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May 21, 2010

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 2 - china build, thorium and more

The second blog carnival of nuclear energy is up at nuclear green.

This site supplied these three articles
1. Just one of China's nuclear companies is looking to add twelve more AP1000 nuclear reactors beyond the current official plan and Russia, China, France and Japan are in talks for a 4th generation nuclear project

2. A chinese historian recently indicated that the Soviets were close to attacking China with nuclear weapons in 1969 until there was intervention by the USA (Nixon and Kissinger). Haldeman's memoirs from 1978 tell a similar but different tale of that period.

3. Examination of designs for nuclear fusion space plane based on magneto hydrodynamics and the inertial electrostatic confinement reactor. This design could be realized by 2025 and some research (in range of $5-30 million per year for each) is going towards both MHD and IEC fusion and the combination of them into a spaceplane. Eventually this will have to head towards $10 billion or more in funding to make a serious attempt at achieving this vision.

The Engineer-Poet, a pronuclear Oil Drum contributor, describes being censored by editors at the Oil Drum when writing a multi-author rebuttal to an anti-nuclear series of articles. NOTE: I, Brian Wang, was one of the multi-author contributors.

Rod Adams describes China's nuclear reactor build program and progress to advanced fuel cycles.

Just a few years ago, the goal in China was to increase nuclear plant capacity from about 9 GWe to 40 GWe by 2020. The current plan will achieve that goal within the next five years and could hit a number closer to 80-120 GWe by 2020. The reactor construction and manufacturing enterprise will not suddenly stop at that level. As the construction continues, China could be operating 300-400 GWe of nuclear plant capacity by 2030. If history is any guide, that capacity should be operating at a capacity factor of 75-90%, displacing a tremendous quantity of fossil fuel consumption. This buildup will also increase demand and price for uranium.

There are known technologies that do a much better job of extracting energy from the 99.3% of natural uranium that is a bit more reluctant to fission than the fissile part. Rod links to my article about about more AP1000 reactor build and 4th generation reacor efforts. Rod notes the Chinese fast reactor effort is in addition to, not instead of the rapid development of light water reactors.


Energyfromthorium posted Dr. Alexander Cannara's deconstruction of “Thorium Fuel: No Panacea for Nuclear Power”, by anti-nuclear disinformation specialists Arjan Makhijani & Michele Boyd.

I’ll begin at the heart of the inaccuracy and misleading nature of the piece – it considers only solid nuclear fuels. As a result, it achieves three major failings: 1) it displays the authors as unaware of nuclear-reactor designs that are indeed safer than present LWR/BWR solid-fuelled systems; 2) it suggests PSR and/or IEER don’t have proper review procedures; and 3) it illustrates the danger of bias in content that gives the appearance of motivation to mislead readers.


Check out the second blog carnival of nuclear energy at nuclear green for more.



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