Skip to main content

Explaining It All for You

Cedar-KeyLevy-County Let’s get the long weekend going with some good reading:

The Energy Information Administration, the statistics arm of the Department of Energy, has launched a new portal called Energy Explained, which, um, explains energy. All the usual suspects are accounted for and nuclear energy has a nice set of pages. It really does start at the beginning:

Nuclear energy is energy in the nucleus (core) of an atom. Atoms are tiny particles that make up every object in the universe. There is enormous energy in the bonds that hold atoms together.

Nuclear energy can be used to make electricity. But first the energy must be released. It can be released from atoms in two ways: nuclear fusion and nuclear fission.

Nice shoutout to the fusion gang there. We expect the site could be especially helpful to students but really to anyone with an interest.


President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. We expect both sweet and sour comments about it, but here’s what caught our eye:

One of the first to hail President Obama’s choice for “ nuclear disarmament” was Mohammed El Baradei, head of the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog group, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). El Baradei himself received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his efforts “to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes.” El Baradei, an Iranian, insists that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, and refuses to release IAEA reports declaring otherwise.

The article that contains this is pretty sour, but a news organization should still try to get its facts straight. Mr. ElBaradei is Egyptian; he also prefers his name to be spelled as one word.

We looked around for a fuller quote. and found this less freighted account:

"I cannot think of anyone today more deserving of this honour," said Elbaradei, adding he was "absolutely delighted."

"In less than a year in office, he has transformed the way we look at ourselves and the world we live in and rekindled hope for a world at peace with itself," the Egyptian IAEA director general said.

ElBaradei commended Obama on his "unshakeable commitment to diplomacy, mutual respect and dialogue as the best means of resolving conflicts."

"President Obama has provided outstanding leadership on moving towards a world free of nuclear weapons," ElBaradei said.

Although we wonder about the interest in both sources with where ElBaradei comes from. But there you go.


We’ve seen a fair number of polls – here’s a Bisconti one - that indicate that people who live nearby nuclear power plants have a more positive view of nuclear energy than the public at large. Why should this be? Let the New & Observer tell you:

But for many residents, the prospect of good jobs outweighs potential risks. Progress spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said about 3,000 workers would build the plant when construction starts, perhaps in 2012. About 800 full-time positions would be created to staff the two generators when they open.

"They hope it improves the economy, but some do have their concerns about the environment," said Luhanna Wilsey, a short-order cook at a local gas station who has lived in the area since 1973.

Her son is among those looking for permanent work.

This is Levy County, Florida, where Progress Energy intends to build a new plant. The story is actually pretty dim on this occurring – note the “potential risks” line, of which there are essentially none – but reporter Brent Kallestad couldn’t find anyone actually against the idea.

He tries, though.

Pari Nagda and her husband Bobby purchased a gas station and convenience store on the southeast corner of a busy intersection of U.S. 19/98 and State Road 40 two years ago. They wanted to buy additional property, but speculators drove the price far above the appraised value.

"There's lot of anticipation as far as the property owners go in what they might be able to get for their property," real estate agent Nancy Little Lewis said. "People want more for their property than it's worth.

"They say, 'Well, the power plant is coming.'"

The prospect of a lot of new workers needing gas for their car – or electricity eventually – the Nagdas owning a station/store that likely has gone up in value along with the neighboring land? Well, if that’s the best Kallestad can do, we’ll take it – and so would the Nagdas, in all likelihood.

Your moment of zen – in Levy Country.

Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered how the rest of that “Columbus sailed the ocean blue” song goes, check this out.


Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…