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[en] Nuclear power is an efficient tool to fight climate warming and to improve living standards for billions of people. The Harmony program was launched by the WNA (World Nuclear Association) a few years ago to propose an international consensus for a nuclear power share in electricity generation of 25% by 2050. This aim may look ambitious, it represents a capacity increase of 1000 GWe but 30 years ago the nuclear industry succeeded in building 31 GW per year without benefiting from the modern technologies and the supply chain of today. The harmony program acts following 3 axis. First nuclear energy must be considered as a carbon-free energy source like others, its essential role in the energy mix must be acknowledged and it must be taken into account in the optimization of the energy mix. Secondly, it is important to develop a standardisation of nuclear regulations among countries in order to ease the implementation of new plants. Thirdly, a new approach based on the well-being of population that assesses the different sources of energy according to their real benefits for health, safety and the environment, must be promoted. (A.C.)
[en] There is a global expectation about the peace process between the National Government and the FARC-EP and ELN guerrillas in Colombia, and also about the adoption of the possible agreements. However, as argued in this article, the fact that the emergence of a phase of post-conflict and/or post-agreements is mentioned from the theoretical and conceptual point of view does not mean that the internal conflicts vanish, but instead, they are transformed or can even give rise to new conflicts. A contribution in this sense is to conclude that the armed development is only a manifestation or expression of the conflict that turns out to be much more complex, due to its multiple aspects and factors that produce it. This trend is clear with respect to environmental matters: since the announced post-conflict phase in Colombia in the last years the environmental conflicts have intensified or have led to situations that enable the emergence of new conflicts. For this reason, the challenge of environmental conflicts is to propose a series of reflections for the discussion and construction of broad and lasting peace scenarios. In this sense, peace is not the absence of conflicts, but a situation in which they can be solved without resorting to violence and guaranteeing environmental rights. The proposal is finding a concerted and participatory solution among the different social sectors that acknowledges and establishes the aspects for overcoming environmental injustices, insisting that the latter constitute a condition that generates conflict due to the distribution of the environmental goods and burdens, which are manifested in inequalities and inequities between human beings and human beings and nature. Therefore, it will be essential to focus the efforts so that environmental rights are respected by guaranteeing no detriments, pollution or impacts, and assuring the emergence of affirmative actions, demands and struggles that allow the realization of a redistributive justice, the resolution of inequality and poverty, and the respect and limits for the conservation and sustainability of environmental and natural goods
[en] Environmental issues are not only relevant, but decisive for a stable and lasting peace building in Colombia. Environmental issues in the post-agreement have helped accentuate the importance of non-human nature as a motive/loot, a stage and a victim of the armed conflict. The signing of the Peace Agreement has led to a reduction of the conflict, but at the same time, it has highlighted environmental conflict scenarios that evidence the increase of tensions over land, forests (due to deforestation and illicit crops), water and the communities' livelihoods. These environmental conflicts point out new challenges for peace building in the territories. In this context it is necessary to understand the complex dynamics that have given rise to new environmental conflicts, and also figure out those that are not new, but the result of historical territorial disputes that, in some cases, may have escalated into armed confrontation. This understanding may allow proposing elements that help change the structural causes of conflict, jointly with the territory actors, based on an integral, integrative vision and with a inter, transdisciplinary and inter-know ledges perspective oriented to the protection of human and non-human nature, which is currently highly threatened. In this sense, the defense of nature is the base for a stable, lasting and integral peace building, in harmony with nature. No peace will be possible unless we generate processes that contribute to building territories where those who have been historically excluded and deprived are able to live and fulfill their rights, with dignity and according to their lifestyles.
[en] An argument of those supporting the direct election of regulators is that election allows voter preferences to be translated easily into policy outcomes. However, a danger of this approach is that the low salience of regulatory issues among the median voter could allow for regulatory capture, where regulated firms use their influence to extract favorable outcomes. Although the role that institutional design plays in influencing capture has been evaluated by comparing appointed and elected regulators, evidence of the capture of elected regulators remains scant, and we know little about the conditions that may mitigate such capture. Here, we study electricity rate-making by Arizona's elected public utilities commission to determine how the economy, citizen complaints, and industry and interest group lobbying affect rate decisions. Leveraging original quantitative and interview data, we find that commissioners respond to voters and set pro-consumer electricity prices when inflation rises and when citizen complaints increase. We do not find that industry and interest group lobbying influence rate-making. We argue that commissioners are pro-behavior because prices are salient, and commissioners desire reelection. The result suggests that the electoral mechanism reduces chances of regulatory capture, although the matter of electoral pandering remains unresolved.
[en] Highlights: • Researchers derived importance weights for eight components of federal-energy-policies. • Researchers found the most important component was impact on environmental quality. • Researchers did a similar study in eight states with active energy-policy discussions. • The most important energy policies across the states related to the environment and energy costs. • Analysis disclosed citizens’ pronounced risk-aversion for negative policy changes. - Abstract: Without knowledge of citizen preferences, policy makers most often rely on their intuition to infer such preferences or on biased information provided by special interest groups. Using a choice-modeling approach, the study features two large-scale, field-research projects—one done nationally in the US, and another composed of separate data collection efforts across eight states where energy policies have a high profile in public discourse. The results suggest four outcomes of energy policies are most important to citizens at the national level: 1) environmental quality, 2) energy costs, 3) job creation, and 4) greenhouse gas emissions. This pattern of importance for the outcomes of energy policy persists across important demographic groups including those related to political-party affiliation. At the state level, the four preferred outcomes of energy policies seen at the national level also appear—although in a different order of preference in some states. Further analysis of citizens’ willingness to change energy policy at the state level suggests that risk aversion characterizes citizens’ views about revising energy policy.
