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Putting Excitement Back into Nuclear Technology Development [VIDEO]

Josh Freed, Third Way‘s clean energy vice president, has published a thoughtful, graphically enticing Brookings Essay titled Back to the Future: Advanced Nuclear Energy and the Battle Against Climate Change. It focuses on Leslie Dewan and Mark...

Posted December 16, 2014    

60 Minutes on Coal Ash: Muted Outrage, Lots of Smiles and Nods

On December 7, 2014, 60 Minutes, the venerable investigative reporting television show that has been on the air since 1968, aired a segment about Duke Energy’s Dan River coal ash spill, which occurred on February 2, 2014. That large release of coal...

Posted December 12, 2014    

Northwest Wind takes a Week-Long Vacation

Some Atomic Insights readers don’t like it when I use the term “unreliables” to describe weather dependent power sources like wind and solar energy. They believe that word is demeaning and not entirely accurate, especially in certain system designs...

Posted December 5, 2014    

Shaping Public Perceptions of Radiation Risk

Note: The below is part of a longer work in progress. Comments and corrections are greatly appreciated.On Monday, November 17, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5544, the Low Dose Radiation Research Act, which called for the National...

Posted November 29, 2014    

Transatomic Power: Anatomy of Next

Dr. Leslie Dewan is a co-founder and the CEO of Transatomic Power, a venture capital-funded start-up based on research conducted at MIT. Along with Mark Massie, the other co-founder, Dewan is exploring a design that uses a molten salt fuel that...

Posted November 9, 2014    

Tour of NuScale Control Room and Test Facility

Disclosure: I have a small contract to provide NuScale with advice and energy market information. That work represents less than 5% of my income for 2014.On October 20, 2014, I had the opportunity to visit NuScale’s facilities in Corvallis, OR....

Posted October 31, 2014    

Political Battles Hampering Function of Important Agency

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is supposed to be an independent regulator with the mission of regulating the use of radioactive materials to adequately protect public safety, promote the common defense and security, and protect the environment....

Posted October 24, 2014    

Paterson's Plan for CO2 Emission Reductions

Owen Paterson, who served as the UK’s environment secretary until a cabinet realignment during the summer of 2014, is planning to begin advocating a dramatic course change for his country’s energy policy. Instead of the wind-heavy plan that was...

Posted October 15, 2014    

National Academy of Sciences Moving Towards BEIR VIII

As has been reported in numerous articles, there has been a large body of scientific research on the health effects of low level radiation published in the period since the last time the National Academy of Sciences produced a report on the...

Posted October 4, 2014    

Nuclear Energy: What Should We Do with the Waste?

It’s time to declare that the default argument against nuclear energy has been proven invalid. We know how to effectively store and protect used nuclear fuel. We do it routinely. It is not unusually costly or a burden on future generations. They...

Posted September 24, 2014    

Is it Really Necessary to Have a Deep Geologic Repository for Used Nuclear Fuel?

Though I have often received quizzical, almost uncomprehending looks from my type ‘A’ colleagues on submarines and in my other jobs, I’ve often been guided by a simple principal of decision-making – “If it’s too hard, quit.”Please don’t think that...

Posted September 10, 2014    

Helping People Understand the Power Grid [VIDEO]

Recently, the Institute for Energy Research launched a project to help people gain a better understanding of the electric power grid, a marvel of modern society that most people take for granted — unless its product delivery is interrupted for more...

Posted September 6, 2014