Sunday, December 4, 2011

81st Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers

Fermi reactor concept -
Image courtesy of Will Davis at Atomic Power Review
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 Next Big Future. Yes Vermont Yankee, Atomic Energy Review, Canadian Energy Issues, and CoolHandNuke, as well as several other popular nuclear energy blogs.

The publication of the Carnival each week is part of a commitment by the leading pro-nuclear bloggers in North America that we will speak with a collective voice on the issue of the value of nuclear energy. While we each have our own point of view, we agree that the promise of peaceful uses of the atom remains viable in our own time and for the future.

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 Week's Carnival

Some fish story

At Yes Vermont Yankee Meredith Angwin finds another reason to distrust the Associated Press when it comes to reporting on nuclear energy topics. 

AP reported that Vermont Yankee "released" strontium without including the quantities released.  She notes that anti-nuclear bias may be part of a pattern at AP, and quotes Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) criticisms of national-level four part series of AP articles on nuclear subjects.

The CJR article published last September titled, "A Frustrating AP Series on Nuclear Safety," carried a subhead which captures what's wrong with the wire service's reporting on nuclear energy.  It said, "the industry’s blunder-buss response doesn’t help; public left confused"

But later CJR found more reasons to be concerned about AP. In November it wrote that AP's coverage of the potential for cancer from radiation releases at Fukushima was more scary than factual.

December a busy month for nuclear energy

At Atomic Power Review Will Davis lists all the 'firsts" that took place in December in the history of nuclear energy.  They include the Chicago Pile and the generation of electricity at EBR-1 in Idaho.

He has some interesting technical details about Enrico Fermi's work at the Chicago site where a sustained chain reaction first took place December 2, 1942.  Along with good story telling, Davis also has some wonderful graphics from the era.

The real cost of nuclear weapons

At the Nuclear Diner Cheryl Rofer writes that if you want to account for what nuclear weapons have cost the country since they were invented during World War II, you would have to include the damage to the environment and people’s health from poor judgements about worker conditions and waste disposal, the work that has gone into development of treaties to control them, and today’s monitoring of other nations that hold them or may be trying to get them.

Rofer notes that Stephen Schwartz, most recently with Deepti Choubey, has tried to reckon up that full cost. That number is useful for a great many things, among them ways to consider what nuclear weapons might cost us in the future and how we might deal with those costs.

Three from Next Big Future

Brain Wang at Next Big Future is one of the most productive bloggers I know cranking out interesting stuff every day.  Here are links to three of his most recent efforts.
Future of nuclear safety in Japan

At Nuke Power Talk Gail Marcus casts a critical eye on the future of nuclear energy safety regulation in Japan.  She profiles an article posted on-line by Professor Yoshiaki Oka of Japan identifying some of the same concerns that have been raised in her previous blogs, as well as by others in the West, about the need for changes to the Japanese nuclear regulatory process in the wake of Fukushima.  She points as well to other experts who are looking at these same issues, calling it a growing chorus of concern. 

What's a subsidy?

At ANS Nuclear Cafe Jim Hopf offers a must-read explanation of the differences between renewable and nuclear loan guarantees, what is a subsidy and what is not, energy market failures, external costs, and the possible impacts of the Solyndra "scandal" on America's nuclear future.

Off-the-mark at Limerick?

At Idaho Samizdat Dan Yurman analyzes the details of a contention filed by NRDC against license renewal for Exelon's Limerick reactor near Philadelphia.  In talking with NRDC and Exelon, as well as an independent nuclear engineer, he finds NRDC may be attacking an element of the license renewal that doesn't matter, at least as far as the NRC is concerned. 

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