Skip to main content

Some Weekend Reading

450x_cp_michael_ignatieff_0 Always learning, always growing, right?

The Whitaker Group provides the argument that nuclear energy can buy African countries energy security and more:

Supporters see nuclear energy as a way for the continent to demonstrate technical progress and achieve energy sustainability. The move toward nuclear energy is also helping regional integration, as African countries cooperate to achieve the economies of scale required for nuclear power. This involves interconnected grids, joint education and training programs, and sharing technological expertise on safety measures.

These are good things, though we hesitate to recommend building plant to “demonstrate technical progress.” To whom and why? We expect African nuclear projects to bring in a good amount of expertise from European, American and Asian partners. And why not?

Whitaker can also be a touch condescending:

Of course, African countries should not pursue nuclear energy unless they have the capacity to maintain the highest standards of safety and quality…

We’re sure they’ll do their best to measure up.

---

This is just getting underway, but will make for some plausible beach reading:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have published a report on the inaugural meeting of the Nuclear Energy Standards Coordination Collaborative (NESCC), a new ANSI Standards Panel, co-chaired by NIST and ANSI, to address the current and future standards needs of the nuclear energy industry.

Nothing like standards to make the heart race. Right now, committees are coming together and deciding stuff. That lends the reports a certain – er, quality (pdf):

Ms. [Fran] Schrotter [of ANSI] provided rationale for changing the name by explaining that the name change would provide more clarity of the forum’s role. Participants at the January 29, 2009 meeting felt that calling the forum a panel would indicate that the forum would be creating standards. The name change would clearly show that it’s a forum for coordination and collaboration.

Which means, we guess, that this is the Nuclear Energy Standards
Coordination Collaborative Forum.

Which indicates where they are in the process. Snark aside, very worthwhile – but nothing really to see here yet.

---

Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff reaffirmed his support for nuclear energy before a receptive audience Thursday.

Who? What?

In his speech, Ignatieff criticized the current state of the nuclear industry in Canada, citing the shutdown of the Chalk River reactor in Ontario and the subsequent isotope crises. He said a lack of proper management of crucially important nuclear energy projects was causing Canada to lag in nuclear technology, despite being a global leader for decades.

[Provincial Energy Minister Jack] Keir and the provincial government have pushed hard to develop the Saint John energy hub, which aims to develop economic growth through various energy projects in the area. The nuclear reactor at Point Lepreau and a proposed second reactor are a large part of that.

Oh, Canada. Or perhaps that’s O, Canada. Michael Ignatieff is leader of the liberal party and an MP from Ontario. Clearly, his embrace of nuclear energy is not chimerical and New Brunswick is all over it.

That’s a pretty good way to kick off the weekend. After all, we did know this about New Brunswick and were happy to learn it. Perhaps we even grew a little.

Note: Mistake fixed. Michael Ignatieff is an MP from Ontario not New Brunswick as previously stated.

Michael Ignatieff. We’ve noted often that American politicians like to point in photographs. Do their Canadian opposite numbers prefer pretending to read?

Comments

Brad F said…
Correction: Iggy is from Ontario, not New Bruunswick.
Joffan said…
My read on the Ignatieff hand gesture: holding the reins. Probably trying to gee-up the audience.
The Russians are going to dominate nuclear energy production in Africa once they start mass producing their floating nuclear reactors.
GRLCowan said…
Not chimerical? Are you saying Iggy is morphologically human from tip to toe? That's good to know, I guess.

(How fire can be domesticated)

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…