November 12, 2010

Carnival of nuclear energy 27

1. Craig Piercy and Corey McDaniel of the American Nuclear Society make the case for active engagement by the United States to facilitate the global nuclear renaissance as a major supplier of safer, more proliferation-resistant nuclear technology. The U.S. cannot stop the global nuclear renaissance. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) guarantees that all signing nations have the right to enjoy the peaceful benefits of nuclear energy technology. Other countries are clearly determined to tap the increasingly internationalized nuclear marketplace to expand nuclear generation capabilities with or without U.S. participation. Unlike 40 years ago, today the U.S. only controls whether there will be a renaissance in the U.S.—not the rest of the world.

It is critically important that members of the U.S. Congress realize that the fundamental policy choice facing them is no longer simply about nuclear energy as a domestic clean energy option. Nuclear energy is now a national security imperative for the United States.

2. Nuclear green has Charles Forsberg's views on Generation IV nuclear costs." At the beginning of the 21st century, Charles Forsberg of ORNL and MIT proposed a hybrid molten salt cooled reactor that borrowed features from gas cooled reactors. The resultant reactor, Forsberg argued, would have a significantly lower cost than other Generation IV reactor designs.

3. Rod Adams at Atomic Insights has What keeps you up late at night? For me, tonight, it is the unholy alliance of natural gas, environmentalists and renewable energy advocates that are working hard to capture more market share from nuclear energy. They have lowered prices enough - for a while - to convince high level decision makers to slow down their nuclear ambitions.

This post provides a host of links that tie together a rather strange set of bedfellows who are excited about the often repeated story of a new abundance in natural gas. One aspect of the story of cheap gas prices into the distant future is often overlooked - Exxon Mobil and Chevron are investing tens of billions to purchase large blocks of natural gas production capacity. Do they know something about supply and demand?

4. A new twice a month energy blog about the making of PANDORA'S PROMISE has been launched on National Geographic. The first piece is on the IFR (Integral fast reactor).

5. Yes Vermont Yankee has Without Vermont Yankee, ISO-NE Predicts Possible Transmission Line Melting

The grid operator for New England earlier announced that "Vermont Yankee must stay in the 2013 forward energy auction." They recently translated this into English:the results of a recent study show transmission lines would be badly overloaded without Vermont Yankee.

6. Yes Vermont Yankee also has Transformer Fire? Erosion Corrosion? Recent Events at Indian Point and Vermont Yankee, with illustrations of how any problem is exaggerated by nuclear opponents.

7. China plans to increase nuclear power capacity to 112 gigawatts (GWe) by 2020, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Nuclear power may make up 7 percent of the nation's 1,600 gW electricity generation capacity by then, Geng Zhicheng, senior researcher at NDRC's Energy Research Institute, said at a conference in Beijing on Monday.

8. Lawrenceville Plasma Physics dense plasma focus fusion has an October progress report

Experiments this month gave further confirmation of our basic theoretical model of the DPF (Dense Plasma Focus). ICCD images showed the pinched filament kinking into a plasmoid and gave us clearer estimates of the plasmoid radius and density. X-ray emission energy continues to increase, giving us more confidence for our spin-off X-ray generator applications. Our replacement trigger heads were completed and tested, making us ready to return to 12-capacitor firing. Aaron Blake and Derek Shannon are joining the LPP team full time.

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