Skip to main content

The Post on Yucca and Our New Favorite Tower

The Washington Post weighs in on Yucca Mountain on the editorial page:

Technology might temper some opposition; recycling or reprocessing used fuel will not decrease the amount of waste that needs to be stored -- a staggering 57,000 tons -- but it could diminish the number of years that waste remains unstable by neutralizing particularly volatile elements. But no technology will obviate the need for a long-term geologic storage facility. Taking Yucca Mountain off the table without even seeing if it meets NRC criteria is contrary to the spirit of the commission and would mark the triumph of politics over policy.

The piece was motivated by the NRC panel decision that the DOE-submitted license cannot be withdrawn from the NRC nor can the administration usurp Congress’ role in deciding whether Yucca Mountain. The editorial lays out some of the history and represents a strong vote for letting the license go forward. Do read the whole thing and see what you think.

---

My favorite painted cooling tower was this one at Germanys Wunderland Kalkar (click for a larger image – it’s hard to tell what it’s depicting at this size):

Cooling_Tower_Art_10x

The only problem with it is that the plant it belonged to never opened.

So I needed a new favorite:

cruas-nuclear-power-station-mural-water-tower

This one, at the Cruas nuclear power station in Provence, France, was created by Jean-Marie Pierret and does something especially worthy – it uses the unique shape of the cooling tower (hyperboloid) as part of its aesthetic strategy. Here’s a little more of Pierret’s work, including an image on a dam that I’ll assume (without knowing) is Neptune.

Public art at this scale has the potential to be controversial as well as delightful, of course, but I’ll go for delightful in this case, or should I say, “délicieux.”

Many more examples here. Be sure to catch the one that “paints” the tower with light – it also paints the steam.

Comments

Phil said…
Ha! I knew when I read that editorial this morning that I'd see a comment here about it. (I actually get the print Washington Post daily paper - luddite that I am!!!!)
DocForesight said…
Gentlemen -- I wonder if you've already wadded through the series of articles on nuclear power, electrified rail transport, used fuel recycling and other related topics at: www.21stcenturysciencetech.com

I found them via a post at Rod Adams' blog and find many of their articles thought-provoking. The fuel recycling would possibly reduce the need for Yucca Mtn.
donb said…
The Washington Post stated:
recycling or reprocessing used fuel will not decrease the amount of waste that needs to be stored -- a staggering 57,000 tons -- but it could diminish the number of years that waste remains unstable by neutralizing particularly volatile elements.

Huh? Over 95% of that "waste" is U238, the same stuff that nature has scattered somewhat randomly around the plant. Not particularly hazardous, and even a bit less radioactive than the natural stuff. Sure reduces that figure of 55,000 tons a lot. Even the remaining 5% can be reduced a lot by removing what is not hazardous, and what is still fuel for current reactors.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Ex-Im Bank Board Nominations Will Turn the Page on a Dysfunctional Chapter in Washington

In our present era of political discord, could Washington agree to support an agency that creates thousands of American jobs by enabling U.S. companies of all sizes to compete in foreign markets? What if that agency generated nearly billions of dollars more in revenue than the cost of its operations and returned that money – $7 billion over the past two decades – to U.S. taxpayers? In fact, that agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), was reauthorized by a large majority of Congress in 2015. To be sure, the matter was not without controversy. A bipartisan House coalition resorted to a rarely-used parliamentary maneuver in order to force a vote. But when Congress voted, Ex-Im Bank won a supermajority in the House and a large majority in the Senate. For almost two years, however, Ex-Im Bank has been unable to function fully because a single Senate committee chairman prevented the confirmation of nominees to its Board of Directors. Without a quorum

An Ohio School Board Is Working to Save Nuclear Plants

Ohio faces a decision soon about its two nuclear reactors, Davis-Besse and Perry, and on Wednesday, neighbors of one of those plants issued a cry for help. The reactors’ problem is that the price of electricity they sell on the high-voltage grid is depressed, mostly because of a surplus of natural gas. And the reactors do not get any revenue for the other benefits they provide. Some of those benefits are regional – emissions-free electricity, reliability with months of fuel on-site, and diversity in case of problems or price spikes with gas or coal, state and federal payroll taxes, and national economic stimulus as the plants buy fuel, supplies and services. Some of the benefits are highly localized, including employment and property taxes. One locality is already feeling the pinch: Oak Harbor on Lake Erie, home to Davis-Besse. The town has a middle school in a building that is 106 years old, and an elementary school from the 1950s, and on May 2 was scheduled to have a referendu

Why #NEA17 Is at the Intersection of Nuclear’s Present and Future

Nuclear power is working for America. On May 22, hundreds of engineers, scientists, plant operators, entrepreneurs and students will gather in Scottsdale, at the annual Nuclear Energy Assembly , to talk about the multiple benefits that our technology provides, and the challenges and opportunities ahead. In preparation, NEI's Matt Wald sat down recently with Lenka Kollar , the director of business strategy at NuScale Power , the company that submitted the first application for design certification of a small modular reactor . Lenka will be a panelist on the first day of the conference. NuScale is one of several companies working on small modular reactors, reactors that can be built in a factory and then shipped by barge, rail or truck to sites around the country or the world. It’s not quite plug-and-play, but it’s closer to it than anything the nuclear industry has done so far. NuScale is further down the path to deployment than others; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission rece