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Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. (Forum).

For many people around the world, 2001 was unusually fraught with anxieties over energy. The year began with rolling electric power blackouts in California that affected more than 1 million people. Debates raged over controversial hydroelectric dam projects--such as a $2.4 billion project in Borneo and the $24.65 billion Three Gorges Dam in China--and the possibility of opening 2,000 acres of coastal plain in Alaska's largely untouched Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration. Germany and France saw huge antinuclear riots. Anxieties were further intensified as the conflict in Afghanistan again focused the world's attention on the security and availability of petroleum flowing from that region.

To alleviate these energy anxieties as well as those related to reducing the effects of pollution and global warming, many countries are working to develop energy self-sufficiency and sources of renewable energy. A side effect of these efforts is that worldwide interest in nuclear energy is growing.

Established in 1987, the Takoma Park, Maryland-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) focuses on the environmental safety of nuclear weapons production as well as on ozone layer depletion and other energy-related health and climate issues. The IEER collects and publishes a variety of materials on energy-related issues, which are available on the institute's home page, located at http://www.ieer.org/. The institute also conducts workshops for activists on nuclear issues, worked successfully to add carbon tetrachloride to the list of banned ozone-depleting chemicals, and sponsors international symposia and educational outreach projects, all of which are discussed on the IEER Web site.

On the site's About IEER page, the organization discusses another of its aims, which is to make technical information in nuclear and energy technology and related fields more accessible to nonscientists. To that end, the institute's English-language quarterly newsletter Science for Democratic Action, accessible from the home page, provides accessible yet technical information on topics such as plutonium cleanup and disposal. As part of its global outreach work, the IEER's newsletter Energy & Security, also available from the home page, is provided in Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and French. Each edition of this newsletter is themed, with past issues spotlighting nuclear plant risks, cleaning up after the Cold War, and nuclear power as a faulty solution to global climate change. Selected books, press releases, and articles are also provided in multiple languages.

The Subject Index link on the home page leads to a directory of links for 15 main subjects, including Health and Safety, Nuclear Power, and Energy Issues. Links are provided for hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, conference briefings, fact sheets, and IEER commentary, with the most recently added items highlighted for easy identification.
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Author:Dooley, Erin E.
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:444
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