Sunday, January 29, 2012

89th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers

This post is the collective voice of blogs with legendary names which emerge each week to tell the story of nuclear energy.

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 Yes Vermont Yankee,  Atomic Power Review, ANS Nuclear Cafe, Idaho Samizdat, NEI Nuclear Notes, 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 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.

This Week's Carnival

Cool Hand Nuke - NRC vote for Southern reactors "imminent" Fertel

A vote will take place soon by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to award combined construction and operating licenses for twin Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the utility's Vogtle site in George.

That's according to Marvin Fertel, the CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI)  Fertel says he expects the action approving the licenses to take place "within days."

In addition to Southern, Scana, a South Carolina utility, is also seeling licenses for twin AP1000s at its V.C Summer Station. According to Fertel, the announcement on Southern's reactors is only a matter of time.  He said the vote on Scana's application will take place later this winter.

Nuclear Diner - Cheryl Rofer
The Helmholtz Research Center in Munich tested it on several sources and it seems to work though calibration is a question.
Summarizes a discussion on the Nuclear Diner Forum on that fuel element, which seems most likely to be a plate for the Tehran Research Reactor. The available information is not clear. However, Iran has been known to inflate its claims about its technical progress.

Pop Atomic Studios - Susie Hobbs Baker (Link courtesy of Nuclear Street; Cam Abernethy)

The daughter of a nuclear engineer, Suzanne Hobbs Baker was initially afraid of radiation when she first learned about in biology class at 15 years old. So she and her dad spent the day at the Oconee nuclear plant in South Carolina, learning about safety systems, taking dose readings and discovering more about how nuclear power works.

Today, Hobbs Baker is a visual artist who leads PopAtomic Studios and uses her medium to address fears and misconceptions about nuclear energy. In this TEDx Talk, she elaborates on her work and the organization’s outreach, as well as the ways visual art can illustrate concepts in physics that can be difficult for non-scientists to grasp using equations alone.

Atomic Power Review - Will Davis
Nuclear icebreaker Lenin -
Image: Atomic Power Review

As a special feature for National Nuclear Science Week, Will Davis has two posts covering a little discussed job nuclear energy does really well - icebreaking.
The first post is a general history with links to great photo galleries and related sites; the second is an APR exclusive technical look at the powerplant of the first nuclear icebreaker, the LENIN.
Talk Nuclear - Laura Allardyce, Canadian Nuclear Association

Our top three reasons why we think the licenses for Cameco’s facilities in Port Hope and Blind River, Ontario should be renewed by the regulator, the CNSC.

Yes Vermont Yankee - Meredith Angwin

Federal Judge Murtha ruled against the State and for Entergy in the Vermont Yankee lawsuit. This was a major court victory for nuclear energy. Near the day of the ruling, Yes Vermont Yankee blogger Meredith Angwin had some scheduled surgery. Angwin thanks several guest bloggers, and spotlights three fine guest posts on the blog:
Next Big Future - Brian Wang
Conceptual drawing - Myrrha
Image: Belgian Nuclear Research Centre
A first-of-a-kind reactor system has been set up in Belgium by coupling a subcritical assembly with a particle accelerator. The equipment, known as Guinevere, is a demonstration model that supports the project for a larger version that will be called Myrrha (Multipurpose Hybrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications).

MYRRHA, a flexible fast spectrum research reactor (50-100 MWth) is conceived as an accelerator driven system (ADS), able to operate in sub-critical and critical modes. It contains a proton accelerator of 600 MeV, a spallation target and a multiplying core with MOX fuel, cooled by liquid lead-bismuth (Pb-Bi). MYRRHA will be operational at full power around 2023.
The DOE is funding up to two small modular reactors by 2022 and has grants for $452 million over the next 5 years. There is also an overview of the small modular reactors that are under development.

Idaho Samizdat - Dan Yurman

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced in early January it is starting work on an update to the Waste Confidence decision. With the Obama administration’s successful bid to terminate the Yucca Mountain repository project, one of the agency’s key assumptions for the update is that interim storage of spent fuel will be the norm for up to 200 years after a reactor's operations come to an end.

Critics of the effort, and there are many, weigh in about the agency's process and the perception it is trying the make policy instead of implementing it.

Nuke Power Talk - Gail Marcus

Gail Marcus responds to a reader who is a student of nuclear engineering and is seeking a summer internship.  She tells him about the WISE program, with which she has been involved, and other science policy internships, mainly in Washington, DC.  She also invites readers who know of other opportunities to share them through the blog comments for the benefit of this student and others.

ANS Nuclear Cafe - Paul Bowersox

The Department of Defense is shifting to clean energy sources that reduce greenhouse gases.  Can Small Modular Reactor system lifecycle costs compete with existing installation electricity costs?  William J. Barattino at the ANS Nuclear Cafe summarizes his initial assessment of the market size of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) on U.S. Army installations - and the results are encouraging.

The Neutron Economy - Steve Skutnik
Steve reviews cultural bias and ignorance about science and technology with regard to nuclear energy.
Beyond the direct implications for Entergy and Vermont Yankee itself, Entergy's recent victory in federal court has implications for both nuclear and energy projects writ large.
Digging into the historical electricity generation statistics, Alan Rominger looks  at how prior key events have impacted Japan's nuclear generation capacity, including the post-Fukushima regulatory backlash toward reactors in Japan's fleet unaffected by the recent Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. With this in mind, he extrapolates outward to give a peek at what Japan's energy mix may look like for the near term.

i-Nuclear - David Stellfox

The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority remains in talks with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to build its Prism fast reactors at Sellafield as a means of managing and disposing of the UK’s 84-tonne stockpile of civil plutonium, an NDA spokesman said January 24.

NDA spokesman Bill Hamilton described reports in today’s Guardian newspaper that the NDA had rejected GE-Hitachi’s proposals as “completely without foundation.”

“Discussions are ongoing,” Hamilton told i-NUCLEAR.  He said the NDA was prepared to provide financial support to develop the proposals if ongoing discussions demonstrate promise.

NEI Nuclear Notes

The Blue Ribbon Commission issues its final report. Enumerating shortcomings of the nation’s used fuel management program, a federal government panel this week recommended eight steps to improve it.

Among them, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future said in a report issued today, is that levies on nuclear energy that American consumers have been paying for years should be fully available to a new organization created to manage the federal government’s used nuclear fuel program.

The commission also recommended development of at least one consolidated storage facility for used nuclear fuel.

Congressional hearings on a new used fuel management organization should begin “as soon as possible,” the commission said.

Atomic Insights - Rod Adams

This blog post tells the real story about nuclear plant liability insurance.

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1 comment:

Jack Keeling said...

The way Fertel is calling the game, he is in on things, not unexpected for his position. I suspect that what everybody has in mind is the survival of the industry. You have to get new blood in quick, and the best way is via new construction. That is how so many of us old hands came in 30 to 40 years ago.

And there is nothing better than to get this new blood with construction of passive shutdown units like the AP1000.

Without new blood the industry will die by 2020.