The heat is on across the U.S. The nation’s 104 nuclear reactors are providing electricity to keep people cool without warming the planet.
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This week’s entries
Canadian Energy Issues – Steve Aplin says the heat in on in Ontario.
On the days when power demand is highest, such as during the current heat wave in central-east North America, how do the non-hydro renewable sources perform? As Steve Aplin shows, not well. This further begs the question: why are we being forced, through FIT programs, to pay top dollar for these poor performers?
Nuclear Green – Charles Barton adds that the heat is on in Dallas too.
This summer will not break most of the heat wave records established in 1980, but there is a hint this summer that it will not be many more summers before the 1980 records start to fall. Greenpeace knows this, yet in its energy plan, , Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable U.S.A. Energy Outlook.Greenpeace anticipates far more electrical reduction through efficiency than the 10% to 20% improvement in air conditioning efficiency that the hydrocarbon technology it advocates would lead too. None of the electricity will be generated by low carbon nuclear power plants. Instead Greenpeace plans to rely on carbon emitting natural gas power plants to bridge the gap.
Nuke Power Talk – Gail Marcus, a former president of the American Nuclear Society, has some observations about the history of cover-ups at Monju, Fukushima, and other nuclear power facilities in Japan. She lived in Japan while working in the nuclear industry so this constitutes first hand observations rather than warmed over media speculations.
She writes . . .
“ . . . the response of the Japanese nuclear establishment should be to follow some of the examples outside Japan, where people are trained in the importance of not hiding problems, and there is a concerted effort to foster an environment where people are not punished for admitting errors.”Marcus also writes that the technical profile of the nuclear regulatory agency in Japan is very different than in the U.S. which may indicate the government has a long way to go in terms of "independence" for its oversight functions.
"One area that has been somewhat neglected in the discussions of regulatory independence in Japan is the role of the technical capability of the regulatory staff. In the long run, this factor is probably as important as the other factors that have been discussed, including the organizational independence and and deserves more attention."Atomic Insights – Rod Adams writes that a little radiation can delay cancer until after you are dead anyway.
Dr. Otto Raabe published an article titled “Toward Improved Ionizing Radiation Safety Standards” from the July 2011 issue of Health Physics, a peer-reviewed journal about radiation safety.
The article explains in clear, but scientific terms, how radiation at low average levels can result in increasing the latency period of cancer development past the end of a natural lifespan. We all have the potential for developing cancer, but we also have finite lives. Dr. Raabe’s research has led him to the conclusion that low average doses of radiation that might add up to a substantial cumulative dose do not kill off cancer cells, but they delay the ability of those cells to do any real damage until after their host organism is dead from other causes already.
4 Factor Consulting – Margaret Harding s taking a walk through the nuclear landscape using a business analysis technique called PESTEL. This first of a series is starting with "P" for Politics. She's looking for comments and feedback to get that landscape right. Check her blog for more information.
Next Big Future – Brian Wang has three entries this week.
Update on China and Russian work on fast neutron reactors. China's experimental fast neutron reactor has been connected to the electricity grid. Two Russian BN-800 reactors are to start construction in August 2011, probably at a coastal site
India's Tumalapalli uranium mine near the state capital Hyderabad is scheduled to begin operating by late 2011, could provide up to 150,000 tons of uranium. This will solve India's uranium supply issues for 10-20 years.
Nuclear fission is one of ten ways to have a big impact on green house gas and black carbon emissions.
Yes Vermont Yankee – Meredith Angwin wonders if the glass is half full or half empty for the Vermont Yankee reactor.
In this post at Yes Vermont Yankee, an optimist (Half-Full) and a pessimist (Half-Empty) debate whether Entergy will buy fuel for the October outage. Recently, a federal judge refused to grant Entergy an injunction that would have kept them running while their lawsuit proceeds. Without the injunction, Half-Full thinks Entergy will order fuel and take the risk. Half-Empty thinks Entergy will shut down the plant in October
ANS Nuclear Cafe – Dan Yurman examines the question of whether India’s nuclear new build will be impacted by its own supplier liability law.
Domestic liability laws and international issues may put limits on the country’s ambitious plans to build new reactors. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in India this week to pressure India to open its nuclear energy markets by changing its domestic supplier liability laws.
If she is successful, it would give American vendors hunting licenses to bid for massive nuclear reactor contracts said to be worth $150 billion over the next several decades.
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