Top 5 Friday - Dec 2

Wanted: Tech Workers for Mining’s Green Transition

Clara Ferreira Marques, Bloomberg Opinion, Dec. 1 2022

Simply, there are not enough workers to innovate, decarbonize, work with robotics, oversee automated fleets and extract ever more technically challenging deposits. The industry is competing with many others for those with top-flight engineering, data science and technology skills — and it isn’t winning. Miners are not, as McKinsey & Co. euphemistically wrote in a report earlier this year, “employers of choice for digital natives.” And that’s a problem, slowing much-needed advances and putting the green boom at risk.

Unpopular solar opinions, 2022 edition

Canary Media’s Catalyst with Shayle Kann, Dec. 1, 2022

You can view the associated Twitter thread by guest Jenny Chase, here.

EU strikes deal to make ships pay for their carbon emissions

Kate Annett, Reuters, Nov. 30, 2022

The shipping sector has so far escaped the EU carbon market, which requires factories and power plants to buy permits when they emit carbon dioxide, providing a financial incentive to emit less.

That is set to change from 2024, when shipping companies will have to buy EU carbon permits to cover 40% of their emissions, rising to 70% in 2025 and 100% in 2026.

"This will not only help the climate but also improve air pollution in cities close to rivers and the coast," Peter Liese, lead EU lawmaker on the rules, said on Wednesday.

The Boring Truth About Nuclear Waste

Matthew L. Wald, The Breakthrough Institute, Nov. 29, 2022

The national inventory is about 90,000 metric tons, growing by 2,000 tons a year. But this isn’t a big volume because uranium is extremely heavy, about one and a half times denser than lead and two and a half times denser than steel. If the whole volume of spent fuel were stacked on a football field, it would pile up to a depth of fewer than 10 yards, according to the Department of Energy.

In the future, the volume of spent fuel created per unit of electricity produced may go down because the utilities are seeking a uranium blend that is richer in U-235, the type that splits easily, so each assembly would generate heat in a reactor for a longer time. And some of the advanced reactor designs produce waste in other forms, some of which are easier to handle.

The bottom line, though, is that spent nuclear fuel is already securely and safely managed—and it will only get easier to handle over time.


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