Norway has 170,000 tonnes of thorium, which amounts to 15% of the world’s total of 1.2 million tonnes.

India has approved the controversial Kudankulam nuclear power project in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Finland will need some 2,400 new nuclear energy specialists by the year 2025. Almost one-third of current specialists are reaching retirement age. At the same time, construction of additional reactors and the burying of nuclear waste are increasing the need for additional expertise in the sector.

The US government announced plans to share the cost with the private sector to develop and license small modular nuclear reactors. It said it was offering $450 million in a cost-sharing plan meant to support engineering, design, certification, and licensing for small modular reactors.

Emirates, the biggest airline by international traffic, said more carriers will go bankrupt this year as fuel costs and sluggish economies undermine profitability.

India has barred its airlines from complying with the European Union carbon tax scheme, joining China in resistance to plans that have caused a backlash among the EU’s trade partners. The European Union imposed a carbon levy on air travel as of January 1st of this year but no airline will face a bill until 2013 after this year’s carbon emissions have been tallied.

Canadian pipeline company TransCanada may be considering a $5.6 billion pipeline system to carry oil from Canada’s western provinces to refineries in Ontario and possibly to eastern ports.

Royal Dutch Shell signed a production-sharing contract with state-controlled China National Petroleum Corp. to explore, develop and produce shale gas in China.

Solar, wind, tidal and geothermal energy made up only 1.3% of total global energy use in 2011, but that’s up 15.5 % from the previous year. The top 5 renewable energy countries in the world are the US (25% of world total); Germany (12% of world total), Spain (8% of world total), China (8% of world total) and Brazil (6% of world total).

Following the lead of several European countries, the Canadian province of Ontario has reduced its subsidies for wind and solar energy. The subsidy for solar projects has been reduced by more than 20% and for wind projects by approximately 15%  The subsidy program for renewable energy was launched in 2009 to create new clean energy industries and jobs, boost economic activity and the development of renewable energy technology, and to improve air quality by phasing out coal-fired electrical generation by 2014. The provincial government has faced a strong backlash from rural communities who have no say in where the wind turbines are located and from the general public who view renewable energy as very costly and unreliable compared with nuclear, hydro and natural gas.

A wind turbine capable of generating 6 megawatts of power, the world’s most powerful, was installed off the Belgian coast.

Nearly 4 million homes across the UK will be powered by the Sun within eight years, the government said this week.

Fuel poverty in England is likely to worsen. Some 7.8 million people could not afford their energy bills in 2009. This figure is due to rise to 8.5 million by 2016 a government report warns.

Alberta, Canada farm families are being strangled by skyrocketing electricity costs that stick them with monthly bills of $1,000 or more.

A report commissioned by the Energy Users Association of Australia shows average household electricity prices have risen by more than 40% since 2007 and will rise by a further 30% by 2013/14.


with h/t Tom Whipple


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