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Renewable Energy Projects Show Strength in 2011

2011 and 2012 are looking to be good years for renewable energy.  Proposed installation and current construction numbers are very encouraging.  Federal loan guarantees have picked up momentum as described in a previous post: http://...

Posted May 9, 2011    

Recent Renewable Federal Loan Guarantees

The Department of Energy has provided some juice to the renewable industry.  Here is a list of recent action source: DOE announced on April 18 its offer of a conditional commitment for a $2.1 billion loan guarantee to support Units 1 and 2 of...

Posted May 8, 2011    

Patience and Monitoring the Japanese Reactor Situation

The news is sparse over the past week.  Every little bit sounds more worrisome, but we must have patience as the final analysis of the facts are often different than that which was first reported.Tune into reliable sources such as NEI.  Be...

Posted March 30, 2011    

Japanese Reactor Explosion Explained

Here is what likely happened as described in my trusty nuclear engineering text book Intro to Nuclear Engineering 3rd edition Lamarsh:The explosion would not have happened if proper cooling was in place. The uncovered fuel began to melt and lead...

Posted March 13, 2011    

Nuclear Reactor Safety, Cooling, and Failure Explained - Keeping the Japanese Event in Perspective

The Japanese disaster is significant and we cannot discount the current issues surrounding the nuclear reactors.  We should, however, keep the nuclear issue in perspective.  This was an enormous 8.9 magnitude earthquake followed by a...

Posted March 12, 2011    

Japan Quake: Fukushima Reactor Must Be Shut Down, Core Cooled

Guest post re Japan nuclear Fukushima emergency. The following post is info from a CNN article comment by someone named jjj4591. It is the explanation of a licensed senior reactor operator/control room supervisor on a boiling water...

Posted March 12, 2011    

Field Report from POWER-GEN International 2010

One of my colleagues filed the following field report from the conference held last week:  Notes from Keynote speeches:  1. SMRs: There is a strong push from the Fed Government labs toward Small Modular Reactors. (SMR).  The feeling...

Posted December 20, 2010    

B&W mPower Leading the SMR Charge?

It appears B&W is moving up the small modular reactor (SMR) ranks to be on of the first SMRs to realize a customer and construction. TVA continues to express interest in the mPower design and may want up to six of them by 2020. Good summary...

Posted November 23, 2010    

Solar Energy Plants Planned for California--Does It Make Sense?

Two large solar plants were approved Tuesday for construction on federal lands.  Department of Interior (DOI) post.  See analysis of the proposed plants below the position statements.Position Statements:1. Solar thermal is more cost...

Posted October 7, 2010    

Mega Watt to Mai Tai--How Hawaii Uses Energy

Grab your sunglasses and your sun tan lotion because we are headed to the Hawaiian islands..oh don't forget your calculator.Energy production in HI sparks the imagination.  Think of all the natural resources available: Wind, Solar, Geothermal (...

Posted August 30, 2010    

What if 25% of the Cars were plug in...How much power is needed?

Last week Toyota announced a partnership with Tesla motors backed by $50M in investments. Tesla is the manufacturer of the trendy $100K all electric plug in sports car and has a model for us all in the works, the Model S. Toyota wants the...

Posted May 24, 2010