Skip to main content

Nuclear Coming Back/NYT on Ex-Im/Kryptonite

atlanticThe Atlantic has an article called Is Nuclear Energy Ever Coming Back?. Aside from the fact that five new reactors are opening before the turn of the decade, the question seems a bit moot, but writer Celeste Lecompe does an exceptionally good job looking at subject wholly – I mean, with the Union of Concerned Scientists and NEI in the mix. We may take some pleasure in how much like sourpusses UCS seems, but it’s a fair look at different views. And Lecompte give due to new developments, such as small reactors and Transatomic’s revived interest in molten salt.

A taste:

In the meantime, TerraPower, the Bill Gates-backed startup, has opted to focus its attention abroad. “There are plenty of countries or regions that really are looking to nuclear as one of the ways to solve their energy needs without putting more carbon into the environment,” said Kevin Weaver, TerraPower’s director for technology integration. TerraPower is exploring opportunities to deploy its reactor design in Russia, China, India, Korea, France, where national energy policies are more supportive of nuclear power.

Oh, and did we mention? TerraPower is there, too. Long, but worth the time.

---

nyt_logoThe New York Times weighs in on the battle over the Export-Import Bank:

Other groups and businesses opposed to the bank include the Heritage Foundation and Delta Air Lines, which argues that the bank’s loans and guarantees helps foreign airlines buy Boeing planes at lower cost than domestic airlines can. The bank is actually a very poor symbol of corporate welfare. The interest and fees from its loans earn a healthy profit (last year it earned more than $1 billion for the Treasury), and its default rate is less than 1 percent.

Why keep you in suspense?

Congress should ignore the ridiculous arguments against the bank and reauthorize it.

The Times editorial board thinks this will happen, but it may be a near thing. Read the posts below this one on why it matters to nuclear energy supporters.

---

Subject for further research: EPA Hits Nuclear Power With Kryptonite. The story is actually about krypton the element, not Superman’s home planet or the remnant of it that is kryptonite. Still, points to Forbes for even illustrating the story with Superman images. It tends to emphasize that there is nothing inherently interesting about krypton.

I know that Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were science kids, but I’ve never read that there is special significance to their having used krypton. It might well have been picked as a cool word from the periodic chart and that’s all there was to it. The planet could just as well been called molybdenum.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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?

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…