Friday, January 28, 2011

37th Carnival of Nuclear Energy blogs

bellefontecolorfieldIt is a weekly round-up of the best blog posts from the leading U.S. nuclear bloggers

If you want to hear the voice of the nuclear renaissance, the Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogs is where to find it.

Past editions have been hosted at NEI Nuclear Notes, Next Big Future, Atomic Insights, ANS Nuclear Cafe, Canadian Energy Issues, Yes Vermont Yankee, at this blog, and several other popular nuclear energy blogs.

If you have a pro-nuclear energy blog, and would like to host an edition of the carnival, please contact Brian Wang at Next Big Future to get on the rotation.

This is a great collaborative effort that deserves your support. Please post a Tweet, a Facebook entry, or a link on your Web site or blog to support the carnival.

(Image courtesy PopAtomic Studios of TVA’s Bellefonte nuclear power station)

NEI Nuclear Notes

Over at NEI Nuclear Notes, you can catch what President Obama said about nuclear energy in his latest state of the union speech.

Obama . . . video segment courtesy NEI

“This is our generation's Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't seen since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology - an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.”

Yes Vermont Yankee

GwynethCravensGwyneth Cravens (left) came to Vermont last week for a full plate of speaking engagements and media interviews. Howard Shaffer, Meredith Angwin. and John McClaughry of the Ethan Allen Institute had planned for weeks her visit to Vermont. We were tired of seeing the constant parade of anti-nuclear people like Helen Caldicott, Paul Gunther of Beyond Nuclear, and others come up to Vermont.

It was about time we dispelled some of the gloom of ignorance with a solid pro-nuclear talk! Cravens’ book Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy documents her findings that nuclear is the only large-scale, practical, environmentally friendly, nonpolluting energy source available.

ANS Nuclear Cafe

Ulrich Decher, Ph.D., examines the premise that 'wind-generated electricity is free' by analyzing the costs associated with installing, maintaining and operating wind turbines and turbine farms.

Since wind turbines must be paired with other generators of equivalent power to compensate for wind variations and for electricity grid stability, he also looks at economic and other factors associated with combining wind generation with natural gas, oil and hydropower.

Dr. Decher concludes that there is no economic justification for building windmills except when low-cost alternatives are not available -- and that there is no free lunch.


small reactorsSakatchewan wants small modular nuclear reactors. The sparsely populated province thinks node balancing its far flung grid would work

Brad Wall, the entrepreneurial provincial premier of Saskatchewan, knows that mining 20% of the world’s uranium supply won’t fuel the region’s economy forever. For years Wall has wanted to move up the value chain.

A few years ago he floated the idea of getting Canada into the uranium enrichment business. Now Wall, and his energy minister Bill Boyd, want to develop a plan to deploy small modular reactors (SMRs), e.g., with less than 300 MW, across the wide open spaces of Saskatchewan.

Atomic Insights

powerlines Forty-year-old nuclear plants with paid off mortgages can operate so cheaply that they could sell their output using an "all you can eat" pricing model similar to the ones used by cable television or internet service providers.

Those plants have achieved the condition that Lewis L. Strauss described 56 years ago when he waxed poetic about a world with electricity that was too cheap to meter (measure).

Unfortunately, mature nuclear plants have competitors that will do everything they can to push that low cost, clean, reliable power off of the grid.

Nuclear Green

A panel of of United Kingdom House of Commons Members recommends energy rationing in a report written by the late English Green David Fleming and his associate Shaun Chamerlin.

But the report, which argues that nuclear power does not offer a solution to British energy woes, depends of an earlier Fleming anti-nuclear Pamphlet which was harshly criticized in 400 comments on the Oil Drum.

Nuclear Fissionary

On day 5 of National Nuclear Science Week, Jack Gamble from Nuclear Fissionary talks about his personal experience with nuclear medicine when he was given radio-iodine therapy to treat his over-active thyroid gland.

Next Big Future

India is confident of starting new 500 MW breeder reactor in 2012. Japan is restarting unit 5 at its Hamaoka nuclear power plant, which has been offline since a strong earthquake struck Shizuoka prefecture 18 months ago.

Poland is looking to start construction of a 6 GWe (4-5 reactors) nuclear reactor complex in 2013 for completion in about 2020. They plan to follow that up with another complex of the same size and complete it by 2030.

The Flexblue underwater nuclear reactor project is targeting a prototype proposed for 2013. If successful, commercial production could begin by 2016

Idaho Samizdat

In remembrance of the 25th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle, this blog sets aside a note about its own content, and instead offers some comments from NASA about the tragedy and some inspiration from the Star Trek “Enterprise” theme song.

NASA Comments

“Their sacrifice was a stark, brutal reminder that our knowledge, our technology, our science and our dreams are often paid for in the dearest possible way," Gerstenmaier said.

"This has been the case throughout human history and will be the case as long as we are willing to push the boundaries of our capabilities toward destinations of which we can only dream," he said.

Star Trek Enterprise Theme Song (instrumental)

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