2022年12月22日 星期四

Racing to Fix Problems, France Braces for Non-Nuclear Winter. 法國核電廠半數搶修 今冬供電拉警報

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2022/12/23 第414期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Racing to Fix Problems, France Braces for Non-Nuclear Winter. 法國核電廠半數搶修 今冬供電拉警報
FTX's Collapse Casts a Pall on a Philanthropy Movement FTX閃電破產 慈善業前景黯淡
Racing to Fix Problems, France Braces for Non-Nuclear Winter. 法國核電廠半數搶修 今冬供電拉警報
文/Liz Alderman

法國核電廠半數搶修 今冬供電拉警報

An army of engineers has fanned out through nuclear power plants across France in recent months, inspecting reactors for signs of wear and tear. Hundreds of expert welders have been recruited to repair problems found in cooling circuits. Stress tests are being conducted to check for safety problems.


As Europe braces for a winter without Russian gas, France is moving fast to repair a series of problems plaguing its atomic fleet. A record 26 of its 56 reactors are offline for maintenance or repairs after the worrisome discovery of cracks and corrosion in some pipes used to cool reactor cores.


The crisis is upending the role that France has long played as Europe's biggest producer of nuclear energy, raising questions about how much its nuclear power arsenal will be able to help bridge the continent's looming crunch.


The state-backed nuclear power operator, Électricité de France, or EDF, which runs France's nuclear power industry, said last week that it was working on an accelerated schedule to get all but 10 reactors running again by January, adding that there were no safety risks and that regulators were monitoring every step. President Emmanuel Macron's government has been pressing the company to improve performance before freezing weather sets in.


"We were faced with an unprecedented situation and have gotten past the worst," Regis Clement, EDF's deputy general manager of nuclear production, said at a briefing. "We are doing our best to play a role in the energy crisis," he added.


The troubles facing EDF — a fresh outbreak of safety-related incidents, combined with delays to the company's repair schedule — could not be hitting at a worse time. Russian President Vladimir Putin's tactic of withholding energy to punish countries supporting Ukraine is pushing Europe to transform how it generates and saves power. Countries are banding together to stock additional power supplies, while pushing out major conservation programs.


Europe's energy security remains on a thin edge, creating a sense of urgency in France to get its nuclear power program back on track. Macron's government this month introduced a measure in parliament to speed up an ambitious plan to build six mammoth reactors starting in 2028.



FTX's Collapse Casts a Pall on a Philanthropy Movement FTX閃電破產 慈善業前景黯淡
文/Nicholas Kulish

FTX閃電破產 慈善業前景黯淡

In short order, the extraordinary collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX has vaporized billions of dollars of customer deposits, prompted investigations by law enforcement and destroyed the fortune and reputation of the company's founder and CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.


It has also dealt a significant blow to the corner of philanthropy known as effective altruism, a philosophy that advocates applying data and evidence to doing the most good for the many and that is deeply tied to Bankman-Fried, one of its leading proponents and donors. Now nonprofits are scrambling to replace millions in grant commitments from Bankman-Fried's charitable vehicles, including the FTX Future Fund, whose grant recipients' work includes pandemic preparedness and artificial intelligence safety.


Through a nonprofit called Building a Stronger Future, Bankman-Fried also gave to groups including news organizations ProPublica, Vox and the Intercept.


In a note to staff members Friday, ProPublica's president, Robin Sparkman, and editor-in-chief, Stephen Engelberg, wrote that the remaining two-thirds of a $5 million grant for reporting on pandemic preparedness and biothreats were on hold. "Building a Stronger Future is assessing its finances and, concurrently, talking to other funders about taking on some of its grant portfolio," they wrote.


Bankman-Fried's fall from grace may have cost effective altruist causes billions of dollars in future donations. For a relatively young movement that was wrestling over its growth and focus, such a high-profile scandal implicating one of the group's most famous proponents represents a significant setback.


Effective altruism focuses on the question of how individuals can do as much good as possible with the money and time available to them.


In a few short years, effective altruism went from a somewhat obscure corner of charity favored by philosophy students and social workers to a leading approach to philanthropy for an increasingly powerful cohort of millennial and Gen-Z givers, including Silicon Valley programmers and hedge fund analysts.


Facebook and Asana co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna, have said they are devoting much of their fortune to effective altruist causes.


"I don't know yet how we'll repair the damage Sam did and harden EA against other bad actors," Moskovitz wrote in a tweet Saturday. "But I know that we're going to try, because the stakes remain painfully high."



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