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman explores how researchers from MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems successfully demonstrated “the world's strongest high-temperature superconducting magnet, putting them a step closer towards a workable fusion reactor.” The advance “provides reason for hope that in the not-too-distant future, we could have an entirely new technology to deploy in the race to transform the global energy system and slow climate change,” says Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research.

Associated Press

Scientists from MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems have performed a successful test of the world’s strongest high temperature superconducting magnet, a crucial step in creating net positive energy from a fusion device, reports the Associated Press.

The Boston Globe

Scientists at MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems have cleared a major hurdle in their efforts to achieve net energy from fusion, successfully creating a 20 tesla magnetic field using the high-temperature superconducting magnet they developed, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “This test provides reason for hope that in the not too distant future we could have an entirely new technology to deploy in the race to transform the global energy system and slow climate change,” says Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research.