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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Will's winter reading list

With the winter practically upon us (we're expecting our first significant snow here in Northern Ohio tonight) it's time to finally put the golf clubs and lawn chairs away for another cold season. This means that I get to catch up on my intended reading a little faster; I thought I might give my readers a little look at what's in the queue.

Of course, I have a giant pile of Westinghouse / Syl-Cor fuel and reactor design material still to read and catalogue, but that type of thing can be fit in and around other tasks - it's something I can put down, and walk away from for a while without really losing my place. That is, so long as I stick to one section of the archive at a time. Many website articles will come from this material.

What's more interesting to everyone else probably is the short stack of books I have acquired to read. All of these are pertinent to this year's events, and I intend to not only report on each of them but relate their content to Fukushima Daiichi, and/or the NRC post-Fukushima plan .. whatever that shakes out to be. Here in no particular order are my first four:


American Society of Civil Engineers, 1973
-This volume is a compendium of papers prepared for a special ASCE conference on the titled subject which took place December 17-18, 1973 and which was sponsored by the Nuclear Structures and Materials Committee of the ASCE. The vast majority of this volume's content focuses on seismic issues.

Samuel Glasstone / Walter H. Jordan
American Nuclear Society, 1980
-Probably one of the leading books in its field; I have flipped through, referenced and consulted this volume before but have not read it through cover to cover. There is a chapter on accidents (which includes yet another brief TMI narrative) but this volume's promise lies in its completeness of coverage of the environmental impact of all conceivable byproducts of nuclear plants.

edited by J. A. Ayres
Prepared under auspices of the AEC; Ronald Press, 1970
-This large (approximately 800 page) volume covers all then-known experience with decontamination of equipment involved with nuclear reactor operation, which is its stated purpose. While the information is certainly dated, this period of nuclear history is of great interest to me and it is certain that certain known reactors and events will be referenced in this volume in perhaps previously unknown ways.

edited by Roy G. Post and Robert L. Seale
U. of Arizona Press 1966
-This book actually came from the AEC Library; it bears the identifying stamps. This book takes a look at most of the serious proposals extant at that time for the use of nuclear energy either simply for large scale water desalination, or else for dual desalination / electric generation. Considering the fact that this book was written right before the practical wholesale cancellation of all such efforts, it represents the state of the art as it left off; further, considering that many nations now may consider use of nuclear energy for desalination (perhaps in the Middle East) it may be a topic likely to be revived, even if on a smaller scale than developed in this book.

Here, then, we have four fairly large books I intend to plow through while the snow flies. There are more that I may add to the list, but this is enough for now considering all the other things on my plate- including Nuclear News, the daily NEI e-mail brief, a hundred ANS Social Media e-mails a day, hate mail from my "fans" on Atomic Power Review and probably a dozen more different sources. (That's just the required daily reading part.) I will report on these books from time to time; if we have a blizzard or two, that will certainly help my progress.

7:45 PM Eastern Thursday December 8, 2011


  1. Some for the shelves; a book on the most exotic and extreme reactor designs. One on the most queer resting places of some reactors, like those belonging to the USS Thrasher and Sorpion and the oddly banned arctic pole reactors. A book on lost space reactors of the 1960's that could've made a three month manned round trip to Mars in the '80s. And one curio I've never seemed to Google up; when I was at the 1965 World's Fair, GE had this big Buck Rogers type thing that they swore was a "real" protoype fusion reactor (looked alot like that big "reactor" in the 1st Iron Man movie) that made a thunderous BANG once an hour or so to show it was "fusing" or whatever. (well, it WAS fun, along with seeing all the "scientists" working in their white lab coats). Does your library mention what this thing was?

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  2. @james: I'll look around and see if I can't figure out what that GE contraption was. Very interesting!

  3. "Of course, I have a giant pile of Westinghouse / Syl-Cor fuel and reactor design material still to read and catalogue, but that type of thing can be fit in and around other tasks"
    Can you direct me to the Westinghouse design documents?
    Also, do you know if Westinghouse has released a description of each module? Wouldn't an AP1000 kit be fun?

  4. @Martin: All of this Westinghouse and Syl-Cor (Sylvania - Corning Nuclear Corporation) stuff is actual paper. No electronic documents here!