Sunday, July 31, 2011

63rd Carnival of Nuclear Energy

The 63rd Carnival of Nuclear Energy Blogs is up at Next Big Future. Several of the posts are about the Vermont Yankee refueling decision.
  • Margaret Harding, formerly of GE, does a careful analysis of whether the fuel rods could be used at another plant (not easily, not cost-effectively).
  • Dan Yurman of Idaho Samizdat puts the matter bluntly: Entergy has placed a $100 million dollar bet, despite a hostile political climate.
  • And of course, I write about the refueling decision at Yes Vermont Yankee. I explain why I thought Entergy wouldn't place the big bet, and how glad I am that they bought the fuel.
But the world does not revolve completely around Vermont Yankee. There's also regulation.
  • Margaret Harding analyzes nuclear regulation and politics. The choices do not make her happy: the Department of Energy is misnamed (too much of its work is military), NRC has become politicized (hello, Chairman Reid...I mean...Chairman Jaczko) and it is unlikely that IAEA will step up to the plate effectively.
  • Dan Yurman at ANS Nuclear Cafe has a multi-part post in which nuclear energy professionals comment on the NRC task force recommendations for regulatory change.
  • Atomic Power Review describes how the nuclear regulation scandal is widening in Japan.
Many of the other posts are about new builds, new designs, and some sales:
  • At Idaho Samizdat, Dan Yurman asks if Canada gave away the store int its sale of AECL
  • At Next Big Future, Brian Wang reports on the evolution of the Terrapower Traveling Wave Reactor, partially funded by Bill Gates of Microsoft. The design has gotten simpler. It looks more like a regular reactor nowadays. (Who wudda thought?)
  • Rod Adams of Atomic Insights encourages building new reactors instead of wind turbines. One of the clear problems with wind energy was shown in the recent heat wave. When it's really hot and muggy, the wind is quiet, too. It wouldn't be so hot and muggy if there were a nice breeze...
  • Next Big Future describes the continuing work on the new Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor in South Korea.
  • Meredith Angwin, publishing on a local news blog, explains that Vermont Senator Sanders doesn't just dislike Vermont Yankee, he hates everything nuclear. He's proud of being the only person on his Senate committee to vote against research funding for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
Finally, in the great tradition of Ratatouille (the film, not the food), Nutcracker Publishing announces a children's book about nuclear energy. In this book, hard-working rats explain how a nuclear power plant works. It may be the first children's book that is not anti-nuclear.

Come to the Carnival! News, opinions, ideas, no cotton candy! A treat for old and young!

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