Apr 192014
 

Tampabay.com
Compensation battle rages four years after BP's US oil spill
Reuters
(Reuters) – Four years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, oil is still washing up on the long sandy beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and some islanders are fed up with hearing from BP that the crisis is over. Jules Melancon, the last remaining oyster
Four years after devastating BP oil spill, scientists search for life in the GulfCBS News
The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill still haunts the New Orleans seafood industryThe Times-Picayune
Breaking Down the Myths and Misconceptions About the Gulf Oil SpillSmithsonian
WTSP 10 News -Tampabay.com
all 250 news articles »

oil spill – read more

Apr 182014
 

Times of India
Japan Says It Will Resume Whaling Off Antarctica
New York Times
In a statement, Minister of Agriculture Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan would submit a new plan for research whaling next fall to the International Whaling Commission that would allow it to restart its annual hunts in waters off Antarctica in 2015. Japan
Japan to launch reduced Pacific whale hunt next weekBBC News
Japan Looks to Start New Antarctic Whaling ProgramWall Street Journal (blog)
Japan To Restart Its (Kinda Illegal) Whaling Program, Because Who Cares What Bustle
Newsmax.com -The Japan Times
all 178 news articles »

antarctica – read more

Apr 182014
 

Activists on Wednesday delivered petitions with over 5,600 signatures to Connecticut lawmakers in support of legislation that would ban the disposal or storage of wastewater from fracking anywhere in the state. Supporters of the prohibition warn that …
fracking wastewater – read more

Apr 182014
 



Windows that can effectively and cheaply double as solar panels are getting closer and closer every day, as recent work from the Los Alamos National Laboratory shows.

The new work has demonstrated that quantum dots can be utilized to great effect in the harvesting of solar energy via large-area luminescent solar concentrators.

Quantum dot LSC devices under ultraviolet illumination. Image Credit: DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

Quantum dot LSC devices under ultraviolet illumination.
Image Credit: DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

“The key accomplishment is the demonstration of large-area luminescent solar concentrators that use a new generation of specially engineered quantum dots,” stated lead researcher Victor Klimov of the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics (CASP) at Los Alamos.

The press release from the DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory provides some background:

Quantum dots are ultra-small bits of semiconductor matter that can be synthesized with nearly atomic precision via modern methods of colloidal chemistry. Their emission color can be tuned by simply varying their dimensions. Color tunability is combined with high emission efficiencies approaching 100%.

A luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) is a photon management device, representing a slab of transparent material that contains highly efficient emitters such as dye molecules or quantum dots. Sunlight absorbed in the slab is re-radiated at longer wavelengths and guided towards the slab edge equipped with a solar cell.

Klimov noted: “The LSC serves as a light-harvesting antenna which concentrates solar radiation collected from a large area onto a much smaller solar cell, and this increases its power output.”


“LSCs are especially attractive because in addition to gains in efficiency, they can enable new interesting concepts such as photovoltaic windows that can transform house facades into large-area energy generation units,” explained Sergio Brovelli, who worked at Los Alamos until 2012 and is now a faculty member at UNIMIB.

Quantum dots — thanks to their highly efficient, color-tunable emission and solution processability — are very attractive as a potential material for inexpensive, large-area LSCs. There are some roadblocks to their use, though — for instance, there’s an overlap between emission and absorption bands in the dots, which leads to significant light losses as the dots reabsorb some of the light that they produce.

That’s where the new work comes in, the researchers from Los Alamos and UNIMIB have addressed the issue through the development of “LSCs based on quantum dots with artificially induced large separation between emission and absorption bands (called a large Stokes shift).”

These “Stokes-shift” engineered quantum dots represent cadmium selenide/cadmium sulfide (CdSe/CdS) structures in which light absorption is dominated by an ultra-thick outer shell of CdS, while emission occurs from the inner core of a narrower-gap CdSe. The separation of light-absorption and light-emission functions between the two different parts of the nanostructure results in a large spectral shift of emission with respect to absorption, which greatly reduces losses to re-absorption.

