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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Nuclear Energy Blogger and Author Carnival 214

It's time for the 214th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers and Authors.  And, getting back to my usual form around here, it's unavoidable that I'm going to ask you to identify something ... or at least have a guess ready ... before I let you in.  So, what is this?

There could be a couple of right answers... or a range of right answers.  Note that we're identifying the whole picture here and not a part of it.  I will cover the range of answers at the end, so don't worry too much. 

Now, on with the Carnival!


Nuke Power Talk / Gail Marcus

NRC and the Non-Concurrence Process:  Success or Failure?

Dr. Marcus looks at the results of a survey conducted among NRC employees covering the NRC non-concurrence process.  The results of the survey have been criticized by some high-profile people who see it as validation of their concerns about the NRC's safety focus.  Dr. Marcus, however, looks at some other factors that may be affecting the survey results.


Canadian Energy Issues / Steve Aplin

What's rotten in the state of Denmark?  Electricity policy - and it's more rotten in Germany

Denmark, as its government proudly proclaims, is a nation of cyclists.  But Steve Aplin, an Ontarian and proud publisher of 'Canadian Energy Issues,' points out that Denmark is also a country of CO2 profligates where electric power generation is concerned.  The average Dane, riding around on his or her bicycle, scrupulously recycling his or her cans and bottles, and using much less electricity than the average Ontarian, had an electricity CO2 footprint nearly three times that of the average Ontarian. Aplin urges Danes, and Germans, to stop congratulating themselves and acknowledge they have been misled into supporting terrible energy policies.  Only then will they have any real hope of reducing CO2.


Forbes - Jim Conca

(This submission by Jim doesn't directly relate to nuclear energy.  However, Jim points out to me the fact that nuclear energy is really the best way to provide reliable transportation energy in a future electrified world - one where electric cars, scooters and maybe even more and not less electric trains are widely in use.  For that reason, I'm including this piece for your consideration on broader energy issues this week.)

Elon Musk - an African Immigrant Changes the World

Musk knows that the only way to make a dent in carbon emissions in his lifetime is to supercharge the addition of new technologies like electric cars and solar.  And, to give up a little bit of profit in favor of saving the planet.  It could also make him another billion. 


Atomic Insights / Rod Adams

Is Cuomo's fix against Indian Point already in?

Andrew Cuomo has made no secret of his desire to close the Indian Point nuclear station as soon as possible.  Though he has no authority to order the plant to shut down, he is doing everything in his power to develop alternate sources of electricity, and interest groups that want to use those sources instead of continuing to use the electricity from Indian Point. 

Atomic Show 217 - Michael Mariotte, President, NIRS

Michael Mariotte has been campaigning against nuclear energy for 30 years.  He and his organization say they oppose fossil fuel and believe strongly that an all-renewable energy system is feasible if we simply had the will to implement it.  Rod invited Mariotte to the Atomic Show to explain his ideas and rebut some practical challenges associated with his vision, which seems more like a mirage in Adams' viewpoint.  The discussion was lively but cordial, and ended with the chance of future sessions.


ANS Nuclear Cafe

What will it take to move nuclear energy forward?  By Paul Bowersox

What's needed for a realistic and effective nuclear energy policy in the United States?  How do we get there?  A report from the 2014 American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting.


AREVA Next Energy Blog

Top 10 FAQs about storing and transporting used nuclear fuel

The topic of safely transporting and storing used nuclear fuel at U.S. nuclear energy facilities is causing a lot of discussion in communities around the country.  Questions about radiation shielding, safety and seismic capabilities are prompting the most responses, but there are also persistent misunderstandings about safely managing used nuclear fuel that muddy the conversation.  By Mike McMahon, Senior Vice President, AREVA TN Americas.

Video: Transferring and storing used nuclear fuel

See the process for safely moving used nuclear fuel from a reactor into a dry shielded canister, transferring the canister to an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) and loading the canister into a fortress-like horizontal storage module. 


Next Big Future / Brian Wang

China's President says development of nuclear energy should be accelerated

At the end of 2013, China's 17 operational nuclear power plants were producing about 2 percent of the country's total energy, according to Xinhua news.  But Ye Qizhen, an expert in nuclear energy at the Chinese Academy of Engineering says that China should aim to get 10 percent of its energy from nuclear.  China's President has also called for accelerated research in nuclear power.

China looking seriously at supercritical water cooled reactors

China has completed the basic technology research and published a development roadmap for a Generation IV demonstration supercritical water cooled reactor that could be commissioned in 2022.


Yes Vermont Yankee / Meredith Angwin

No new transmission lines for Vermont!  Vermont government reacts to Vermont Yankee closing

During the polar vortex in January, New England governors asked regulators to fast track the building of new gas pipelines and tranmission lines to serve the area.  Governor Shumlin of Vermont signed this petition, but later, he reversed himself.  In June, Shumlin said that we should go slow on transmission projects -- such projects become outdated as new energy technologies are developed.  Shumlin's words were almost certainly a bargaining ploy.  With Shumlin speaking against them, the project developers were warned that they would have to pay more (taxes, special funds) in order to do business in Vermont.


