Skip to main content

The Bird the Cat Dragged In

Some Monday nuclear tastiness:

09-02-18Nairobi_action Well, we don’t know:

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is willing to support Kenya in exploiting nuclear power as a source of energy.

IAEA Director General, Dr. Mohammed El Baradei, said Friday that in order for Kenya to achieve rapid industrialization there was the need to add nuclear energy in its current energy mix.

"Kenya might have other sources of energy but in order to industrialize faster, there is need for nuclear energy," Dr. Baradei said.

What we can’t tell from the story is whether Kenya wants nuclear energy or if Dr. El Baradei is making some stray comments – other stories on this seem to root from this one. We think he’s saying that the IAEA is offering Kenya help in developing a domestic industry. Then we came to this:

Dr. Baradei was speaking when he met President Mwai Kibaki at his Harambee House office here late Thursday.

Quite a chatty guy, our Dr. El Baradei.

These are members of the Women’s Major Group, protesting before UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) in Nairobi to keep nuclear energy from being considered a green energy. The sign says, “Nuclear energy is not a solution for climate change. Redirect nuclear funding to renewables – now!”

The rhetoric goes a little extreme: “There is not one part of the nuclear power chain, which is not connected to continued human rights violations, of indigenous and women’s rights and the rights of future generations.” Whew! At least nuclear is an equal-opportunity destroyer of souls.

You can read more here.

---

lead01 In the face of the financial downturn, Russia is scaling back its nuclear plans to one new reaction per year from two. That’s understandable. Here’s what caught our eye, though:

At the same meeting, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev put forward three priority challenges for the country's nuclear power industry.

The first task, he said, was to improve the performance of pressurised water reactors over the next two to three years. The second, over the medium-term, is to develop a new technological basis for nuclear energy based on a closed fuel cycle with fast neutron reactors. Thirdly, the industry must develop nuclear fusion as a future energy source.

Good, good, what!? This is the first time we’ve seen fusion as part of a country’s energy roadmap. We’re fond of fusion, especially as an energy source with a genuine fan base – but at least for now you have to drain a city to power a town. (Don’t be fooled, though – a lot of smart people have been trying to make fusion work for years.) If the Russians have a way forward, power, so to speak, to them.

Members of the Russian Cossack Folk Dance and Song Ensemble.

---

newt-gingrich We have, at best, mixed feelings about twittering politicians, since the form encourages the drive-by phrase making that has come to define so much television coverage of politics. On the other hand, it is unfiltered communication (ggod) and the imposed terseness tamps down the blowhardiness of our political class(very good).

With that, we give you Newt Gingrich:

We r ready 4 alternative forms of energy that moves into the 21st century & provides jobs. Wind, solar, nuclear, hydropower.

And that’s the bird the cat dragged in.

Himself.

Comments

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 …

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 Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …