Sunday, August 14, 2011

65th Carnival of Nuclear Energy: Turning Inspiration Into Action, Not Just Nuclear, And The Bigger Pictures

For the sixth time in the carnival’s 15-month history, we have the privilege of hosting. Each time we’ve written, the number of contributions from pro-nuke bloggers has increased. Today we have posts from 13 folks discussing all sorts of topics.

Inspiration Into Action

Suzy Hobbs at the ANS Nuclear Cafe asked:

Inspiring people to learn about energy issues is a huge step, but how do we turn that inspiration into action?

Her answer:

My best piece of advice to a newly minted nuclear supporter is to be bold and talk about it. Talk about it every chance you get. Bring it up, even at the risk of creating or escalating a conflict.

Will Davis at Atomic Power Review did just that. He recently chatted with a friend who had seen the Davis-Besse plant at a distance while on vacation. Addressing his friend’s concerns, Davis started a frank discussion about perceived risk and how big media drives and controls it.

Rod Adams hosted two gentlemen on his Atomic Podcast Show: Ben Heard of Decarbonise SA (South Australia) and Barry Brook of Brave New Climate. Ben grew up assuming that nuclear energy was dangerous, but after evaluating all available options, he changed his mind. He is now running a campaign that he calls Decarbonise SA. The other guest, Dr. Barry Brook, is a scientist who focuses on the earth’s climate. He never opposed the use of nuclear energy but now recognizes just how effective of a tool it can be.

As Ms. Hobbs suggested, inspiration can lead to action.

Not Just Nuclear

Dr. Ulrich Decher also at the ANS Nuclear Cafe published his third piece of his series on California's Renewable Energy Portfolio. The Doc continued to analyze the assumptions and predictions underlying California’s energy goals. This time he took a special focus on issues arising from the intermittency of renewable sources.

Dr. John Bickel at Evergreen Nuclear presented some enlightening numbers on the radioactive releases from natural gas production compared to nuclear. There is clearly a big difference on how the nuclear industry handles radiation compared to the gas industry (looks like they don’t).

Steve Aplin at Canadian Energy Issues called out environmentalists and the Sierra Club for their disconnect on their natural gas policies.

Environmentalists who make a big deal out of opposing the proposed expansion of the Keystone pipeline do so on the grounds of the sheer amount of carbon it represents. Keystone carries synthetic crude from the Alberta oil sands to refineries in the U.S. Natural gas is a vital ingredient in oil sands processing, and is the main source of oil sands carbon emissions. Now, if oil sands carbon is bad, and that carbon comes from natural gas, then why do the same environmentalists who oppose Keystone support the increased use of natural gas for power generation in Ontario? … In Ontario, Sierra opposes new nuclear build and favours, incredibly, natural gas.

Meredith Angwin at Yes Vermont Yankee created a slide show presentation on Vermont's energy future and Vermont Yankee issues. In the slide show, she explains what "buying from the grid" in New England means (hint, it's fossil). She also covers nuclear safety issues, including concerns based on Fukushima, and a significant section on the economics of Vermont Yankee. The show provides a strong context for understanding the future of electric generation in New England.

Back to All Nuclear

Charles Barton at Nuclear Green has re-posted a blog entry by Bill Hannahan in response to an attack on the Molten Salt Reactor by DA Ryan, a British anti-nuke. From Barton:

Ryan began with questionable assumptions, failed to note well regarded information sources that simply disagreed with his controversial views, then proceeded to reason from unsupported assumptions to dogmatic conclusions about nuclear energy.

The essay rebuttal is not only a defense of the Molten Salt Reactor concept but of nuclear in general.

Brian Wang at Next Big Future has the latest on reactor construction in South Korea and new plant starts in China. He also reported on the International Energy Agency’s monthly nuclear stats worldwide and country by country. Looks like Japan’s decline in nuclear generation this year is going to make a dent in nuclear’s worldwide fuel share. New plants in India and China may be able to make up the slack though.

Bigger Pictures

Margaret Harding at 4 Factor Consulting published the fourth piece in her series that reviews strategic factors affecting the nuclear industry. Using the PESTEL analysis (acronym for Political, Economic, Social, Technical, Environmental, and Legal), Margaret’s latest piece looked at a high level economic overview of the nuclear industry.

Gail Marcus at Nuke Power Talk discussed the three types of regulatory independence that the Japanese should factor into the new regulatory organization they are developing: organizational independence, independence from the licensee, and ability of staff to assess the technical situation independently.

And Slow and Steady Progress

Last but not least, Dan Yurman at Idaho Samizdat has two posts to mention. Closely following the progress of the Vogtle reactors, Dan notes that the Georgia Public Service Commission will not adopt a controversial cost risk sharing plan with Southern Company. Instead, the regulatory agency and the utility have agreed to a "look back / look forward" program that reviews all costs as necessary and prudent under the state's CWIP program. The decision allows Southern to move forward with additions to the rate base to pay for the construction of twin Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Vogtle site.

Dan also reported that the NRC issued the final safety evaluation report for the combined construction and operating license for the Vogtle reactors. The NRC is on the home stretch with the safety review of the AP1000 reactor design!

That’s it for the week’s carnival. Always something going on, always something to say. Hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for the next carnival at the ANS Nuclear Cafe. :)

1 comment:

JumboWilson said...

good collection dave. maybe throw in some perezhilton or tmz next month. man does not live by bread alone. happy summer. xo/jw