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June 10, 2012

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 108

1. Dan Yurman at Idaho Samizdat posts an update on Jordan's nuclear program.

An asset swap of uranium for reactors seems likely. The Jordanian Atomic Energy Agency has entered into negotiations with Areva and Rosatom to build 2 Gwe of nuclear powered electricity by 2020. Both firms are offering 1,000 MW reactors.

The Kingdom is likely to offer to pay for them with an asset swap from its uranium ore reserves said to be equal to 25,000 tonnes of yellowcake. However, opposition in Jordan's parliament may slow down closure of the deal. Currently, Jordan imports almost all of its electricity.



2. Margaret Harding takes a look at qualities that should be considered for all commissioner and chairmen (and women) of the NRC. Does Allison MacFarlane measure up? We should ask.

3. At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus comments on the nomination of Allison Macfarlane as an NRC Commissioner and Chairman, and the concerns raised about the fact that she is not a nuclear engineer and has no management experience. She notes that there have been successful Commissioners from a range of backgrounds, and that the NRC's work spans many technical disciplines.

4. It's the Renewables, Stupid? Vermont Files a Brief

Vermont state has appealed the Judge Murtha's pro-Vermont Yankee decision. The Vermont brief was filed in circuit court and claims that Vermont wanted to shut down Vermont Yankee in order to build renewables. (Yes, this sequence is a non sequitur. Hopefully, the appeals court will also notice this.)

5. Atomic Insights - "Congressman Markey attacks NRC Inspector General; expect its Jaczko report within days"

Congressman Markey has developed a pattern of attempting to discredit anyone who poses a threat to his protege at the NRC. On June 4, 2012, a letter that he had written to the Chairman of the NRC surfaced. It demanded an independent look at the NRC's safety culture and implied that anonymous sources had complained that they did not trust the Inspector General's office to investigate the agency. My interpretation is that the letter means that the IG report on Jaczko's management issues will be released soon.

6. Canadian Energy Issues - Food, wine, fungus, and gamma rays

Natural and artificial processes and methods abound in the food industry. Each has its supporters and opponents, and gamma irradiation of food is no exception. Gamma irradiation is to some the antithesis of the “natural food” movement, but Steve Aplin wonders why can’t we all just get along."

7. Will Davis at Atomic Power Review looks at recent developments that indicate a rapid turnaround for the future of the mandated but never built national spent fuel / high level waste repository.

8. NEI Nuclear Notes - Pollster Ann Bisconti responds to Mark Mariotte of NIRS on public opinion and nuclear energy

9. NEI Nuclear Notes - NEI's Bill Skaff tries to inject some perspective into concerns about nuclear energy and water use.

10. NEI Nuclear Notes - NEI's Mark Flanagan asks "How many nuclear reactors does Turkey really want?"

11. ANS Nuclar Cafe - "Starting a new nuclear construction industry is hard work"

There are some important lessons to be learned from the pioneering nuclear reactor construction projects ongoing at Vogtle and VC Summer. Rod Adams explains some of the challenges facing first-of-a-kind major construction and manufacturing projects such as these, and the impact of delays caused by focused interference on the projected costs of the projects.

12. ANS Nuclear Cafe - South Africa tries again to expand its nuclear program"

The nation of South Africa has ambitious plans to become a new hub in the global nuclear market. Dan Yurman reports on the latest developments as South Africa attempts to capitalize a nuclear energy manufacturing industry on top of a 9 GWe program to build new reactors -- with funding from reactor vendors.

13. Nextbigfuture - Electricity output at privatized reactors (nuclear) increased 10 percent compared with those that stayed in the hands of tightly regulated utilities. That small boost in carbon-free power, she notes, “helped offset more greenhouse gas emissions in the 2000s than all of the wind and solar generation in the country combined.”

14. At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus talks about the news that the Prime Minister of Japan is moving closer to restarting one of Japan's nuclear reactors. She summarizes a number of the problems Japan will face if it doesn't restart some of its reactors, and comments on why people are sometimes misled into believing that Japan is weathering the crisis with minimal effects.

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