Dawn Stover

Dawn Stover

Contributing Editor, Energy, Environment, and Climate

Articles by Dawn Stover

22 November 2011

The myth of renewable energy

Dawn Stover

"Clean." "Green." What do those words mean? When President Obama talks about "clean energy," some people think of "clean coal" and low-carbon nuclear power, while others envision shiny solar panels and wind turbines. And when politicians tout "green jobs," they might just as easily be talking about employment at General Motors as at Greenpeace. "Clean" and "green" are wide open to interpretation and misappropriation; that's why they're so often mentioned in quotation marks.

12 October 2011

The "scientization" of Yucca Mountain

Dawn Stover

When I first stood atop Nevada's Yucca Mountain more than 16 years ago, the Energy Department was spending about $1 million a day to assess the feasibility of safely storing spent fuel and high-level nuclear waste there. A steel-toothed tunneling machine had already begun chewing its way into the ridge, and some 300 scientists were on-site studying the area's underground trickles, its porous rock, its lumbering desert tortoises, and a few reddish-black cinder cones that dotted the landscape below -- the ominous tombstones of ancient volcanic eruptions.

29 August 2011

\ˈsāf\: America's nuclear power plants?

Dawn Stover

When the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission released its task force's recommendations for enhancing reactor safety in response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident, an editorial in the Washington Post summarized the findings this way: "America's plants are safe. But they could be safer."

16 June 2011

Rising water, falling journalism

Dawn Stover

Every evening, my father climbs the levee along the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and peers down into the black water that swallows the road. The water is rising, and the Army Corps of Engineers says the levee has never faced such a test. Dad, a retired professor, is packing his books and papers. If the levee doesn't hold, his one-story house could be underwater for months.