For those who may be stuck inside all weekend due to bad weather (it's supposed to continue to be dreary around DC for the next couple days) there are quite a few excellent and fun readings I recommend.
First is Dan Yurman's third-party perspective about the push for nuclear in Idaho. His frank descriptions on the actions of the battling parties involved make for an entertaining read:
The SRA [Snake River Alliance] describes itself as a "watchdog," but as Idaho’s self-appointed nuclear watchdog, the Snake River Alliance (SRA), has also demonstrated that having one around sometimes results in a lot of barking at the wrong things.Ah, politics. Next on the rec list is Steve Kirsch's push to receive federal funding for the Integral Fast Reactor which he posted at Barry Brook's blog:
Unlike most nuclear energy companies, which take over-the-top, anti-nuclear rhetoric in stride, thin-skinned AEHI CEO Don Gillispie threatened to sue the SRA for libel. SRA then exploited the situation it had created by charging AEHI with trying to shut it up with a “slap suit.” But both parties backed down after a cooling-off period.
Congress should add a provision to the climate bills to authorize $3B to have DOE work with industry to build a demonstration Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) plant in order to jump-start this critical clean energy technology.Make sure you have 15-20 minutes to read Steve's piece because it's quite long yet informative on the potential of the IFR technology.
Charles Barton shared his thoughts on a Denmark wind study. And Luke Weston decided to relate Blog Action Day on climate change to nuclear power in Australia.
Last but not least is the debate and discussion going on at Grist started by one of nuclear's biggest critics, Amory Lovins, that aims to debunk Stewart Brand's claims to promote the benefits of nuclear. Steve Kirsch (STK) and Rod Adams have represented the pro-nuclear side exquisitely and have even gotten Mr. Lovins to comment. That's a rarity considering the last time we heard from him and the Rocky Mountain Institute crew was when they were going to supposedly respond to our shellacking of their last study yet never did.
We're still mulling over Mr. Lovins' study but from first glance, it's toned down the anti-nuclear rhetoric a little bit compared to previous studies. Of course, it still has many exaggerations in our opinion such as this (p. 6):
Modern solar and wind power are more technically reliable than coal and nuclear plants; their technical failure rates are typically around 1–2%.The use of the word reliable in this case stands contrary to what many would consider to be reliable. How can technologies that produce power based on the intermittent wills of the sun and wind gods at only a small fraction of their rated capacities be considered more reliable than nuclear that produces power more than 90% of the time? This doesn't even pass the sniff test for me but of course we've got to provide facts and figures to rebut this claim. We'll let you know what we think of Mr. Lovins' latest study over the coming weeks.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!