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September 08, 2012

Carnival of nuclear energy 121

1. Canadian Energy Issues - Carbon capture and recycle: the new frontier in Canadian synfuel expertise

Canada is the world leader in synthetic fuel production. It is also a leading civilian nuclear state. Steve Aplin argues that the two fields are symbiotic, and that nuclear fission could provide the decisive energetic leverage for ultra-low-carbon hydrocarbon fuels that are chemically identical to the petroleum-based fuels we use today.

2. Thorium MSR - Another welcome book about Thorium but more by Robert Hargraves

Book review of latest book on Thorium molten salt reactors. Much more than just a plug for the LFTR and MSRs




3. Yes Vermont Yankee - In a guest post by Howard Shaffer "Where's the Magic Switch?

Shaffer shows that there is no magic switch for routing power. Using a bicycle chain analogy, he describes how contract changes don't affect the flow of power, just the flow of money.

4. Yes Vermont Yankee, Trojan Cows and Grid Facts; Op-Ed

Meredith Angwin expands an op-ed she wrote for a local paper. No matter what the plant opponents say, Seabrook power is not taking Vermont Yankee's place on the local grid. Seabrook is now receiving Vermont money, but the transmission lines and power sources have not changed.

5. ANS Nuclear Cafe: Questions Raised about India’s Nuclear Safety Agency

The nation of India is greatly expanding its electricity generation from nuclear power. Dan Yurman at the ANS Nuclear Cafe reports on a far-reaching study completed by India's Comptroller and Auditor General concerning India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

The government auditor concludes the AERB lacks regulatory independence and the AERB's overall effectiveness is weak. The study is expected to stimulate action by India's parliament to reorganize the nuclear safety function within the government.

With other international nuclear news from Vietnam, and post-Fukushima nuclear safety regulation news from the IAEA and the US NRC

6. Atomic Power Review - SYLCOR Western Office 4

Will Davis continues the historical perspective on Sylvania-Corning Nuclear's operations during the late 1950's. In this installment, we examine two programs Sylcor offered to the trade which were innovative for their time, and in so doing learn a great deal about how the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle was working - and perhaps, not working - at that time. With illustrations and links to previous installments.

7. Nextbigfuture - NASA has funded a fusion driven rocket project. A subscale, laboratory liner compression test facility will be assembled with sufficient liner kinetic energy (about 0.5 MJ) to reach fusion breakeven conditions. This test which could happen within 12 months could be the fist to reach fusion breakeven conditions. It could beat out the nuclear ignition facility and ITER.

8. Nextbigfuture - General Fusion is working towards magnetized target nuclear fusion. General Fusion is targeting a large prototype by 2015 and a working reactor by 2020. There are cool pictures of their minisphere and their plasma injector.

9. Nextbigfuture - The Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) tool produced by the Center for Global Development has a database of 60,000 power plants worldwide with emissions data going back to 2004. Big green power plants are usually nuclear power or hydro power. Solar and wind are small power plants. The polluting power plants are coal, oil and natural gas.

10. Nextbigfuture - India is starting up a conventional 1 gigawatt nuclear reactor this year and a prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) of 500 MW capacity next year. India's first thorium reactor - the advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) of 300 MW capacity might start operations by 2017.

11. Nextbigfuture - Plans to enable residents to rebuild their lives in certain evacuation zones around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant have been announced by Japan's Reconstruction Agency. In addition to decontamination work and the restoration of infrastructure, the ten-year plan calls for the creation of jobs in the area.

12. Neutron Economy - A cost-free way to open up nuclear investment

Recently, the proposed Calvert Cliffs 3 facility was denied a license. The reason? It was illegal - namely due to antiquated laws which prevent willing investors from foreign countries from owning nuclear facilities. Reforming outdated laws such as these represent low-hanging fruit to opening up capital for new nuclear builds.

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