Sunday, August 5, 2012

116th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers

It’s a busy week as usual with a focus on the continuing ire of Sen. Harry Reid as well as unrelated nonproliferation issues over nuclear fuel

Nuclear abstractThe Carnival is the collective voice of blogs by legendary names that 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.

The publication of the Carnival each week is part of a commitment by the leading pro-nuclear bloggers in North America to speak with a collective voice on the issue of the value of nuclear energy.

While we each have our own points of view, we agree that the promise of peaceful uses of the atom remains viable in our own time and for the future.

This Week’s Carnival

The integrity of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and one of its commissioners got attention. Perhaps we thought we were over that with the resignation of Chairman Gregory Jaczko. U.S. Senator Harry Reid removed any illusion that was the case.

Atomic Insights – Rod Adams

Lying under oathRod writes that Harry Reid is confused between “loyalty” and “integrity” – Bill Magwood is a man of integrity.

A Huffington Post interview report titled "Bill Magwood, NRC Democrat, Is ‘Treacherous, Miserable Liar’ And ‘First-Class Rat,’ Says Harry Reid" offers an illuminating view of political thinking coming from inside the Washington, DC beltway.

That way of thinking, in this case, can be traced back to Las Vegas, NV and the mob-influenced power politics that played a role in the Sin City’s development. And nothing happens in Las Vegas, politically, unless it meets with the stamp of approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission.

In the “ethical” behavior code ingrained into people who grow up in that milieu, the word “loyalty” is often confused with “integrity”. NRC Commissioner Bill Magwood is man of integrity whose sense of responsibility towards his oath of office outweighed any implied promise that he would do Harry Reid's bidding merely because Reid supported his nomination to the Commission or to be its chairman.

Four Factor Consulting - Margaret Harding

Margaret Harding examines the accusations that the NRC is a captured regulator, reviewing the mechanisms for potential issues and where the NRC fits. The upshot is that though there are risks, the indications today are that the NRC is and remains an independent agency.

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Nonproliferation issues came to the top of the list of topics this week. All had to do with nuclear fuel rather than bomb making though that is what’s really on the front burner. Are there serious issues or are some anti-nuclear groups just ‘crying wolf?’ Here are three entries

Nuclear Diner - Cheryl Rofer

New State Department Report - Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear Materials Still an Issue

Susan Voss looks at the State Department's report on illegal trafficking of nuclear materials. The situation is better than it was at the breakup of the Soviet Union twenty years ago, but incidents continue.

Data Not Available: SILEX and Proliferation

Cheryl Rofer looks at the questions of proliferation surrounding the granting of an NRC license to GE-Hitachi for the SILEX laser uranium enrichment process. Is "Trust us" a sufficient answer to those questions?

ANS Nuclear Cafe - Paul Bowersox

"Revisiting Reprocessing in South Korea"

Crying wolfA bilateral nuclear cooperation treaty between South Korea and the U.S. has been in place for more than 40 years. South Korea is now a major user and exporter of civilian nuclear energy technology, and is interested in revisiting provisions of the treaty in regard to uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing.

The U.S. is concerned with proliferation considerations. Dan Yurman at the ANS Nuclear Cafe examines the issues in the ongoing negotiations.

Canadian Energy Issues - Steve Aplin

An article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists claims General Electric’s proposed new laser enrichment technology SILEX “could become America's proliferation Fukushima.” Steve Aplin examines the motive behind this hyperbole.

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The NRC, which has commanded way too much of our attention this year, and nonproliferation issues, which seem magically to appear more frequently as well, are not the only things on bloggers’ minds. A broad range of topics is worth as read as well.

Yes Vermont Yankee - Meredith Angwin

Guest Post by Howard Shaffer "Vermont Yankee, What's In It for Us?"

granolaThe state might force Vermont Yankee to close. Vermont distribution utilities decided not to renew their contracts with the plant, Today, the Vermont utilities are not buying Vermont Yankee power. Maybe they think they can keep the lights on with granola?

Consequently, plant opponents ask: "So what's in it for Vermont if Vermont Yankee keeps operating? Why should Vermont give the plant a Certificate of Public Good?" Howard Shaffer shares an excellent set of answers to these questions.

Atomic Show #187 – Women In Nuclear - Rod Adams

Rod Adams interviewed three people who attended the 2012 Women In Nuclear annual conference held in Orlando, Florida. Julie Ezold is the manager of an isotope production program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandy DePirro is a member of the oversight group at the Crystal River nuclear power plant, and Savannah Fitzwater is a graduate student at the Colorado School of Mines whose work focuses on nuclear non-proliferation.

NEI Nuclear Notes - Eric McErlain

NEI's Mark Flanagan takes a closer look at the latest Japanese election results and tries to divine what it means for the future of nuclear energy there:

powerpylonAlmost 700 million people in India were without power this week, and it's time for us to consider what the lack of reliable electricity means in the developing world:

CNN crafted an entire report on nuclear energy facilities and drought without talking to the people who own and operate the plants. Here's what they missed:

Anti-nuclear activists in New Hampshire are launching a film festival about the drawbacks of nuclear energy, but NEI's David Bradish crunched the numbers to show what the presence of Seabrook Station has meant for the state:

Australia has long been seen as hostile to nuclear energy, but things may be changing according to NEI.

The California Energy Commission released a study on what rising temperatures will mean for the state's electrical grid. If the report is right, John Keeley wonders how the state will adapt without adding new nuclear generating capacity to the grid:

Next Big Future - Brian Wang

RareearthoxidesIndia’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) would permit private miners to process beach sand and supply monazite tailings to the government-owned Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) to increase the latter’s capacity to extract thorium and uranium.

The DAE hoped to secure supplies of at least one-million tons of thorium from beach sand processed by private miners, and increase the supply of monazite to IREL.

Canada and China are now working on a project to convert the Qinshan CANDU reactor units to full core use of NUE (natural uranium equivalent) fuel by 2014.

South Korea starts up another reactor and begins construction on another. The Shin Wolsong 1 OPR-1000 unit, construction of which began in November 2007, started up and was connected to the grid in January 2012. The final stages of commissioning tests began on 24 June.

A 'performance guarantee test' confirmed that the unit generates its designed output. KHNP subsequently received approval from the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission for the reactor to enter full-scale commercial operation. Its sister unit, Shin Wolsong 2, is expected to start up next month and enter commercial operation in January 2013.

Using nuclear power instead of fossil fuel will save Japan about $1 trillion

Atomic Power Review - Will Davis

Will Davis covers the story behind the contamination by seawater of numerous plant components at Chubu Electric Power Company's Hamaoka No. 5 nuclear generating plant, including details released by Chubu and present speculation.

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Past editions of the carnival have been hosted at Yes Vermont Yankee, Atomic Power Review, ANS Nuclear Cafe, Idaho Samizdat, NEI Nuclear Notes, Next Big Future, and CoolHandNuke, as well as 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 Brain 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.

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