I’ve been slow in updating the ABC Buhlert blog, because I’ve been busy with translation work and Addy isn’t much into blogging. However, I’ve got a link roundup for you:
Meanwhile, the Merkel government is hammering out the details of its nuclear shutdown plan. At the moment, the proposed shutdown date is 2021 or 2022, though the smaller coalition party FDP is pushing for a “more flexible” (i.e. longer) timeframe.
2021 or 2022 brings us back on track to the nuclear shutdown date initially set by the Schröder government in the late 1990s. But the question is whether we really need to wait that long. At the moment, only four of Germany’s seventeen nuclear reactors are in operation and online and somehow the country still manages to get by without blackouts.
Of the possible alternatives to nuclear and fossil power, geothermal energy is one of the more controversial due to the associated earthquake risk such as the Landau quake in 2009.
However, Technology Review reports about a new enhanced geothermal energy system which reduces the earthquake risk associated with geothermal energy.
But even with expanding alternative energy sources, fossil fuels and particularly oil will be with us for a while, so making oil drilling as safe as possible for humans and the environmental should be one of our top priorities. This includes having a plan and the necessary equipment in case something goes wrong.
Addy has spent almost twenty years developing and refining oil spill combating equipment, so we know that there are ways to reduce the damage wrought by oil spills. However, a lot of governments and/or companies don’t give much thought to what to do in case of an oil spill.
Case in point: British writer Mark Charan Newton has a post and a video about how the oil company Cairn Energy is operating an oil platform in the Arctic without any apparent oil spill response plan.