Let's start with morals. Rod Adams of Atomic Insights described The "Moral Imperative to Build More Nuclear Power Stations" to increase prosperity for the growing world population. Meanwhile, Cool Hand Nuke reports on the Dalai Lama endorsing nuclear power at a press conference in Tokyo, directly after touring the tsunami-devastated areas of Fukushima. On the darker side of morals, Gail Marcus at Nuke Power Talk discusses a Japanese article about "sloppy inspection" of Japanese nuclear power plants, and compares Japanese practices with the better practices of the NRC. Most discouragingly, the difference between Japanese practices and U S practices have been known for years, in Japan and elsewhere. Marcus lived in Japan and worked with their regulators in the past. She knows whereof she writes.
From morals, it's a quick leap to misconceptions about nuclear and renewables. Gail Marcus summarizes a recent study showing that using wind turbines could add to global warming, because ramping up gas turbines to provide back-up power is inefficient. Using gas turbines as backup produces more carbon dioxide per kWh than using the gas turbines on a steady basis. Wind will not solve global warming problems. NEI Nuclear Notes has two posts about misleading articles and statements: "CNN's Erin Burnett Hoodwinked by Erin Brokovich," and Entergy's response to irresponsible statements by Edward Markey about strontium in fish. Steve Skutnik of Neutron Economy dismisses some misconception about nuclear as he analyzes nuclear regulation, deregulation, and John Rowe's statements in favor of natural gas.
Well, on to the good news! Economics. Dan Yurman at Idaho Samizdate shows that cash is flowing into new nuclear build projects. In another piece of cheerful news, NEI Nuclear Notes describes how France is sticking with nuclear power, in this age of austerity. Brian Wang of Next Big Future lists the new builds of nuclear plants. The Carnival includes his list of nuclear plants under construction and planned, based on the EAI energy outlook and the NEI nuclear update. 65 plants, totally 65,000 MW, are currently under construction, with 127 more plants in the planning stage.
Okay, I know, I get encouraged and discouraged at the same time. Only one new build is happening in the U.S; the other 64 nuclear plants are in other countries. However, I remind myself the fact we're becoming a global back-water in nuclear (and a global leader in fossil fuel consumption) is old news. Overall, the list of new plants is very cheerful.
Finally, we turn to the personal view of nuclear for a few more cheerful posts. At Yes Vermont Yankee, Evan Twarog writes a "Teen's View of Vermont Yankee" showing how plant workers support the town with their daily work and their volunteer work. Moving to events in Japan, Wang describes advances in worker safety at Fukushima in his Next Big Future blog. The Japanese workers are being assisted with robots originally developed to help the elderly.
It's a great Carnival, and you will enjoy reading it.