[en] New methodologies to evaluate the reliability of physical protection in SMRs have been proposed in this study because small-scale facilities would quickly approach undesirable conditions under a small number of threats compared to large-scale systems in which multiple protection systems including security personnel are present. Threats and attacks can be categorized into two types: i) stealth threats and ii) violent and vehicle assaults – the given conditions for each threat are different. In the case of a stealth threat, on-site forces can defeat the threat without outside support. However, on-site forces may not be able to defeat a violent or vehicle assault alone because such threats might be stronger than the on-site forces in terms of the number of people and fire power. Detecting an adversary of stealth threat type could be crucial. However, in the case of a violent or vehicle assault, the time to protect the system should be more significant than the detection of such threats because on-site forces must delay the assault of an adversary until off-site forces arrive. In order to take into account those differences, the probabilities of system failure, which is evaluated by the probability of non-detection times the probability of pathway selection by an adversary, and the consequences of that are selected as critical parameters. For the second threat type, it is reckoned that the expected time for the protection system should be longer than the response time of off-site forces. The expectation of delay time in the system can be computed by the summation of a delay time of a protection system in a certain pathway weighted by the probability of that pathway selection by an adversary. Using these methodologies, the physical protection system could be more effectively established in a small-scale facility.
[en] Highlights: • Russia’s oil sector flares some 12% of its associated petroleum gas. • Interplay of formal and informal institutions is studied to explain exceeding limit. • Exemptions and non-compliance with licenses allow flaring beyond 5% limit. • Informal institutions include unwritten rules, distorting rules, regulatory gaps. • Informal institutions ease coercive pressure put on oil companies by government. - Abstract: The Russian oil sector, crucial to the economy, was obliged to cut its associated petroleum gas flaring to 5% of total supply from 2012. Significant progress has been made since but the target has not been reached. The impact of the weakness of formal and importance of informal institutions on the policy outcome was found to be significant. Not only is far more flaring allowed as a result of exemptions and non-compliance with subsoil licenses but it also remains unclear how much is actually flared due to unclear metering practices and if fines can be avoided or written off without much oversight. Oil sector lobby has advocated many of these informal institutions. Standard type of informal institutions dominates, while also subversive institutions as well as gaps in regulations were identified. Analysing the oil sector interests through new institutionalism shows that the dominance of informal institutions has influenced the behaviour and interests of oil companies, especially in terms of relaxing legitimacy rules on compliance. Also the norm that oil sector activities are prioritized over environmental protection partly explains the relaxed attitude towards informal institutions; the 5% target set is partly ceremonial for the government.
[en] Destruction of critical nuclear infrastructure would have a debilitating effect on national public health, safety, national economy and security. For this reason, analysts perform safety risk analyses on the performance of the nuclear system to quantify and understand the nature of unwanted events. Since the world has gone through many changes after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, nuclear security risk analysis also became a necessity. To date, the safety and security risk analyses have been done separately without a combined evaluation. Study results are presented for three types of risk analyses for a pure security initiating event, pure safety initiating event, and a combined analysis of safety-security risk for either a security or safety initiating event. The pure security risk analysis uses adversary sequence diagram and pathway analysis to calculate the initiating security event frequency of a successful adversary attack. The pure safety analysis represented a series of natural (random) safety system component failure events for which a safety system failure frequency was calculated using SAPHIRE probabilistic risk analysis code. On the other hand, the combined safety-security analysis considered a security initiating event followed by safety system failure or vice versa. The main outcome of the comparative study of three different types of risk analyses is that pure safety risk evaluation without considering the possibility of a simultaneous security attack would underestimate the risk value. Failure frequency due to a security event should be combined with the safety system failure analysis for a meaningful risk analysis and the Estimate of Adversary Sequence Interruption (EASI) model can be employed for this purpose. The usefulness of a combined safety-security risk analysis is demonstrated through a case study for the spent fuel storage pool facility.
[en] France Hydro Electricite is the French small hydropower union. Its missions are to anticipate and prepare the evolution of the activity for the best of its members' interest, and to improve the regulatory and economic framework of small hydropower development. This document is France Hydro Electricite annual report for the year 2017. Content: 1 - Hydroelectricity, an essential clean and renewable energy for the energy mix; 2 - France Hydro Electricite in 2017: the union, its missions, commitment, ethical aspects, organisation, key figures; 3 - 2017, a transition year: purchase obligation contracts, first call for bids for small hydropower, modalities of development, reform of the property rights in the public domain, control of facilities, new quality majoration rules, hydropower plants impacted by a wave of devastating fires; 4 - A more and more criticized water policy: ecological continuity as a matter of debate, environmental conformability of facilities, implementation of the ecological continuity, claims against categorizations, major environmental reforms impacting the hydropower projects; 5 - Power grid questions; 6 - Legal questions; 7 - Activities of the Union, FAQ, Conclusion and perspectives, Glossary
[en] Within the context of the debate about the elaboration of the French multi-year energy programming (PPE), an article comments, discusses and criticises statements made by the nuclear lobby which claims a low cost for this energy. The article outlines that this cost assessment may change depending on how calculations are performed. The second article comments the posture of an important professional body of the nuclear energy sector (the French Society for nuclear energy, SFEN) which is in favour of the construction of new reactors. Other actors and experts are quoted who criticise the scenario presented by the SFEN