On Friday, the new horror flick CHERNOBYL DIARIES will no doubt have folks all over the country screaming and holding their hands over their eyes. Those of us old enough to remember the actual Chernobyl disaster, in which a nuclear reactor northeast of Kiev, Ukraine exploded, might take some comfort in this: the world’s worst nuclear disaster is far enough in the past that we can make scary movies about it. The nuclear industry might even embrace the film, as it allows them to figuratively pat us all on the head and remind us that radiation doesn’t really turn people into zombies.
“Not in my backyard” – it’s an attitude environmentalists frequently encounter when proposed renewable energy installations move closer to becoming real ones. The Cape Wind project, for instance, has encountered stiff resistance from wealthy part-time residents of Cape Cop who, while supporting renewable energy in general, don’t want their view spoiled. That’s a fairly easy example of the NIMBY attitude to dismiss, as are those involving resistance to most wind projects.
But what if a coal or nuclear plant was planned for nearby? Would you want to be “downstream” from either of those? Would the label NIMBY seem fair for those who protested such development? If you think so, you may want to check out ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA, which premieres on January 23rd at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
In the mid ’70s, Germany was hell bent on limiting its energy import and began constructing giant, expensive reactors to maximize its limited resources. It was during this time that the “SNR-300,” Germany’s first fast-breeder nuclear reactor, came into being: a tremendous facility in Kalkar over 80 football fields in length designed to convert plutonium into usable energy. Alas, after the disaster at Chernobyl in ’86, Germans became (understandably) freaked about opening new power plants, and the project was officially canceled.
Lots of energy news and ideas this week, as well as another big green crowdsourcing project, and reviving wetlands with sewage… your green tech finds.
- Another cell phone sustainability study: Market research firm IDC came up with quite different results on cell phone sustainability from O2… but focused on companies vs. phones themselves. Apple comes out on top in this one, followed by LG and Nokia. (via The Boston Globe)
- Harnessing gravity power: Gravitational Energy Corporation claims its Feltenberger Pendulum works through hand-power and gravity. The company’s first product, a water pump, could prove indispensable for areas of the developing world, as well as post-disaster relief. See how it’s working in Haiti in the video above…
Is the solution to carbon capture sitting in your conditioner bottle? This, and more, at this week’s green tech finds.
Biomimicry and boat-building: We noted earlier this week that David de Rothschild set sail on the Plastiki. Designer Michael Pawlyn explains how biomimicry played into the creation of this boat made from plastic bottles.
A greener web: Greentouch, a consortium of academic and corporate partners, is exploring methods to make the internet, and other computer networks, much more energy efficient.
Another greener smart phone: Sprint has unveiled its LG Remarq at the International CTIA Wireless Show. The phone features some recycled materials, and meets RoHS standards; its charger is even ENERGY STAR certified. (via TFTS)
President Barack Obama today announced that his administration is offering conditional commitments for a total of $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for the construction and operation of the first U.S. nuclear power plant to break ground in nearly three decades.