APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Monday, May 26, 2014

Nuclear Energy Blogger Carnival 210

It's time for the 210th edition of the Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers and Authors.  Because this is a holiday (Memorial Day,) I'm going to skip the usual entertainment that goes along with the Carnival when it appears here and get straight to the entries.  And some very interesting and good entries they are, too!


Yes Vermont Yankee  - Meredith Angwin

Emergency Planning and Fuel Pools:  The Little Fire That Wasn't There

The Fukushima 4 Fuel Pool Fire (the one that didn't happen) is still the cause of political posturing and attacks on nuclear energy. In Vermont, opponents want Vermont Yankee to continue to fund the Emergency Planning Zone for as long as the fuel pool is in use. This would cost $20 million a year for seven years after plant shut-down. Meanwhile, in Congress, anti-nuclear senators have introduced several bills to force nuclear plants to continue that type of funding after the plant closes. (Post contains many useful links.)


ANS Nuclear Cafe - submitted by Paul Bowersox

The Fight To Prevent Nuclear Plant Closures Gathers Steam by Jim Hopf

There is increasing concern over the ramifications of possible nuclear plant closures in the United States - and the idea of policy intervention to help prevent them is gaining political traction.  Jim Hopf on the organization Nuclear Matters, the views of leadership at Exelon, rationale for much needed policy changes, questions on nuclear operating costs, and more.

ANS Historic Landmark N.S. SAVANNAH Hosts Gala Weekend by Will Davis

With National Maritime Day in the U.S. celebrated on May 22, Will Davis takes readers on a photo-filled tour and restoration update of the N.S. SAVANNAH, nuclear passenger and cargo ship and world diplomat for Eisenhower's Atoms For Peace program.  Maritime Day is observed on the date on which N.S. SAVANNAH's namesake, S.S. SAVANNAH (a hybrid steam and sail powered ship) embarked in 1819 on the world's first transoceanic voyage assisted by steam power.


Next Big Future - Brian Wang 

Russia could sign an agreement this year to build eight new reactors
for nuclear power plants in Iran, state-run Russian news agency RIA
reported on Thursday, citing a source it did not identify.

Russia built Iran's only operating nuclear power reactor, at the Bushehr plant.


Climate Change - Get beyond the controversial problem statement to the
shape of the proposed solutions after tens of trillions of dollars and
decades and see how much is or is not solved.

For Climate Change, the big UN IPCC proposed solution is to stabilize
[flatten at current levels of nearly 40 billion tons per year of CO2]
levels of greenhouse-gas emissions would require investments of about
$13 trillion through 2030.

It also noted that reducing emissions would reduce the rate of
economic growth (as a result of such factors as higher energy prices).
But it would do so by, on average, less than a tenth of a percentage
point per year between now and 2100. Switching from fossil fuels to
low-carbon sources of energy will cost $44 trillion between now and

* $13 trillion or nearly $1 trillion every year is the ante (poker
reference) to get started

Nuclear energy could be scaled up safely and more affordably. This has
been demonstrated on a national scale where France shifted to 80% of
electricity from nuclear power over the 1980s.

Conventional nuclear fission is a better plan than the IPCC proposal.
Future nuclear energy can be further improved with development of
molten salt reactors.Costs would be several times lower, reactors
would be even safer and waste would be reduced. Conventional nuclear
already compares very well to other energy sources based on actual


Scientists at LPP Fusion, led by Chief Scientist Eric Lerner, are just
one step away from technically proving out dense plasma focus fusion
and you a few thousand other people can help for the final push. They
are already 37% of the way to the $200,000 they needed for a few key

Success would be better than doubling NASA's budget and 100,000 times
cheaper than one year of double NASA budget

Success would have more impact than efforts to double NASA's space
budget to 1% of all US tax dollars [increase from $18 billion per year
to $36 billion].


China continues to build a lot of coal plants and for the last 10-20
years China has built modern coal plants that have the latest
pollution mitigation technology. Why did they not turn on pollution
control until recent protests about air quality. It would have added
over 0.4 US cents per kwh to the costs for one of the technologies and
more for each of the other pollution control technologies. China is
making about 4000 billion kwh/year of electrical power from coal
power. So 0.4 cents per kwh is $16 billion/year.


The Manhattan Project employed more than 130,000 people and cost
nearly US$2 billion (about $26 billion in 2014 dollars). Over 90% of
the cost was for building factories and producing the fissile
materials, with less than 10% for development and production of the
weapons. Research and production took place at more than 30 sites
across the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

DARPA has around 240 (about 140 technical) directly managing a $3
billion budget. These figures are "on average" since DARPA focuses on
short-term (two to four year) projects run by small, purpose-built

DARPA biggest successes were being a major part of developing the
internet, Global positioning satellites, Speech translation, stealth
planes, and Gallium Arsenide.

>From 1989 to 2008 it is conservatively believed that $79 billion was
spent by the US government on climate change research, administration,
foreign aid, tax breaks and education (public relations).

Up to 2008, the EU Framework 7 programme includes €1.9 billion on
direct climate change research. Framework 6 ran to €769 million. If we
take all the Annex 1 countries, the sum expended must be well over
$100 billion.

The global carbon trading markets are at about $60 billion in 2014.

The Whitehouse report on climate change spending proposes a budget of
$21.4 billion.

The President’s 2014 Budget proposes over $21.4 billion for climate
change activities. This amount is $1.2 billion , or 5 percent, lower
than the 2013 enacted level for climate change programs, activities,
and related tax policies.

FORBES - Jim Conca
Once the wrong kitty litter was identified as the cause of the leak from America's only deep geologic nuclear waste repository, it was time for quick action to prevent another event, and to get our nuclear waste disposal program back online.

That's it for this week's Carnival posts ... a big THANK YOU to all of the folks who contributed on a long holiday weekend is in order. 

4:00 PM Eastern 5/26/2014

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