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SMRs: Why Not Now? Then When?

I have shamelessly borrowed the title of one of the talks given during the first day of the Nuclear Energy Insider 4th Annual Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Conference as being representative of both the rest of the agenda and the conversations that I...

Posted April 2, 2014    

Nuclear Energy: Past, Present, and Future

On Friday, March 28, 2014, I had the privilege of attending a symposium at Dartmouth College titled Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium: The Past, Present, and Future of Nuclear Energy. If you are curious and have a free nine hours, you can...

Posted March 31, 2014    

What a Waste – Vermont Yankee is in Beautiful Condition

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vermont is a relatively young steam plant that uses a low-cost, essentially emission-free fuel. It is strategically located in an area with few fossil fuel resources, extreme weather, and frequent...

Posted March 29, 2014    

Radiation, Pollution, and Radiophobia

While researching answers to comments made on the Atomic Insights post titled Healthy doses of radiation, I found a book titled Nuclear Shadowboxing: Legacies and Challenges.It includes a fascinating appendix titled Radiation, Pollution and...

Posted March 20, 2014    

Healthy Doses of Radiation

Doses of radiation that are lower than about 700 mGy/yr (see note below) are more likely to reduce cancer incidence and increase life span than to decrease it. In other words, moderate radiation doses are good for you in the same way as moderate...

Posted March 19, 2014    

New Testing Rules Benefit Oil Producers

One of the odd circumstances that arises out of extracting, transporting and marketing a commodity in high demand is that overall industry profits can increase as an indirect result of experiencing a scary accident that destroys a portion of a now...

Posted March 5, 2014    

Argentina Pours Nuclear-Grade Concrete for CAREM, a 25 MWe SMR

On February 8, 2014, Argentina poured its first nuclear grade concrete for CAREM-25, an integrated pressurized water reactor (iPWR) whose design has been in intermittent progress for more than 24 years. Will Davis wrote an informative piece titled...

Posted February 17, 2014    

Ivanpah Solar Thermal Officially Opens

BrightSource Energy’s 377 MWe (net at peak) Ivanpah solar thermal power station officially opened on February 13, 2014. Secretary Earnest Moniz, in a rather amusing turn of phrase, called the plant a “shining example of how the United States is...

Posted February 16, 2014    

Chinese Plan to Dominate Nuclear Energy Market Worldwide

A California-based correspondent shared the following vignette to a private email list early this morning.An aside — had dinner with a Stanford biz prof teaching entrepreneurship. His 15 Chinese students were at the table too (big table). A few...

Posted January 9, 2014    

GE CTO Describes His Company's Focus on Oil and Gas Technology

Bill Loveless from Platts Energy Week recently interviewed Mark Little, GE’s chief technology officer, about the company’s interests in the oil and gas extraction sector. Loveless and Little discussed GE’s planned investments into an Oklahoma-based...

Posted January 3, 2014    

Are Natural Gas Suppliers Purposely Overproducing?

On December 27, 2013, Matt Wald published a piece in the New York Times titled New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets that points to the predictable consequences of having too many energy options chasing too few customers.When there is excess...

Posted December 29, 2013    

Cape Wind Scrambling to Meet Deadline to Qualify for $780 Million Taxpayer Gift

Cape Wind is the leading offshore wind energy project in the United States. In 2001, more than 12 years ago, Jim Gordon, the project founder, started the process of promoting his vision of a building a 430 MWe (peak capacity) field of 130 massive (...

Posted December 28, 2013