Skip to main content

86th Carnival of Nuclear Energy

Today we have the privilege of hosting the 86th carnival of nuclear blogs in its almost two year history.

To start off the New Year, Gail Marcus at Nuke Power Talk took on the press by criticizing the sensationalist headlines on nuclear issues and the misleading impressions they left in 2011. She blasted several outlets including AP’s blunder analyses and noted that there are plenty more examples that could be cited.

Dan Yurman with his new look at Idaho Samizdat reviewed a book on the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) written by the two leading engineers at the Argonne National Laboratory -- Dr. Charles E. Till and Dr. Yoon Il Chang.

The IFR was a fast reactor system developed at Argonne National Laboratory in the decade 1984 to 1994. The IFR project developed the technology for a complete system; the reactor, the entire fuel cycle and the waste management technologies were all included in the development program.

The book makes a special point of being accessible to non-specialists and is a landmark in the sustainable energy literature.

Yurman was also at the ANS Nuclear Cafe and delved into the details of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for 2012 which was recently passed by Congress. Nuclear energy research at the Department of Energy was largely spared from major cuts and fared far better than some other high profile DOE programs. Meanwhile, in the UK, nuclear R&D funding is languishing, in the view of the House of Lords, prompting a stern report from the Science Committee.

Meredith Angwin at Yes Vermont Yankee gave the breakdown on each of the lawsuits involving VY. As many are awaiting on the Judge's ruling on the major lawsuit, Yes Vermont Yankee reviewed all five legal cases that concern the plant. There's the main lawsuit, the operator's lawsuit, the state's lawsuit about the water permit, the Mark 1 contention (now settled), and the bill of attainder law that the state passed (unenforceable). Angwin summarized the issues and even amused about the absurd qualities of many of the contentions.

Cheryl Rofer at the Nuclear Diner summarized Japan’s interim report on the Fukushima accident. The Investigation Committee, appointed by the Japanese government, issued a report which looked at communications failures and suggested how the reorganized nuclear regulator should operate. The report also contains some information on the accident sequence but the investigation is still incomplete.

Will Davis at Atomic Power Review has tirelessly chased those who have deliberately misrepresented the facts of the Fukushima accident as well as blasted a few who just did it accidentally. Now, news of an upcoming symposium on the reporting of the accident offers him hope that things could change in the future.

imageRod Adams at Atomic Insights was reminded on his New Years Day of the great benefit of having abundant energy. While he was using fossil fuels to water ski, he noted that they will eventually all be consumed. Studies peg natural gas production in the U.S. drying up in 90 years which, when you look at the big picture, is just a brief period of human history. Other fossil fuels are estimated to deplete sooner. The alternative? A dense source of plentiful energy right in front of us: nuclear (see chart on right from Clean Energy Insight).

Here’s Rod:

We need more low cost power in this world. We have been gifted with an abundance of incredibly energy dense materials along with the knowledge of how to use them for the benefit of mankind. It would be a wonderful way to start a New Year if a growing number of decision makers recognized the incredible opportunities that God (nature if you will) has provided just when we need it the most.

Last but not least, NEI’s Mark Flanagan detailed how France and the U.S. are upgrading and modifying their nuclear plants to improve safety after the Fukushima accident. Mark also discussed ways the World Association of Nuclear Energy is increasing its power as well as gave a brief mention of natural gas fracking that is causing small earthquakes, oy.

That is all for the week’s carnival, hope you enjoyed and stay tuned for next week’s at the ANS Nuclear Café.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Radiationalerts.blogspot.com and others are not listed with you?
David Bradish said…
Anon, it's the carnival for pro nuclear blogs, not anti.
bw said…
did you see my email of a missed submission

http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/01/toshiba-has-device-that-removes-97-of.html

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…