UN Agency: Nuclear Power Remains Significant Energy Source

UN Agency: Nuclear Power Remains Key To Sustainability
At a recent conference on nuclear power, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Yukiya Amano expressed the view that “nuclear power will make a significant and growing contribution to sustainable development in the coming decades.”

The conference was attended by 38 representatives from 89 countries and 7 international organizations.

Sergei Kirienko, Director General of the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM, said the conference confirmed “that nuclear energy is an important part of the world’s energy-mix. The innovative character of this type of energy provides us with sustainable development in the future. The closed nuclear fuel cycle and fusion may open for humanity absolutely new horizons.”

The flip side to the belief that the peaceful production of nuclear power remains a viable option for energy production must be a commitment to ensuring nuclear security, which was discussed at last week’s IAEA ministerial meeting.

Do Humanitarian Military Interventions Violate International Law?
With United Nations launching its first military mission in Mali, some have raised the question of whether military intervention, regardless of its purpose, violates international law.

Matthew C. Waxman, a senior fellow for law and foreign policy with the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that it is permissible as long as the UN Security Council (UNSC) signs off.

According to Waxman, this approval was gained in cases such as Somalia and Haiti, but it did not win unanimous approval of the intervention in the 1999 Kosovo crisis. Therefore, NATO stepped in despite Russian objections.

“Although many Western states regarded the action as morally legitimate under the circumstances, many other states criticized it as violating the principle of state sovereignty,” Waxman writes.

Waxman expounded on this issue in a 2009 report for the Council.

Did Globalization Cause Bangladesh’s Biggest Industrial Disaster? A government investigator Der Spiegel at a textile factory in Dhaka. More than 1,000 people were killed when the building fell. The full findings of the investigation likely will not see the light of day as Bangladesh authorities have never released the results of any government investigation into the textile industry.

The pressures on Bangladesh are immense with 160 million people who will work in Dhaka for 12 hours a day because it is still better than being landless and hungry in a half-flooded village, reports Spiegel.

“The garment industry accounts for about 80 percent of export revenues. A country in Bangladesh’s position, constantly in danger of losing orders to Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia instead, cannot use the excess demand generated by the West’s insatiable consumption habits to its advantage,” write Hauke Goos and Ralf Hoppe.

What the documents report is a series of actions taken to avoid following “requirements” for building construction, bribes and, the paper contends, a drive to get the project completed in order to meet the demands of globalization. Bangladesh has the lowest wages of any nation worldwide, which is particularly attractive for businesses looking to cut costs.

“Normally, the approval of six government agencies is required to build a factory in Bangladesh,” but the requirements were evaded when developers declared the plaza as an office and retail building.

History Of Energy Use In The US Since 1776
And finally, Kevin Bullis of MIT Technology Review put together an interesting chart detailing energy use in the United States dating from 1776 until today.




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