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November 04, 2012

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 129

1. Yes Vermont Yankee has Fear and Facts about Nuclear Plants and Hurricanes

Meredith Angwin reviews fear-mongering statements about nuclear plants and hurricanes: for example: "we can't expect to cool these fueling pools." She describes fact-filled industry rebuttals. The fear-mongerers have the sound bytes, and we have the facts. However, both sides are preaching to the choir.



2. ANS Nuclear Cafe has "Spent Fuel Pool at Oyster Creek"

Even as Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the US East Coast, nuclear energy opponents did no one any favors by scaremongering with unfounded claims about nuclear plants in the region. One of the foremost was Arnold Gundersen, who claimed Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station faced serious problems should it lose offsite power, due to inability to provide cooling for its spent nuclear fuel pools.

At the ANS Nuclear Cafe, Will Davis set the record straight about the situation at Oyster Creek as the hurricane approached, demonstrating Gundersen's claim to be without merit. One is reminded of similar cataclysmic predictions about spent fuel stored at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 -- also proven false.

3. The Hiroshima Syndrome has How Hazardous is Cesium-137?

A recent issue-revival of the radioactive water build-up at Fukushima Daiichi has brought fear of radioactive Cesium back to the forefront of the Japanese Press. This op-ed piece explains the chemical, biological and radiological properties of Cs-137 and compares them to another common group I element, Potassium. Is Cs-137 as hazardous as the popular Press in Japan makes it seem?


4. NewsOk covers MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Nuclear Tech.

MRI really only maps out the hydrogen concentration in your body which basically means it only measures the density of water in each nook and cranny of your body. The majority of hydrogen in your body comes from the water content inside you because every water molecule is made of two hydrogen atoms bonded to a single oxygen atom. It is the difference in water content between the bone, muscle and each organ that make them so able to be imaged in an MRI. Blood and spinal fluid are full of water and so are very easily seen on the MRI.

None of this answers what MRI has to do with nuclear though. The truth is the nucleus of the hydrogen atom is really just an isolated proton. This proton contains the vast majority of the mass of the atom and has an electrical charge of +1. Well not only does each proton have an electrical charge of +1 but they also spin (yes, they spin like a top). This spinning charge then can be thought of as a circular motion of charge or in other words, an electrical current loop. An electrical current loop made from wires and a battery will generate a magnetic field (you can wrap a wire around a nail many times and then when connecting the ends of the wire to a battery, the nail becomes an electromagnet)

5. Nextbigfuture - Uranium production volume of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 9 months made up 15,080 tU (which is 8 % higher in comparison with the same period of the previous year). This is a 1200 ton increase over the first 9 months and they are on track for 1500 tons more than in 2011.

6. Cameco (one of the largest uranium mining companies) projects that there will by 80 new reactors completed by 2021.

7. Fast neutron reactors, pebble bed reactors and other emerging fission and fusion nuclear reactor technologies are covered. China's nuclear plans are discussed as well in a video of a recent talk.


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