As a fourth year nursing student working in Chicago area hospitals, I deal with nuclear medicine quite often. The term "nuclear medicine" can sound disconcerting, but when you are familiar with it, I assure you, it's not. Just think of it as a bunch of necessary medical tools with a little radiation thrown in. I know what you are thinking. Radiation? What? Relax. It's fine. You already know it, and either you, or someone you know, has been exposed to this specific area of medicine via certain procedures.
November 5, 2018, 3:06PMANS Nuclear Cafe
October 15, 2018, 2:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
November 8, 2016, 10:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
The history and lore surrounding the dozens of reactors constructed and operated at the Idaho National Laboratory could fill a book - and has filled at least one whole book and parts of many others. Today, at the American Nuclear Society's 2016 Winter Meeting a unique presentation was given in the early afternoon by Harold McFarlane, who retired after 44 years working with Argonne National Laboratory (which operated a number of the reactors built in Idaho.)
August 23, 2016, 7:56PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The era of the "first nuclear build" in the United States (from the Manhattan Project of the Second World War at the earliest, through the final commercial plant orders in 1978) was by nature one of nearly continuous "firsts" in its opening decades, as nuclear energy moved from being a thought to a possibility to a reality and took on many forms and nuances.
April 14, 2016, 2:39PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Among the many different reactor concepts being investigated in the late 1950s and early 1960s was the idea that the steam produced by a boiling water reactor, which normally goes straight to the turbine building, could be superheated (or have further heat added once it was already steam) by nuclear energy. This would greatly increase the efficiency of the plant, as well as make dry steam at a high pressure that would allow the use of (less expensive) commercially available equipment in the steam plant. Two reactors were built to investigate the idea of performing both processes in essentially the same reactor-one in South Dakota and (perhaps incredibly to today's readers) another of a very different design on the island of Puerto Rico.
December 10, 2014, 5:54PMANS Nuclear Cafe
October 10, 2014, 9:12PMANS Nuclear Cafe
This past week, a remarkable article was printed in The Atlantic, which gave a full first-person account of the initial trial run of the STR Mark I nuclear prototype plant-the plant that paved the way for the success of the first nuclear powered vessel ever built, the submarine USS NAUTILUS.
July 3, 2014, 4:56PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Recent scandals at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and General Motors (GM) have struck a chord with the media and the American people because they represent the worst in bureaucracies-where the lives of individuals seem to get lost in the bureaucratic woods. In the case of the VA, lying about wait times blocked pathways for care and potentially resulted in the early deaths of some veterans. In the case of GM, the bureaucracy put horse blinders on its employees so that they couldn't recognize the safety significance of ignition switch problems linked to at least 13 deaths.
November 26, 2013, 4:58PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Conventional wisdom says that the general public was introduced to atomic energy by the explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. According to that version of history, the introduction instilled a strong dose of fear that remains to be overcome.
September 17, 2013, 3:05PMANS Nuclear Cafe
April 18, 2013, 1:30PMANS Nuclear Cafe
This week's announcement by Babcock & Wilcox that it had signed the long-awaited funding agreement with the Department of Energy has been taken by advocates of small modular reactors (SMRs) as just the latest good news on the inevitable path to construction of at least one prototype nuclear plant using SMR reactor technology in the United States. It is widely hoped that this is the harbinger of the rapid spread of the market for SMR plants.
April 2, 2013, 1:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
On Sunday, March 31, 2013, just a few months before his 91st birthday, Ted Rockwell passed away quietly in his sleep. His passing has stimulated a profound sense of loss among nuclear energy professionals.
March 7, 2013, 2:45PMANS Nuclear Cafe
Don Miley, tour guide at Idaho National Laboratory, takes viewers of this video on a trip to the Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I). In 1951, the first electricity from nuclear power was generated at EBR-I-using a reactor that actually bred more fuel than it consumed, using an all-plutonium core.
February 5, 2013, 1:30PMANS Nuclear Cafe
On January 31, 2013, about 30 lucky members of the Virginia section of the American Nuclear Society heard a series of informative tales from one of the many innovative pioneers of the First Atomic Age. Clay Condit, a man overflowing with personal memories of important nuclear energy milestones-like the initial start-up of the Submarine Thermal Reactor and the post accident analysis of the SL-1 tragedy-entertained the assembled members for a little more than an hour.
December 4, 2012, 11:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
This past weekend the world quietly marked the 70th anniversary of the initial criticality of CP-1 (Critical Pile 1), the 55th anniversary of the initial criticality of the Shippingport nuclear power plant, and the decommissioning of the USS Enterprise, a 51 year-old nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Those events have put me into a reflective but incredibly optimistic mood.
December 2, 2012, 6:09PMANS Nuclear Cafe
The weekend of December 1-2, 2012, sees three events of note relative to the history of nuclear energy.
October 25, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
July 13, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Very highly recommended. On December 2, 1942, 49 scientists, led by Enrico Fermi, made history when Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1) went "critical" and produced the world's first self-sustaining, controlled nuclear chain reaction.
April 13, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
A triple feature for your viewing pleasure! Here we go:
March 20, 2012, 6:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Albert Einstein's birthdate was less than a week ago, on March 14, in the year 1879. Happy belated birthday, Albert!