Radiation: No Effects on Health
Perhaps the most important link in this blog is to James Conca's article at Forbes: Like We've Been Saying, Radiation is Not a Big Deal.
Conca describes the very recent United Nations (UNSCEAR) report on radiation risk, which paid special attention to the consequences of Fukushima. Here's a quote from the Conca article: "UNSCEAR also found no observable health effects from last year’s nuclear accident in Fukushima. No effects."
In short, the Linear No Threshold (LNT) model is simply....wrong. This is an important post. I encourage you to read it.
Radiation: Over-Fearing the Food
Japan’s Contamination Limits Way Too Low (January 7 post)
Japan's new, too-low standards for radiation in food has hit a snag. Mushrooms from Aomori Prefecture have been banned because of cesium levels slightly above the new limit, but the cesium did not come from the Fukushima accident. Unless the standards are raised to a more-reasonable level, more and more of these disconcerting situations will happen. (Note, the Conca article also has a table about these unrealistic standards. )
Radiation: Using It For Safe Food
Radioisotopes made in nuclear reactors power Mars and deep space probes, and make astronauts' food safe to eat. In two recent posts, Steve Aplin of Canadian Energy Issues urges the fast expansion of radioisotope applications here on earth
Aplin wonders why irradiation makes food safe for astronauts, but we don't use radiation for keeping food safe on earth. Irradiated food keeps astronauts healthy and productive. Why can’t we earth dwellers have it? Aplin notes that safe-to-eat beef would be a pleasure. He gets tired of the frequent recalls on beef products.
Aplin also notes that radioactive isotopes can be used for heat, and have been used that way in the past, in the arctic. Isotopes for heat: an old new idea whose time came, went, and has come again
Radiation: Using It for Poetry
At Atomic Insights, Rod Adams has a guest post from Engineer-Poet. What's This Stuff Called Radiation. Rod rarely has guest posts, and this is the first open-source poem as a guest post. Some of the comments are also poetry. Some are limericks. All are fun!
And on that note, we will turn to the subject of Nuclear Energy, past, present and future. They are all linked. For example: Enrico Fermi is the past, right? Well, maybe not so past...some of his reactor designs are part of the future.
Nuclear Energy: Enrico Fermi and the Sodium Fast Reactor
Carl Holder writes 70 Years Ago:- Dr. Enrico Fermi at usa-cargo.info. In Chicago 70 years ago, a team of scientists lead by Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Enrico Fermi, created the first controlled nuclear fission.
Dr. Fermi envisioned a future that needed abundant nuclear energy for the production of energy and isotopes. He calculated that the uranium resource could be used much more efficiently with a fast reactor. So he designed a more efficient, sustainable fission system: the sodium fast reactor.
Nuclear Energy: Using the "Waste"
|Sodium Cooled reactor schematic|
At the Atomic Show, Rod Adams has a podcast from one of the most respected mystery men of the nuclear community. NNadir is a prolific pro-nuclear blogger at the very liberal blog Daily Kos. On the Atomic Show with Rod Adams, NNadir and Adams discuss: What do you do with the waste? (hint...it isn't waste...it's useful...Rod suggests listening to the talk with a periodic table along for reference...)
Nuclear Energy: The Enrichment Process
Robert Hayes, at Science and Technology Blog, describes Uranium Enrichment at URENCO USA (in southeast New Mexico).
Nuclear Energy: Using It for Military Energy Sources
At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus makes note of some of the recent proposals to have the military support the development of new energy technologies, such as wind power. In fact, the concept is far from new, as nuclear power owes its early development to military support, not only for weapons development, but also for submarine and ship propulsion. Energy R and D and the Military: Historic Partners.
Nuclear Energy: A New Fuel for Power Uprates
Brian Wang, at Next Big Future, describes an investor presentation and analysis of LightBridge's annular metal fuel for uprating the power in nuclear reactors.
The Lightbridge presentation describes the economic case and technical details of their annular metallic fuel for uprating the power in nuclear reactors. They expect regulatory approval for the new fuel by 2018, and commercial use a few years after that. The post also includes graphs from an economic analysis of future power prices, by Pace Global. Using this fuel, increased power generation will have a levelized cost of 20-30$ per MWH which is less than half the projected cost of coal and natural gas, or of regular nuclear construction
Nuclear Energy: The New Builds are Happening
At Things Worse Than Nuclear Power, one of the first blog posts of 2013 shows that 2012 wasn't the end of the world for nuclear, either. There are 167 proposed nuclear builds world-wide, and 63 under construction. Vive la nucléaire 2013!
We can't escape it, but we can blog about it. Politics.
Politics: No Holiday from Politics in Vermont
|Vermont Public Service Board|
at a recent hearing
Politics: The Court Cases of Vermont Yankee
Right here at Yes Vermont Yankee, we cover the three upcoming hearings and court cases (you know, the ones happening next week) at Three Vermont Yankee Hearings: The Week of Living Lawyerly. There's a hearing at the court of appeals in New York City, another at the Supreme Court in Vermont, and a third at the Public Service Board in Vermont. Get your background information and scorecard here!
Politics: Pro-Uranium Democrat, Dick Saslaw
In Virginia, the re-opening of a uranium mine has become a rallying point for anti-nuclear activists. In her "I Dig U Mining" blog, Andrea Jennetta writes about a Virginia senator: Senator Dick Saslaw--Fellow Democrats, Follow His Lead. As Jennetta writes: Yesterday Senator Dick Saslaw announced his unequivocal support for lifting Virginia’s moratorium on uranium mining. He says he’s convinced that modern technologies and strict regulations will ensure that it’s done safely and without harming the environment.