Yes Vermont Yankee is proud to host the Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogs this week. We have some truly excellent posts this time. We'll begin with a group of blog posts that I call "the Debunking Blogs."
The Debunking Blogs
In a group of posts, nuclear bloggers debunk various anti-nuclear scare stories.
Debunking Kelp: At Nuclear Diner, RADIOACTIVE KELP--Now What!! Susan Voss looks at newspaper stories of radioactive kelp washing ashore in California. She also helps her 8th grade son with a project on radioactivity in soils around Los Alamos. In both cases, radiation is not present at levels measurable above background.
Debunking Cost: The Canadian Nuclear Association responds to Greenpeace Canada’s claims that nuclear energy is responsible for Ontario’s rising electricity rates. The post Nuclear Main Source of Affordable Clean Energy in Ontario, shows that the more likely culprit for electricity price rises is the “Billions of dollars [committed] to renewable energy without fully evaluating the impact, the trade-offs, and the alternatives through a comprehensive business-case analysis.” Nuclear energy provides over half of Ontario’s electricity, it’s enabling the province to be coal-free by 2014 and provides the stable base needed to bring renewables onto the grid.
Debunking Collapse: For a little comic relief, Rod Adams of Atomic Insights posts a video clip of a No Agenda podcast, which takes aim at Robert Alvarez and his fear-mongering story of the "catastrophic" risk from Fukushima Daiichi unit 4 spent fuel pool. No Agenda is produced by Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak, and in the Atomic Insights post about the Spent Fuel Pool Fable, you can hear Dvorak call Alvarez a "hysteric." It's not nice to call names, of course, but it is sometimes fun to watch other people calling names. Especially when the names are justified.
Debunking Daydreams: Reality bats last, after all. Be Here Now and the Debate. Meredith Angwin at the ANS Nuclear Cafe discusses her participation in a recent nuclear energy radio debate on station WHMP in Northampton, Massachusetts -- from the perspectives of mindfulness, being in the moment, and accepting reality as it is (includes a very interesting discussion in the 'comments' section as well). (I thank ANS Nuclear Cafe for choosing my post as the one to submit this week)
Debunking the Joys of Being Nuclear-Free: As of yesterday, Japan has no operating nuclear reactors. At HiroshimaSyndrome, Leslie Corrice writes about the shuttering of Japan's last operating nuke. Japan is "nuclear free" for the first time in 42 years, and the future looks ominous.
Barnett Shale, Texas
With Gas So Cheap, Do We Need Nuclear?
Now that we are talking about Japan, it's a good time to talk about the effect of low natural gas prices on nuclear energy. Several blogs review various aspects of this situation on nuclear power in America, and World-wide.
Are We the Grasshopper or the Ant? At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus discusses ways to take the longer view with her post: Building the Energy Future
A Reactor Build Slow-Down in Florida: At Idaho Samizdat, Dan Yurman writes that Progress Energy reboots Florida Reactors Back to the Future. Dan reports Progress Energy has pushed back the completion dates for its planned twin Westinghouse 1,100 MW Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at its Levy County site on Florida's west coast. The first reactor is now expected to enter service in 2024, not 2020, and costs have also risen.
We Need Nuclear, World-Wide: Brian Wang of Next Big Future takes the international perspective with three posts:
- Economist Jeffrey Sachs says that Nuclear power is the only solution to climate change
- In Russia, Kalinin 4 is completing final tests before full operations starting September, 2012
- India can build nuclear reactors for $1700 per kilowatt of plant electrical generation
Nuclear is Cost-Effective, Right Here: Brian Wang of Next Big Future shows that power uprates to American nuclear plants are still cost effective despite cost increases
We Need Nuclear to Combat Global Warming: At Atomic Insights, Rod Adams posts that Human Technology is Changing the Ocean Chemistry: What Do We Do About It? Rod discusses the argument that puny humans can't hurt the planet. He discusses the argument that we should fight nuclear AND fight global warming. He discusses the argument that we cannot have decent living standards on a livable planet. These are all incorrect arguments. Instead, we can use high energy density, emission free, abundant uranium and thorium to address many pressing problems.
Technology and Problem Solving
Technology is all about problem solving and we have some great technology blog posts this time.
What Is Happening: Every few days, Will Davis of Atomic Power Review writes an update about Japan. In his May 4 post on Japan, Davis tells how TEPCO started a new web page to combat those who spread Fear Uncertainty and Doubt about the situation in Japan. He also gives a nice little hat-tip to me (Thanks Will!). I wrote a guest post on his blog. In that post, I wrote that the San Onofre steam generators would probably be down-rated to change the vibration pattern. I predicted that the steam generators would come back on line, and then everyone involved would sue each other. My predictions seem to be coming true, and Davis was nice enough to do a follow-up.
Where to Find Out About What is Happening: In another post, Davis offers links and descriptions to three nuclear websites worth seeing and bookmarking.
Handling Radioactive Material: In a series of posts at the Science And Technology Blog, Robert Hayes writes about How to Ship Radioactive Material, and How to Handle Radioactive Material. These posts are part of a series, and can serve as a useful resource to debunk some scare stories.
Dry Casks Can Solve Problems, Or Be Deployed for Non-Problems: At Neutron Economy, Steve Shutnik writes Overheated Rods and Rhetoric. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) visited the stricken Fukushima Daiichi site and called for quicker action on spent fuel being relocated into dry storage casks. Robert Alvarez has gone as far as to call the situation at the spent fuel pool at Unit 4 "worse than Chernobyl." He calls for all spent fuel in cooling ponds to be immediately relocated into dry storage. The problem with both well-meaning non-experts, aside from their extremely limited understanding of the technical issues involved, is that their rush to apply a solution in search of a problem may do more harm than good.
What a feast of a Carnival! I am proud to be hosting a Carnival with so many great posts!