Without nuclear power, the world’s climate challenge will get a whole lot harder

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The Covid-19 crisis not only delivered an unprecedented shock to the world economy. It also underscored the scale of the climate challenge we face: Even in the current deep recession, global carbon emissions remain unsustainable.

a sunset in the background: White steam billows from the Cattenom nuclear power plant, at sunset in Cattenom, eastern France, on June 2, 2020. - Cattenom is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP via Getty Images)

© Sebastien Berda/AFP/Getty Images
White steam billows from the Cattenom nuclear power plant, at sunset in Cattenom, eastern France, on June 2, 2020. – Cattenom is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP via Getty Images)

If the world is to meet energy security and climate goals, clean energy must be at the core of post-Covid-19 economic recovery efforts. Strong growth in wind and solar energy and in the use of electric cars gives us grounds for hope, as does the promise of emerging technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture. But the scale of the challenge means we cannot afford to exclude any available technologies, including nuclear power — the world’s second-largest source of low-carbon electricity after hydropower.

The power sector is the key to the clean energy transition. It is the single largest source of global emissions because most electricity is generated from fossil fuels. By significantly expanding the amount of electricity produced from low-carbon sources, we can help to reduce emissions not only from power generation, but also from sectors like transport, where low-carbon electricity can now fuel cars, trucks and buses.

This is a major undertaking. Low-carbon electricity generation will need to triple by 2040 to put the world on track to reach energy and climate goals. That is the equivalent of adding Japan’s entire power system to the global grid every year. It is very difficult to see how this can be done without a considerable contribution from nuclear power.

Nuclear power generated a near-record amount of electricity


AI researchers challenge a robot to ride a skateboard in simulation

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AI researchers say they’ve created a framework for controlling four-legged robots that promises better energy efficiency and adaptability than more traditional model-based gait control of robotic legs. To demonstrate the robust nature of the framework that adjusts to conditions in real time, AI researchers made the system slip on frictionless surfaces to mimic a banana peel, ride a skateboard, and climb on a bridge while walking on a treadmill. An Nvidia spokesperson told VentureBeat that only the frictionless surface test was conducted in real life because of limits placed on office staff size due to COVID-19. The spokesperson said all other challenges took place in simulation. (Simulations are often used as training data for robotics systems before those systems are used in real life.)

“Our framework learns a controller that can adapt to challenging environmental changes on the fly, including novel scenarios not seen during training. The learned controller is up to 85% more energy-efficient and is more robust compared to baseline methods,” the paper reads. “At inference time, the high-level controller needs only evaluate a small multi-layer neural network, avoiding the use of an expensive model predictive control (MPC) strategy that might otherwise be required to optimize for long-term performance.”

The quadruped model is trained in simulation using a split-belt treadmill with two tracks that can change speed independently. That training in simulation is then transferred to a Laikago robot in the real world. Nvidia released video of simulations and laboratory work Monday, when it also unveiled AI-powered videoconferencing service Maxine and the Omniverse simulated environment for engineers in beta.

A paper detailing the framework for controlling quadruped legs was published a week ago on preprint repository arXiv. AI researchers from Nvidia; Caltech; University of Texas, Austin; and the Vector Institute at the University of Toronto contributed to the


College students upended by the pandemic wrestle with yet another challenge: How to vote this fall?

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“It was so disheartening to be extremely passionate about this work and to recognize and tell other people that voting is important and necessary to the health of our democracy, then to not be able to participate in it,” the 21-year-old said, adding that when she called the county, officials told her they were not sure why her ballot never arrived. “You have to think: If I was stopped from voting, who else was stopped from voting?”

There are signs that younger Americans, who have historically turned out at the polls at lower rates than older voters, are more energized about voting this November than they have been in decades. Yet the pandemic has created thorny challenges for college students trying to cast their ballots this year — and their predicaments are growing more dire as state voter registration deadlines loom.

Some schools that initially reopened this fall have already sent students home after struggling to contain soaring infection rates, creating complications for those who were planning to vote at or near campus. Other schools may follow suit at any given point this fall, leaving students unsure about the best address to use to register to vote.

Many colleges and universities that are still open canceled their fall breaks in an effort to send students home by Thanksgiving, which means some students who had planned on voting early at home in October no longer will have time off to do so.

The hurdles would be significant for any voter — much less for those who will be casting a ballot in a presidential election for the first time.

“Nervous and anxious definitely describe the apprehension and fear, honestly, of figuring out this voting plan,” said Katya Ehresman, a senior at UT-Austin who is planning to vote in person the day


Living through ‘bubble’ LeBron’s biggest career challenge so far

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By Amy Tennery

a basketball player with a football ball: NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers

© Reuters/Kim Klement
NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers

(Reuters) – The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James believes living in the NBA’s bio-secure bubble has probably been the biggest challenge of his triumph-filled career.

Sixteen-time All-Star James arrived in Orlando, Florida, in July along with players from 22 National Basketball Association teams, determined to pick up his fourth NBA title after the deadly coronavirus outbreak had halted professional sports in March.

Yet the 35-year-old, four-time MVP’s championship mentality was put to the ultimate test inside the NBA’s quarantine setting at Walt Disney World, where the Lakers will face the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday after weeks shut off from the outside world.

“It’s probably been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as far as a professional, as far as committing to something and actually making it through,” James told reporters.

“I would be lying if I sat up here and (said I) knew that everything inside the bubble, the toll that it would take on your mind and your body and everything else, because it’s been extremely tough.”

The Lakers are favorites in the best-of-seven series against the Heat, James’ former team where he won his first NBA title in 2012.

“The main thing was for us to finish the season and compete for a championship,” said James. “That’s just been my mindset throughout these — I don’t even know how many days it is. However many days it is, it feels like five years. So it really doesn’t matter.

“I’ve been as locked in as I’ve ever been in my career.”

James, who typically eschews social media during the NBA postseason, has remained active on Twitter and Instagram, where he has continued to campaign for racial justice, encouraged


Science Challenge Ideas

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Assortment of data in any experiment is crucial for accuracy and precision of a science undertaking. The Science of Genetics opening new doors of understanding the human gene and cell. Given the fact that it takes time for a hen egg to hatch you need to rigorously observe the directions found beneath as a result of this isn’t the kind of challenge which you could recreate in the event you fail to hatch your egg.

However a detrimental information in a science experiment can also imply a superb result. Scientists space involved with individuals in the health care discipline and age associated businesses which are offering providers and products that aren’t based mostly in scientific facts.

The science alleges it’s a correctly prepared and trained mind that can simply rework one language to a different – like a pc. Of the scientists which can be highly educated about human getting older have labored collectively to create a paper that gives info regarding one of the best present scientific information as regards to aging.

For other scientists, when validity is compromised in some experiments or science initiatives, it sends a unfavorable sign that they were not critical about their challenge. In short science has changed, improved, enhanced, modified and refined human life in all ways.

The worldwide picture of much of the western world is now underneath attack due to their operations in international locations resembling Iraq and Afghanistan, because the population of those nations has been suffering for years now because of the political instability which has been created because of the unethical and immoral utility of scientific knowledge.…

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