China's central government has accelerated the development of a novel form of nuclear reactor that runs on thorium fuel rather than on uranium, as part of Premier Li Keqiang's recently declared "war on pollution," according to the South China Morning Post.
"The drawbacks are that solar thermal plants generate large amounts of waste heat, and they consume a lot of water for cooling, which is usually done by evaporating water. Solar thermal plants can consume twice as much water as fossil fuel power plants, and one recently proposed solar thermal project would have consumed about 500 million gallons of water a year."
Japan's announcement yesterday at the global climate meeting in Warsaw that it could no longer promise to make a 25 percent cut to its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, but instead would aim for a 3 percent cut, did not go over well.
World's highest wind turbine
The helium-filled, inflatable (can-shaped) shell lifts the turbine up to high altitudes where it passively aligns with winds that are stronger and more consistent than those reached by traditional tower-mounted turbines.
The turbine itself is a lightweight, conventional three-blade, horizontal axis system that’s fixed within the shell.
I began my career as an aerospace engineer. I designed control systems that involved mechanical parts, electrical or hydraulic actuators, processors, feedback loops, software, and human interfaces involving anthropometry, strength, reaction time and psychological factors - all at the same time. I liked the interdisciplinary nature of this work and the seriousness and responsibility associated with designing things that have expensive or deadly failure modes. I also wrote a textbook on probabilistic risk analysis for one aerospace firm.
I enjoy hobby photography of all sorts and am a passionate scholar of ancient history, mainly republican and imperial Rome. I've shot around 30,000 photos of ancient marble portrait heads.
I currently have a Visiting Scholar Appointment at UC Berkeley in History of Science.
My wife is a far more creative and original photographer than I. I steal most of my ideas from her.