Could you imagine a laptop battery that lasted for 500 hours? How about an electric car that boasts a range many times that of a gasoline vehicle? For that matter, think about environmental sensors that could be scattered into the air like dust and collect data. While the last thing might not exactly be what you want for Christmas, a breakthrough in energy production made by MIT researchers could make such technology a reality during the next few years.
President Obama has promised up to $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear reactors in Georgia. A White House press release said this is the "first U.S. nuclear power plan to break ground in nearly three decades."
As Americans continue to wonder what happened to the $787 billion in stimulus money and the economic recovered our leaders said would arrive in the aftermath of passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, another $3.4 billion has surfaced. Yesterday, The New American reported on the $400 million that the Department of Energy will be distributing over the next two years through ARPA-Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (or Arpa-e) grants. The expenditure examined in today's article is also linked to the $36.7 billion given to the Department of Energy in "stimulus" funding, but this time it concerns support for development of the "Smart Grid."
Have you been watching the nation’s economy continue to unravel and wondering where all of that stimulus money went? Another $400 million of the $787 billion approved last February in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have been accounted for, this time at the federal Energy Department. Why did the Energy Department receive these funds? To support technological research that, in many cases, is so speculative that it apparently cannot attract private venture capital.
A few weeks ago, Energy Secretary Steven Chu surprised a National Public Radio interviewer with an unequivocal endorsement of nuclear power. In answer to a question about his choice of living near a coal-fired or a nuclear-powered plant where electricity is generated, he responded, “If you look at the difference between a coal plant down the river and a nuclear power plant, personally I’d rather be living near a nuclear power plant. There’s less of the pollution we know about that is dangerous. Nuclear power has a record in the United States that is very, very good.”