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news & trends A flowchart released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of U.S. energy use. Generating Station in Pendleton, Calif., were shut down. The majority of the energy used in 2013 was for electricity generation— some 38.2 quads—followed by transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial, all of which increased slightly. To view the data in full, visit www.llnl.gov. However, new data suggests that the U.S.’s efforts, however earnest, to make its energy cleaner and greener may be impeding its ability to reduce harmful carbon emissions. According to a policy brief by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), which examines the role of nuclear power in the U.S., the closures or impending closures of U.S. nuclear facilities are making it more difficult to meet climate goals, including a 17-percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020. Nuclear power currently supplies more than 60 percent of zero-carbon electricity in the country. “Losing more of our existing nuclear fleet will make it that much tougher to meet our carbon reduction goals,” says C2ES President Eileen Claussen in a press release. “We need to keep ramping up renewables, but they can’t meet our need for reliable power 24/7. Nuclear is a baseload source and it’s carbon-free—two things we need.” Sixteen natural-gas combined cycle power plants would be needed to replace the energy generated from the five nuclear reactors retired since October 2012, according to the brief. Those 16 plants would provide baseload power, but also an added 12 million metric tons of CO2 each year. Renewables, such as wind (7,600 turbines) and solar (3.7 million solar rooftop panels) could get the job done without increasing carbon emissions, but could not provide baseload power for the amount of electricity needed. According to C2ES, electricity accounts for almost a third of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. n reach your audience with 6 www.ceramics.org | American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 93, No. 5 Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ceramicSOURCE update your listing ceramicsource.org


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