The availability of cheap natural gas and greater energy efficiency has reduced demand for nuclear energy in recent years
Nuclear power is clean, safe and better for the environment than some alternative energy sources
Industry experts say that women who work in nuclear power can be powerful advocates for nuclear
San Francisco, August 26, 2017: Kristin Zaitz is confident that her nuclear power plant is safe.
Zaitz, an engineering manager, was at Diablo Canyon Power Plant during both her pregnancies and has scuba dived to inspect the plant, which hugs the California coast. Zaitz wears a pendant with a tiny bit of uranium inside, an item that tends to invite questions.
“We all have our perceptions of nuclear,” Zaitz said.
In a few years, Diablo Canyon will close, part of a trend nationwide. The availability of cheap natural gas and greater energy efficiency has reduced demand for nuclear energy in recent years. Add to that ongoing concerns about public safety, such as those raised by memories of disasters at nuclear power plants in Fukushima, Japan, Chernobyl in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) and Three Mile Island in the United States.
Nuclear is ‘cleaner’ than fossil fuels
Supporters of nuclear energy say that when a reactor-based generating station closes, not enough wind and solar power is available to make up the difference. They lament that energy companies tend to turn instead to fossil fuels — coal and natural gas — which produce environmentally harmful emissions.
Zaitz and her co-worker Heather Matteson, a reactor operator, started Mothers for Nuclear, their effort to get the word out that nuclear power is clean, safe and better for the environment than some alternative energy sources.
“I went into the plant very skeptical of nuclear and being scared of it,” said Matteson. “It took me six to seven years to really feel like this is something good for the environment. I don’t want people to take six to seven years to make that decision. We don’t have that long.”
Matteson, too, wears the uranium necklace as a conversation starter. “Nuclear is fun,” she said. Is there any radiation emitted by the pendant? “There’s slightly more than from a banana,” she conceded.
Industry experts say that women who work in nuclear power can be powerful advocates for nuclear. They can help change attitudes of other women who tend to be more skeptical than men about nuclear energy’s benefits.
At the recent U.S. Women in Nuclear conference in San Francisco, women working in the industry talked about how more should be done to make nuclear power’s case to the public, and how they may be the best suited to do it.
“As mothers, I think we also have an important role to play in letting the public know that we support nuclear for the future, for our children,” said Matteson. “And we don’t know other mothers supporting nuclear power in a vocal way. We thought there was a gap to fill.”
Young women say they look at careers in this industry because they are socially minded.
‘Do something good for the world’
“I went into this wanting to do something good for the world,” Lenka Kollar, business strategy director at NuScale, a firm in Oregon that designs and markets small modular reactors. “Wanting to bring power to people. There are still more than a billion people in the world who don’t have electricity.”
Critics of nuclear energy say it doesn’t matter who is promoting it.
“Using mothers’ voices to argue for a technology that is fundamentally dangerous and that has been demonstrated by disasters like Fukushima to be not safe for the communities that surround the power plants or even cities that are hundreds of miles away is disingenuous,” said Kendra Klein, a staff scientist with Friends of the Earth, an environmental group.
While the future of nuclear power in the United States may be uncertain, the women here say they have a positive story to tell. (VOA)
Delhi health minister, Satyendra Jain, another Aam Aadmi Party minister found himself in the dock
The department reportedly recovered some documents relating to a few transactions being made by at least three firms which had a link to Jain
Till now, 12 of AAP’s 67 legislators in Delhi have been arrested in different cases
27 Sept, 2016: Delhi health minister, Satyendra Jain, another Aam Aadmi Party minister found himself in the dock after the Income Tax department served a notice for alleged violation of income tax rules.
The department reportedly recovered some documents relating to a few transactions being made by at least three firms which had a link to Jain.
However, Jain said it was a “re-assessment” of an old case. He also added,”This is not an investigation, it is just a re-assessment. I have been called as a witness. In the past, I had invested in these companies which are being re-assessed,” he told the reporters.
The AAP leader went on to say, “The Delhi Chief Minister will make a big expose in the Delhi Assembly two days later. I dare the TV channels to air it,” he said.
Till now, 12 of AAP’s 67 legislators in Delhi have been arrested in different cases. Last week, it was MLAs Somnath Bharti and Amanatullah Khan who were arrested and later was released on bail after two days.
India is a producer of 89 minerals and operates 569 coal mines, 67 oil gas mines and 1,770 noncoal mines
Between 2009 and 2013, 752 accidents were reported and Coal Mines Act in 1973 was enacted
Australia, the US and China has implemented standard operating procedures (SoPs) to counter accidents
Though major safety standards have been introduced in the Indian mining sector but still a lot needs to be taken care of. Every 10th day some sort of mining fatality is happening in our country. Digging deeper into the case, more specifically every 3rd day on an average some accidents take place in the coal mining sector. All these repercussions lead to the fact that mining is considered to be the most dangerous profession in India.
Officials claim that the numbers are declining. On paper, it may seem comforting that for extracting 100 million tonnes of coal, 7 lives were lost on an average in 2015. The majority of the mishaps that takes place are due to strata fall (roof falls or collapse of side walls). Our economy demands more and more output from the mining sector. This directly builds pressure for re-evaluating the safety standards of those toiling deep in the bowels of the earth.
Same is the case with other developing countries such as China, Brazil. Death tolls are rising at a significant scale. Senior officials employed by world’s largest coal mine sector, coal India Ltd, concede that “Official numbers could be much lower than the actual deaths that take place deep inside the mines.”
India is a producer of 89 minerals by operating 569 coal mines, 67 oil gas mines and 1,770 noncoal mines and several other small mines. This forms a source of employment to about 1 million people on a daily average basis. This also contributes to about 5 % of the national GDP (Gross Domestic Product). But the fact that failures occur in the mining industry is an indication of our poor safety standards. We need to learn from countries like Australia, the US and China where standard operating procedures (SoPs) have been implemented.
According to Official of Directorate General of Mines Safety (Ministry of Labour and Employment), In India 752 accidents have been reported between 2009 and 2013 due to the fatalities in the mining operations. Coal Mines Act in 1973 was enacted due to this very reason only. Private sector mines were banned due to their poor safety records and now public sector mines are also becoming dangerous.
Though the problems of Indian mine worker cause accidents, miners are also exposed to a number of hazards that adversely affects their health. The problem of inadequate compensation is another factor that as documented in the report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on safety in coal mines.