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Anniversary: 80 Years Ago Leo Szliard Envisioned Neutron Chain Reaction

On September 12, 1933, slightly more than 80 years ago, Leo Szilard was the first person to imagine a reasonable mechanism for releasing the vast quantities of energy known to be stored in atomic nuclei. As it turned out, his concept worked the...

Posted September 21, 2013    

NRC's Allison Macfarlane and DoE's Pete Lyons Dressed Down for Actions by Predecessors

On September 10, 2013, the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Allison Macfarlane and the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Peter Lyons, spent almost two hours testifying in front of the House Energy and...

Posted September 13, 2013    

Update on "Highly Radioactive" Water Leaks at Fukushima

The media frenzy about the detection of water leaks from the vast tank farm that Tokyo Electric Power Company has been forced to build to store water used to cool the three damaged cores at their Fukushima Daiichi power station continues to sizzle,...

Posted September 8, 2013    

Why Don't We "Mothball" Shutdown Nuclear Energy Plants?

In May 2013, the United States lost a perfectly functional and well-maintained nuclear power plant, the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant. Last week, Entergy announced that it would be shutting down a second such plant, Vermont Yankee, after its current...

Posted September 6, 2013    

Update on Fukushima Leaks: Unrepresentative Sampling Supports Fear Mongering

After posting Fear mongering over WATER leaks at Fukushima Dai-ichi a number of people challenged the concentration numbers I used in the supporting calculations. This August 23, 2013 Tepco press release contains numbers that roughly correspond to...

Posted August 31, 2013    

Fear Mongering Over Water Leaks at Fukushima Nuclear Energy Plant

I’ll start with the bottom line first: despite all word to the contrary, there is no reason for anyone to be concerned that “contaminated” water from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station is going to cause them any physical harm, now...

Posted August 28, 2013    

Australian Green Party's Christine Milne and Nuclear Cognitive Dissonance [VIDEO]

During Atomic Show #207, Ben Heard, the principal at Think Climate Consulting, described how he was going to be involved in a discussion later in the morning, his time, with Christine Milne, a leader of the Australian Green Party. Elections in...

Posted August 27, 2013    

Why Did Reporters Promote a Student Paper on Nuclear Security?

There was a flurry of attention in the press last week when a political science professor held a press conference to tell the world that one of his students had written a paper concluding that all of the nuclear power plants in the United States...

Posted August 22, 2013    

Nuclear Energy Less Risky Than Natural Gas

Mark Halper recently published a piece on SmartPlanet.com titled Nuclear power cheaper than gas. He cited an article from InvestorIntel.com written by Canon Bryan titled Nuclear versus Natural Gas. That article was based on a report from a private...

Posted August 4, 2013    

Nuclear Energy Plant Designed, Constructed, Tested in Less Than Two Years

Under current rules and assumptions, anyone who claims that they can design and build a power-producing nuclear reactor in less than 10-15 years is considered to be naive or hopelessly unrealistic. However, there is no reason to believe that...

Posted July 30, 2013    

Cost of Closing San Onofre Nuclear Plant: 13.6 Billion

Dan McSwain, a business columnist and investigative reporter for U-T San Diego, has published an article titled The secret decision to kill San Onofre nuke. McSwain estimates that consumers will be required to pay least $13.6 billion in additional...

Posted July 29, 2013    

Nuclear Energy: Who Owns the Plutonium? How Much is it Worth?

Galen Winsor was a hands-on nuclear expert in the fullest sense of the phrase. Before irrational radiation protection rules were imposed, he and his colleagues directly handled used fuel. They limited their exposure time and depended on just one of...

Posted July 28, 2013