[ RadSafe ] Bush Will Consider Venezuela Reactor
sandyfl at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 8 09:49:25 CST 2005
Bush Will Consider Venezuela Reactor
Sea-Based Windmills Could Blunt Criticisms
Bush Will Consider Venezuela Reactor
WASHINGTON (Nov. 2) - Despite tense relations with Venezuela,
President Bush says it might be OK for the South American nation to
have a nuclear reactor for peaceful energy uses.
Bush acknowledged he had not heard about Venezuela's request for a
reactor when asked about it Tuesday in an interview with Latin
American reporters in advance of his five-day trip to the region. But
he didn't reject the idea, even though he has had numerous disputes
with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
As Chavez, Bush and leaders from 32 other nations in the Western
Hemisphere prepare to gather Friday at the Summit of the Americans in
Argentina, the Venezuelan leader is trying to boost his profile by
putting his disputes with the United States at center stage.
On Tuesday, Chavez said he would bring to the summit a message that
the United States' "capitalist, imperialist model" was responsible
for exploiting developing economies and ruining the global
environment. He also warned he might share Venezuela's U.S.-made F-16
fighters with Cuba and China, accusing the United States of making it
difficult for his country to obtain spare parts for the planes, which
Venezuela originally purchased in 1983.
Chavez has said his government was preparing for a possible U.S.
invasion aimed at taking over Venezuela's oil fields, an allegation
that U.S. officials have denied. He also has denounced the U.S.-led
war in Iraq and said world leaders should consider moving the United
Nations headquarters out of the United States.
Chavez recently said he is interested in working with Iran to explore
peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Chavez has insisted Iran has the
right to develop nuclear energy despite opposition from the U.S.
government, which fears Tehran may be developing a nuclear weapons
Venezuela has asked for technical help from Argentina to develop
nuclear energy. Bush said he would be curious to know what Argentine
President Nestor Kirchner has to say about the idea.
Kirchner and Chavez share left-leaning politics and have built close
ties. Bush said he hopes Kirchner will agree with his position that
international oversight of any nuclear development is important and
noted that Venezuela already is an energy rich nation as one of the
world's top oil producers.
"I guess if I were a taxpayer in Venezuela, I would wonder about the
energy supply that Venezuela has," Bush said. "But maybe it makes
sense. I haven't really studied the proposal."
Fred Jones, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the
White House, later said that any nuclear cooperation with Venezuela
would have to be in accordance with international obligations and
safeguards set by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency. "We
have worked closely with Argentina to fight nonproliferation and look
forward to continuing to do so in the future," Jones said.
Bush's trip to Argentina, Brazil and Panama follows what has been one
of the worst week's of his presidency. One of his top advisers was
indicted, he had to replace his widely criticized Supreme Court
nominee, and U.S. military deaths in Iraq passed the 2,000 mark.
Bush even made light of the issue of reporter-source relationships
that has been at the center of the investigation into who in his
administration was responsible for leaking the name of a covert CIA
operative to the media. The investigation led to Friday's perjury and
obstruction of charges against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice
President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.
When an Argentine reporter said sources told him that Kirchner
planned to ask Bush for help reaching a new financial agreement on
its debts with the International Monetary Fund, Bush expressed mock
surprise that government officials can act as secret-leaking sources.
"I'm not going to ask you who they are, of course," Bush said,
drawing laughter from the U.S. contingent in the room. "Inside joke
here, for my team."
He went on to say that he would listen to any request that Kirchner
makes in their private meeting, but the populist leader elected after
Argentina's 2002 economic collapse appears "plenty capable of dealing
with the IMF directly" without the United States as a "middleman."
The agenda at the Summit of the Americas centers on poverty
reduction, with Bush promoting increased trade and the creation of
other economic opportunities as the best solutions.
But Bush acknowledged that he has been unable to accomplish what was
once one of his highest trade priorities - the creation of a Free
Trade Area of the Americas that remove tariffs and or barriers on all
goods among every country in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba.
The talks have been at an impasse for months, with co-chairs Brazil
and the United States remaining far apart on a number of issues,
including U.S. protections for American farmers and Brazil's laws
covering the protection of intellectual property rights.
Sea-Based Windmills Could Blunt Criticisms
OSLO (Nov. 2) - A novel windmill floating on the high seas is likely
to generate electricity from 2007 in a shift from land-based turbines
often denounced as eyesores, Norwegian energy group Norsk Hydro said
Out of sight over the horizon, parks of non-polluting windmills could
eventually supply power to coastal cities or to offshore oil and gas
platforms anywhere from the North Sea to the Gulf of Mexico.
Hydro said it aimed to go ahead with a project to build a prototype --
an upright steel and concrete tube about 660 feet high with 264 feet
jutting above the water and rotor blades 198 feet long -- after
successful laboratory tests.
Some nations have parks of windmills that stand in shallow waters
offshore but none have windmills far from land. Hydro said that it
had been measuring wind conditions over 30 years of North Sea
"The results are promising," Alexandra Bech Gjoerv, head of New
Energy at Hydro, told Reuters of a three-year research program.
"We're very hopeful that we can be first in the world to set up a
floating windmill at sea."
She said rivals in nations from Japan to the United States were also
working on designing similar windmills.
Hydro, Norway's number two oil producer behind Statoil, aims to
deploy a prototype at sea in 2007, likely to cost about 150 million
Norway is the world's third largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia
The floating windmills would be tethered at three points to the
seabed to keep them stable. Bech Gjoerv said that there were likely
to be fewer objections to windmills offshore.
"On land there are objections partly to visual pollution, partly
problems with birds and other environmental issues like laying cables
through the countryside," she said. Birds are sometimes killed by
flying into windmill blades.
Bech Gjoerv said electricity from offshore windmills was likely to
cost more than electricity from fossil fuels, nuclear or big
hydropower plants. Maintenance costs could be higher.
WINDIER AT SEA
"Initially we want to compete with windmills on land. It's a lot more
windy out at sea -- installation costs will be higher but the
production will be higher," she said.
Each 5-megawatt windmill would be capable of generating about 22
gigawatt hours a year. That would be enough to supply electricity to
about 1,000 typical Norwegian homes.
If the concept works, Hydro envisages parks of perhaps 200 windmills,
in waters 200-700 metres deep that could supply power to 200,000
households in a nation of 4.5 million people.
"We're using a tested platform concept, windmill technology that's
well known and an anchoring system that is known. It's a radical
adaptation of the technology," Bech Gjoerv said.
Many countries are trying to shift to cleaner energies like wind or
solar power to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon
dioxide from fossil fuels burned in power stations, cars and
The scientific panel that advises the United Nations says that rising
temperatures could trigger more floods, storms, spread deserts and
drive thousands of species to extinction.
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