The Hiroshima Syndrome / Les Corrice

Nuclear obsession covers up impact of tsunami on refugees

The amount of property damage done by the earthquake / tsunami in Fukushima Prefecture is staggering, and is statistically much worse than in Iwate Prefecture.  However, the Japanese press and government never report on the obvious.  Tens of thousands of Fukushima "evacuees" would be homeless tsunami refugees if the nuclear accident had never happened, and the rate of "related" deaths in Fukushima Prefecture is almost exactly the same as in Iwate Prefecture.  But, the news reports on the matter make it seem as if all Fukushima related deaths are because of the nuclear accident.  This is a monumental coverup of the truth by the press and government.


That's it for the entries this week.  THANK YOU to all of the contributors for great material. 

Now, what was that?  The illustration comes from the cover of a sales brochure covering ACF Nuclear Products - ERCO Division of ACF Incorporated's pool training reactor.  So, if you said "pool training reactor" or "pool type reactor" or "training reactor," you win. 

The reactor core is at the very lower right of the cutaway; the shielding blocks and tank have been cut away to reveal the large, non-pumped pool.  The fuel elements offered were 3" by 3" MTR type, either 20% or 90% enriched. (Such elements were available "off the shelf" from Sylvania-Corning Nuclear at the time, at either enrichment.)  Test locations included a through tube (4" diameter) and two beam tubes (also each 4" diameter.)  A 2.5 foot square thermal area or "column" was provided beside the core for experiments requiring thermal neutrons.

ACF Industries only had a nuclear power division for a short time in the mid-late 1950's.  The company sold a number of training and test reactors, and offered more designs than it sold.  A different sales brochure offers a standard ACF Heavy Water Tank Type (based on MIT and Italian reactors, see below), an ACF Light Water Tank Type, rated from 10 MWt to 30 MWt, and two power reactors - a boiling water reactor and a gas cooled reactor.

Here are the ACF reactors of which I'm aware.

ACF Research reactors

Italy - Italian Nat'l Committee on Nuclear Research - 5 MWt heavy water tank type.  Said by ACF to be "the first sale of an atomic reactor abroad by a U.S. firm," the contract was awarded to ACF in February 1956 with the actual signing occurring later that year.

USA - MIT Reactor (MITR) - designed by MIT staff, ACF principal contractor.  Heavy water tank type, 2 MWt.

Netherlands - Gov't Reactor Center, Petten - 20 MWt pool type.  ACF selected for this project May, 1956.

Sweden - Gov't Atomic Energy Commission, Studsvik - 30 MWt pool type.  ACF selected for this project October, 1956.

USA - US Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton Ohio.  NETR - "Nuclear Engineering Test Reactor," 10 MWt pool type reactor.

ACF Power reactors

Elk River Reactor - ACF awarded this contract after the original reactor vendor, AMF, decided to shut down its nuclear business. 

Note on above reactors:  ACF Industries sold its nuclear power business to Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company in 1959, with the result that Allis-Chalmers completed most or all of the reactors above.  It's certain that Allis-Chalmers was in charge prior to the completion of the NETR, the Netherlands reactor, Elk River.

The illustration you saw at the top of this article is actually the 1 watt (thermal) pool type training reactor designed by ACF in 1958.  This model was "portable, prefabricated" and sold for less than $150,000.  ACF said that it was "the least expensive reactor of its kind being offered."  It required only standard laboratory utilities, could be installed in existing buildings without excavation, required only a 40 ft. by 40 ft. floor area.  ACF offered to supply the following services:  Supervision of installation, training of operators, a service guarantee, laboratory manual, and assistance in preparation of (AEC) hazards report. 

The back page of a different brochure entitled "ACF - Specialists in Reactor Diversification" says that "Only the ACF Pool Training Reactor offers all these features:

•Versatility of pool type reactor
•Safe, Simple operation
•Full scale instrumentation and control system
•Complete experimental facilities
•Flexible fuel arrangement
•No excavation ... can be housed in existing buildings
•Minimum maintenance and operation costs."

The brochure also says "ACF will prefabricate, deliver and install, at customers' site complete reactor including instrumentation and shielding.  ACF will also supply operator training."

Found in the original brochure whose cover was shown at top was a mailing card.

The ACF nuclear division had some famous names associated with it during its short span of life from 1954 to 1959.  For example, for a time its President was Dr. Marshall G. Holloway; Harold Etherington was for a time, its Vice President.  It had a good business on its hands when it was sold to Allis-Chalmers, who desperately wished to both expand its nuclear business generally and wished to get into power reactors specifically.  Buying ACF's Nuclear Products Division got it both the Elk River power reactor project which was already underway, and a joint project for the Air Force with Kaiser Engineers on a gas cooled power reactor for Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- which ultimately was built but never operated, putting it roughly in the same group as the NETR at Dayton, Ohio.

That's it for this week's Carnival.  I hope you enjoyed the entries and the walk down memory lane!

6:30 PM Eastern 6/22/2014

1 comment:

  1. Hi..
    Thank you for sharing this information.It's time for the 214th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers and Authors. And, getting back to my usual form around here, it's unavoidable that I'm going to ask you to identify something Michael Mariotte has been campaigning against nuclear energy for 30 years. He and his organization say they oppose fossil fuel and believe strongly that an all-renewable energy system is feasible if we simply had the will to implement it.Exel Generator .

    thank you