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Future Ship Propulsion

Ship propulsion poses one of the more troubling post-carbon problems. It should be noted that ships were once powered by wind energy, sometimes supplemented by oars rowed by slaves. This form of propulsion was very unsatisfactory and renewable...

Posted May 23, 2011    

Will Natural Gas Save Us?

My message to the BRC became my latest post of the Energy Collective yesterday. It has not collected many readers so far, but it has collected several comments. Kiem commented,"Disruptive innovation, disruptive technology is called for."We have it...

Posted May 20, 2011    

A Message To The "Blue Ribbon Commission"

We need to boldly go into the uncharted energy future where no one has gone before. Climate scientists tell us that about 70% of our energy resources, currently derived from fossil fuels, need to find substitutes. For many current energy uses...

Posted May 17, 2011    

The Not Ready for Prime Time Subcommittee Speaks

The Secretary of Energy's Blue Ribbon Commission is moving toward its report. Yesterday, the entire Commission meet in open session to hear the reports of its subcommittees. The Commission, unfortunately, lived down to my expectations.During...

Posted May 15, 2011    

The Molten Salt Reactor Family: Two Fluid Reactors

The two fluid Molten Salt Reactor uses separate fluids for fuel and carrier salts. In the two fluid desige, two seperate salt fluids are present in the MSR core. The first is the fuel carrier, that is it contains one or more fissionable isotope. U...

Posted May 5, 2011    

The Molten Salt Reactor Family: One Fluid Reactors

One of the fundamental ways to classify Molten Salt Reactors is the concept of one and two fluid reactors. A one fluid reactor is homogeneous, or as David LeBlanc explains, both the fertile and fissile material is within the same carrier salt.It...

Posted May 2, 2011    

Future Storm Damage To The Grid May Carry Unacceptable Costs

Yesterday I pointed out the extent of tornado damage to the south east, and the effect of that damage on economic activities in effected communities. The absence of electricity effects search and rescue operations as well as recovery efforts. In...

Posted April 30, 2011    

Global Burden of Disease: Epidemiologists at Work

Cancer Cell #14Angela Canada Hopkins, American Contemporary, Artist's collection, undated.At the end of the century recently passed, the 20th century, huge strides were made by epidemiologists in understanding the distribution of disease and the...

Posted April 27, 2011    

The Molten Salt Reactor Family: Uranium Fuel

In an earlier post, I stated that there were many different possible Molten Salt Reactor designs. I pointed to nuclear fuel as one possible source of reactor design variations. There are two potential nuclear fuel cycles that can be used in Molten...

Posted April 27, 2011    

The Molten Salt Reactor Family: Fuel

I intend to offer a series of posts designed to explain the sometimes bewildering complexity of Molten Salt Reactor Technology. This first post explains two nuclear fuel breeding cycles.Rather than offering a single potential reactor design, the...

Posted April 25, 2011    

Did Graphite in the Chernobyl Reactor Burn?

In two previous posts, " Does Nuclear Grade Graphite Burn?," and "Did the Graphite in the Windscale Reactor Burn?" I reviewed a number of reports and other information sources on Nuclear Graphite Flamibility. Although I did not come to a firm...

Posted April 14, 2011    

Avoiding Nuclear Safety

The real question about nuclear safety is not "can nuclear accidents be avoided," but "do we want to do what ever is required to avoid nuclear accidents." As it turns out avoiding and mitigating nuclear accidents is not terribly expensive, nor does...

Posted April 10, 2011