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Turning Small Modular Reactor Concepts Into Reality in Idaho Falls

In the past half dozen years, the term “small modular reactor (SMR)” has entered the nuclear energy lexicon. Numerous projects have been initiated to develop various concepts, all aimed at producing nuclear reactor based power plants that are small...

Posted October 14, 2013    

McMurdo Station: The New York of the Deep Freeze South [VIDEO]

(Note: If you are impatient and do not want to watch cute photos of penguins, skip to 19:06 to learn more about the reasons why the PM-3A, a 1,500 kilowatt nuclear electricity generator and process heat supply system, was such a valuable contributor...

Posted October 10, 2013    

Cutler Plant Demolition: Memorable Smokestacks Knocked Down [VIDEO]

While preparing a presentation for delivery at a local college, I ran across a video of Florida Power & Light’s August 10, 2013 demolition of the historic Cutler power plant in Palmetto Bay, Florida. Cutler Plant’s tall smokestacks played a role...

Posted October 9, 2013    

How Painful Will the Coming Spike in Natural Gas Prices Be?

There is a good reason for American nuclear energy professionals to learn more about the dynamics of the natural gas market. We have been told numerous times that cheap natural gas is making our technology less and less viable in the competitive...

Posted October 3, 2013    

Smaller Nuclear Energy Plants Can Be Beautiful, Despite Opposition

Dr. Edwin Lyman, Senior Scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists, has published a paper titled Small Isn’t Always Beautiful: Safety, Security, and Cost Concerns about Small Modular Reactors that poses many questions about...

Posted September 29, 2013    

US Nuclear Energy Plant Performance August 2013

I realize that I may be accused of cherry-picking a particularly good month for US nuclear power plants, but I wanted to share something that helps to explain why I am so darned enthusiastic about nuclear energy’s potential to improve the human...

Posted September 23, 2013    

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