Grid operators constantly match what power plants are producing with what people and their TVs, microwaves and air conditioners need. But when the electricity comes from unpredictable sources, like wind or solar power, balancing the grid is a challenge, a new study finds.
All of Japan's nuclear power plants will be offline by April and might never restart. That's forcing the country to increase its reliance on coal, oil and natural gas. This could cost the country an extra $100 million per day and significantly increase carbon dioxide emissions.
Though the immediate nuclear crisis in Japan has passed, the process of securing and stabilizing the radioactive materials from the melted-down reactors will be a long, expensive slog. Recovery workers will also need to decontaminate the area surrounding the plant.
Experts say health effects from the radiation released by last year's nuclear disaster will be minimal. But the lasting psychological trauma from the tsunami, including the loss of life and livelihoods, will be an ongoing struggle.
A new independent report on the Fukushima nuclear accident found that a far worse meltdown — one that could have forced the evacuation of Tokyo's 30 million people — was narrowly avoided. It also suggests that Japan also suffered a failure of government regulation, supervision and response.
A new law proposed in the District would make it easier for businesses and organizations to get on the solar-powered bandwagon, even if their particular building leaves something to be desired in the sun department.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.