To implement this concept, Los Alamos researchers created a series of thick-shell (so-called “giant”) CdSe/CdS quantum dots, which were incorporated by their Italian partners into large slabs (sized in tens of centimeters) of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). While being large by quantum dot standards, the active particles are still tiny — only about hundred angstroms across. For comparison, a human hair is about 500,000 angstroms wide.

“A key to the success of this project was the use of a modified industrial method of cell-casting, we developed at UNIMIB Materials Science Department” explained Francesco Meinardi, professor of Physics at UNIMIB.

Solar Panel Windows — Shiny Quantum Dots Boost Efficiency was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


CleanTechnica

Apr 182014
 

RT (blog)
Four years after devastating BP oil spill, scientists search for life in the Gulf
CBS News
A well drilled by the BP oil company blew out, killing 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon rig and unleashing a gusher into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. Now for the first time since 2010, scientists got a close look at the seabed not far from the
Compensation battle rages four years after BP's US oil spillReuters
Ex-BP manager settles with SEC over Gulf oil spill insider trading chargesRT (blog)
Coast Guard official says BP statement on oil spill cleanup appears 'very al.com
Tbo.com -WTSP 10 News
all 183 news articles »

oil spill – read more

Apr 172014
 

RedOrbit
How Would You Like To Work At Concordia Research Station In Antarctica?
RedOrbit
ESA is offering the chance of a lifetime to run space experiments in one of the world's most isolated places: Concordia research station in Antarctica. Lying 1600 km from the South Pole in the Antarctic desert, Concordia was built on a plateau 3200 m up.

antarctica – read more

Apr 172014
 

CBS News
Extreme weather causes ship problems in Virginia and Louisiana
CBS News
In this image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard the uninspected towing vessel Todd Michael is grounded on Lake Pontchartrain, Tuesday April 15, 2014. The Coast Guard rescued three crewmembers from the vessel after the Todd Michael took on water, …

and more »

extreme weather – read more

Apr 172014
 

Mother Nature Network
'Active Cleanup' of Oil Spill Is Ended on Louisiana Coast
New York Times
The cleanup efforts on the Gulf Coast in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have entered a new phase, with the oil company BP announcing that it is ending its “active cleanup” of Louisiana's coast almost four years after the disaster. In a
4 years after Gulf oil spill, wildlife still dyingMother Nature Network
BP oil spill cleanup will continue, Coast Guard tells state coastal authorityThe Times-Picayune
6 Horrible Oil Spills Since Deepwater Horizon That You Probably Didn't Hear TakePart
FuelFix (blog) -Reuters UK
all 125 news articles »

oil spill – read more

Apr 172014
 



NewsImage_FloatingNukes

The 2011 tsunami that struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan left the complex in disarray, contaminated and broken. The Japanese government subsequently found itself moving at the behest of public opinion to decommission many of its nuclear facilities and pushing towards a renewable energy future.

However, the damage done to the facility was not caused by the earthquake or resulting tsunami itself, but rather the aftereffects, specifically the lack of cooling for the reactor cores due to the shutdown of power at the station.

Researchers from MIT, along with others from the University of Wisconsin, and Chicago Bridge and Iron, presented a novel nuclear plant concept — that might escape such disasters in the future — at the Small Modular Reactors Symposium, hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The concept is a nuclear power plant built on floating platforms out to sea — modeled after the same platforms used for some offshore drilling platforms. Additionally, as noted by MIT, “such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.”

Three MIT professors are among those who presented the idea, including Jacopo Buongiorno, who explained that such plants could be built in a shipyard and then towed to their destination five to seven miles offshore where they would then be moored to the seafloor and connected to land by an underwater electric transmission line.

As can be seen in the image below, the reactor vessel is actually located deep underwater, surrounded by its containment vessel flooded with seawater.

Cutaway view of the proposed plant

Cutaway view of the proposed plant

Not a new concept, this particular design of a floating nuclear power plant has “enhanced safety”, according to Buongiorno, as being located so far offshore would allow the plant f

Illustrations courtesy of Jake Jurewicz/MIT-NSE

Floating Nuclear Plants Could Survive Tsunamis was originally published on CleanTechnica. To read more from CleanTechnica, join over 50,000 other subscribers: Google+ | Email | Facebook | RSS | Twitter.


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