By Peter Lyons Somewhere in Russia, 34 tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium—enough material to make about 10,000 weapons—are awaiting disposal. Moscow was supposed to start destroying this stockpile, but has yet to start, leaving a huge threat lurking in an unknown location. If even a tiny fraction of this material fell into terrorists' hands, they […]
Last week, the Nuclear Infrastructure Council hosted its 5th annual Advanced Reactor Technical Summit. The agenda was packed; information and ideas came rapidly enough to inspire significant post-event reflection. One question worth of significant additional discussion is "How do we match the ingenuity and enthusiasm of atomic innovators with the large magnitude financing sources needed […]
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Mark Menezes, the Undersecretary of Energy at the Department of Energy, gave an optimistic, forward-looking, audience-flattering, stage-setting talk at the Advanced Reactor Technical Summit. At least five times during his 10-minute talk, he repeated various combinations of a phrase -- "revive, revitalize and expand" -- that is apparently the mantra that the Administration has chosen […]
California, an enormously populous and wealthy state with an outsized impact on the culture, economy and politics of the United States, has a gubernatorial election this year. Jerry Brown, who has served a total of four terms and is the son of a former two-term California governor, isn't running for reelection due to term limits. […]
Though I take some pride in my critical reading skills and resistance to getting snookered by scam stories, I fell for a doozy yesterday. Unfortunately, I ended up propagating what might have been a clever ruse designed to paint nuclear energy advocacy in a bad light. It's a story worth telling after I apologize profusely […]
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Late last week, while many observers were focused on a long weekend of religious celebrations with friends and families, there were several announcements made in the slowly developing crisis in the American electricity supply system. Operators of a number of several large power plants with the ability to produce electricity night and day, wind or […]
The post Is America's vaunted electricity supply system on course for rocks and shoals? appeared first on Atomic Insights.
I'm going to beg forgiveness and literary license for the following extended, potentially inappropriate, and perhaps too personal metaphor. For several weeks, I've been struggling with finding my "voice" in dealing with current events related to the U.S. electricity production system. As part of my healing process, I went on a several day long reading […]
(Reprint. Originally published September 17, 2013. During the 4.5 years since the original appeared, the licensing moratorium mentioned has been lifted, and the confidence rule has been replaced by Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel [NRC--2012--0246] but stubborn opposition arises in response to any proposed solutions.) During the 1970s, the antinuclear movement made a collective […]
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Many days have passed since the last post here. Those of you who follow @Atomicrod on Twitter know that I have neither disappeared nor retired completely from the fray. After the 4th of July, you should begin seeing more frequent, but still irregular updates here. A word of advice based on recent learning experiences; I'll […]
The last two days in June 2018 saw the first power generation from two separate first of a kind nuclear plants in China. Taishan 1, a 1650 MWe European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) was connected to the grid at 5:59 pm local time on June 29, 2018. Less than 24 hours later, at 4:48 pm local […]
The post Nuclear plant output in China poised for rapid increases in 2018-2020 appeared first on Atomic Insights.
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon, University of San Diego, and Harvard recently published a useful call to action titled U.S. nuclear power: The vanishing low-carbon wedge. For pro-nuclear observers and debaters, their conclusion may seem quite depressing. It should be a source of profound concern for all who care about climate change that, for entirely predictable […]
What does it mean when nuclear plant owners tell people that their plants are struggling to make money in competitive markets as currently structured? They are attempting to more precisely state what is often misleadingly dismissed by journalists as "nuclear plants cannot compete." The more commonly used statement gives the impression that nuclear plants produce […]
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On Friday, July 27, NextEra Energy Resources issued a press release titled NextEra Energy Resources and Alliant Energy agree to shorten the term of the Duane Arnold Energy Center power purchase agreement; Alliant Energy customers to save hundreds of millions of dollars. Aside: While researching this article, I learned that the word "will" is considered […]
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Aaron Zahn, the interim managing director and CEO of the Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA), believes it is time to give up on the Vogtle expansion project. On August 17, he sent a letter to James Fuller, the President and CEO of of MEAG (Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia) Power detailing his company's desire to rid […]
The post NAVIGANT analysis of Vogtle expansion provided to JEA in Sep 2017 understates fuel price risks appeared first on Atomic Insights.
In 1960, there was growing public concern about the potential health effects of atomic radiation. It was well known that low intensity ionizing radiation had always been a part of our natural environment. It was also well known that mankind had developed ways to produce and control ionizing radiation to great benefit in diagnostic medicine […]
No industry cheerfully accepts the prospect that a newly developed technology could make it obsolete. Executives and investors earn much of their wealth by constantly evaluating potential threats to their business. They invest time, energy and resources in conceiving and implementing response or prevention plans. "Inside the Atom" is a 1948 vintage snapshot of the […]
Governor Jerry Brown's signature is the last obstacle for SB100, a bill that establishes California's goal of producing 100% of its electricity from zero carbon sources by 2040. The bill also includes a goal of 60% of electricity from renewables, but that leaves a big space in the market for zero emission power sources like […]
Addressing Recommendations of MIT Future of Nuclear Energy In a Carbon Constrained World The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a world renowned institution that has produced thousands of highly educated engineers and scientists. It is generously supported by foundations, corporations and governments. In 2003, the MIT Energy Initiative, began publishing a series of reports […]
A joint ANS/HPS (American Nuclear Society/Health Physics Society) meeting titled "Applicability of Radiation Protection Models to Low Dose Protection Standards" (hashtag #LowDose2018) will kick-off tonight. This much anticipated event has attracted 200 medical, radiation and nuclear energy experts to the booming metropolis of Pasco, WA. The site is appropriate, Pasco is one of the three […]
During the past two days, I've spent 20-30 hours listening to and participating in a sometimes heated and often polite discussion about the health effects of low dose radiation and the rules established or needed to ensure adequate protection. It's part of a controversy that has deep roots and stubbornly entrenched sides with a much […]
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