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Where's the Real Bottleneck for Natural Gas? Distribution

As a scientist and an unabashed nerd, I love data. Particularly, I love it when ready access to data reveals things that are surprising in the face of conventional wisdom. An interesting case comes up with this year's colder winter in New...

Posted January 25, 2013    

DOE's Spent Fuel Strategy: Disappointing for Nuclear Advocates

There is a hallowed tradition in Washington known as the "Friday Document Dump," in which news and announcements the government wishes to bury are strategically timed for Friday afternoons, when such announcements tend to fall through the cracks of...

Posted January 17, 2013    

Scientagonism: The Problem of Antagonistic Science Communication

A recent column by Daniel Sarewitz in Nature on bridging the "partisan divide" with respect to public perception of science inspired some spirited debate over on my twitter feed yesterday. The short version goes something like this:...

Posted January 7, 2013    

Why Disposing Of Nuclear Fuel Is Not A "Subsidy"

One thing that tends to raise my hackles without fail is when the inevitable game of "Name the Energy Subsidy!" comes up, somehow the issue of spent nuclear fuel disposition gets lumped in. Namely because spent fuel management is pretty much the...

Posted December 14, 2012    

Yucca Mountain is Dead. Long Live Yucca Mountain!

Last October, during the Republican primaries, I made a prediction regarding the future of Yucca Mountain - namely, don't bet on it. Not, of course, because it's particularly deficient on a technical level (it's not perfect, but you can judge the...

Posted December 4, 2012    

Does nuclear lack a natural constituency?

A quick Turing test from the prior round of U.S. presidential debates - see if you can spot the speaker:We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades. We have seen...

Posted October 22, 2012    

A cost-free way to open up nuclear investment

Late last week, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) rejected a license application for the proposed Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 (an AREVA EPR) build in Southern Maryland. The reason? It was against the law.Specifically, when the build...

Posted September 5, 2012    

Does declining gas exploration indicate a price "explosion" or just a new equilibrium?

A few interesting points came out of the follow-up discussion on my prior post, in which I argued that, contra Rod Adams, natural gas prices are not set to "explode" anytime soon.Meredith Angwin of Yes Vermont Yankee made a keen observation...

Posted September 4, 2012    

Cultural signaling and energy

An image that struck me recently and has stayed with me since was a license plate. Specifically, a jet-black Kentucky license plate, emblazoned "Friends of Coal."The first thing that ran through my mind was, "Who in their right mind proudly...

Posted August 21, 2012    

Deconstructing anti-nuclear economic myths

Let me start things off with a disclaimer - I am not an economist. I don't even pretend to be an economist; I'm a nuclear engineer by training (I hold Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering). That notwithstanding, economics (and specifically, the...

Posted June 27, 2012    

My Questions for MacFarlane

Dr. MacFarlane (Image: George Mason University)The nomination of Allison MacFarlane has drawn a considerably mixed reaction among the nuclear community, ranging from NEI's rather speedy endorsement and Rod Adams' similarly rapid denouncement. Others...

Posted June 13, 2012    

A closer look at Jazcko's replacement

Dr. MacFarlaneEarlier this week, embattled NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko announced he would be stepping down from his position contingent upon the confirmation of his replacement. Wasting no time, the Obama administration announced their...

Posted May 25, 2012