109th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers

June 16, 2012, 12:27PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The 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.

Past editions 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.

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.

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

The Neutron Economy - Steve Skutnik

Questions for Macfarlane

While Dr. Allison Macfarlane's hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee concluded this week (and to many experts, her confirmation appears to be a fait accompli), how she would actually lead the Commission remains anyone's guess. Steve Skutnik asks a few questions which would shed some light into how a Macfarlane-lead NRC might look.


4 Factor Consulting - Margaret Harding

Questions left on the hearing room floor - 1 of 2

Although Dr. Macfarlane has appeared before the Senate Committee - Margaret Harding still has a few questions she'd like answered:

Questions left on the hearing room floor - 2 of 2

Margaret Harding and CJ Milmoe teamed up to assess the status of the NRC for the incoming chair. Dr. Macfarlane, Are you listening?


Yes Vermont Yankee - Meredith Angwin

The Court Decision on Spent Fuel and Vermont Yankee

Meredith Angwin of Yes Vermont Yankee reviews a recent legal ruling about spent fuel storage.  The court ruled that the NRC must re-evaluate on-site fuel storage for the case that a central long-term repository may not be built.  The court ruling requires a generic (not site-specific) evaluation, and it adds further pressure for a central repository. It has very little immediate effect on power plant operations or licensing  Celebration of the ruling by Vermont Yankee opponents is premature, to say the least.


Idaho Samizdat - Dan Yurman

Southern contends with costs at Vogtle

Southern Co. through its subsidiary Georgia Power, together with its equity partners, is in negotiations with the consortium of Westinghouse and The Shaw Group over $400 million in costs attributed to schedule delays, design changes, and construction change orders for the twin 1,100 MW AP1000 reactors being built at its Vogtle site.

What has been characterized as a cost overrun in the mainstream news media is in fact a major vendor dispute and a headache for all concerned.


ANS Nuclear Cafe - Suzy Hobbs

Sowing the seeds of curiosity

"Really good teachers do more than just teach -- they sow the seeds of curiosity."  Suzy Hobbs Baker tells the story of how four pronuclear environmentalists presented their scientifically based reasons for supporting nuclear energy in Australia.  Nuclear energy professionals, advocates, and communicators can learn a few things from these pronuclear environmentalists -- and Hobbs Baker's former science teacher Mrs. Smith -- about how sharing an enthusiasm for science can cultivate genuine curiosity and interest in the subject of nuclear power.


Atomic Power Review - A. David Rossin

A brief introduction to Water Hammer

Following inside speculation for some months that water hammer may have played a part in some of the leakage at Fukushima Daiichi, APR provides a brief introduction to the concept and a historical perspective on how past ANS President A. David Rossin first became familiar with this phenomenon during work on the ALPR / SL-1 project.


USA Cargo - Carl Holder

Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Advance or Retreat?

The United States is becoming dependent on foreign research institutions because of very little investment in nuclear energy technologies and vast infrastructure has been laid to waste. The United States increasingly relies on these arrangements  to conduct basic research. The Republic of Korea is the recognized leader in R&D on a promising fuel recycling technology called, pyroprocessing.  Bi-lateral nuclear energy negotiations are now underway.

Mark Peters, on behalf of the American Nuclear Society, June 6, 2012, testified in support of fuel cycle research and the status of advanced fast reactor technology in the United States.

The USA-CARGO blog maintains a repository of information about the Fast Flux Test Facility.  The FFTF is a 400 MWt sodium-cooled fast reactor located on the Hanford Site in Washington State and is currently deactivated under surveillance and maintenance.


Hiroshima Syndrome - Les Corrice

Nothing hasty about Japan's decision to restart its nuclear reactors

Oi 3 & 4 restarts...a hasty decision? There is nothing hasty about it. The nukes at Oi suffered no damage due to the 3/11/11 quake/tsunami. Both units were capable of safe, clean operation more than a year ago. The earthquake resistance "stress tests" for both units have long been passed with flying colors.

All mandated safety upgrades have been made. Any rational observer would conclude the resumption of nuclear power in Japan is warranted and long overdue. Pie-in-the-sky alternative energy proponents and the prophets of nuclear energy doom around the world want all the Japanese nukes to remain shuttered and force Japan into becoming a guinea pig for their grand experiment with people's lives.

Without the Oi power plants operating, the summer heat throughout the Kansai region would cause people to literally cook in the discomfort of their own, unlit homes.


Next Big Future - Brian Wang

There is a big shift from coal to natural gas power in the USA because of  fracking and cheap natural gas.

Niger's uranium production was expected to double to around 9,000 tonnes a year (2015) from around 4,000 tonnes currently, thanks to the construction of a new mine, Imouraren, which is expected to come on line in 2014.

Also, some unusual energy statistics

There is a trend towards improvement in air quality in Chinese cities.

- They are updating boilers and using low sulfur coal.

- They are moving industry away from major cities

- They are setting up coal free regions in cities

- They have set up construction site dust control

- They are improving and increasing emission standards for power plants and vehicles.