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

Saturday, April 14, 2012

100th Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers

Atomic Power Review is proud to welcome you to the 100th Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers. This rotating event is hosted at a variety of the most prominent pro-nuclear blogs and websites on a weekly basis.

One hundred of anything is an important milestone - important enough to gain considerable attention. In light of this fact, we open the event with official statements from the American Nuclear Society and from the Nuclear Energy Institute.


Congratulations to the nuclear bloggers and advocates on the occasion of the 100th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers. This milestone is a testament to the energy and passion of the nuclear community to share information on the benefits that nuclear energy holds for humanity. You are the people with the knowledge and passion to talk with friends, neighbors, policy makers, teachers and students about these issues. It will take all of us to state the truths and take the initiative to counter fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and make others understand the importance of energy sufficiency and how it can be achieved through atomic binding energy. As a vanguard in nuclear communications, you have embraced nuclear technology—a young and still evolving science—and have adapted to new and evolving communications avenues and social media outlets to share your vision.

The very first Carnival of Nuclear Energy bloggers was on May 13, 2010, at Next Big Future. Although 2010 is not so long ago, we can all agree that much has happened over the following months—and much of it was catalogued, interpreted, and shared by the individual bloggers who join together each week for the carnivals.

The carnivals not only strengthen and extend the reach of individual blogs, but also strengthen and extend the nuclear community as a whole. I predict that the pessimism which now makes much noise in the global public about all things nuclear will be proved wrong in our own time.
Thank you for your efforts, and I look forward to reading about the 200th Carnival in March 2014!

Eric P. Loewen
American Nuclear Society


When NEI Nuclear Notes debuted in February 2005, it was safe to say that a convention of nuclear energy bloggers could truly be held inside a phone booth. Outside of pioneers like Rod Adams of Atomic Insights and John Wheeler of the podcast This Week in Nuclear, there just weren't that many outlets advocating for the expanded use of nuclear energy.

Of course, that didn't mean that people weren't talking about nuclear energy online. If you only took the time to listen, it was clear that plenty of folks, many of them very conversant in terms of both technology and public policy, were talking about it all the time. In short, there was a conversation going on about our industry, and it was far passed time for NEI to get involved in that conversation. Now, it's more than seven years and over 4,800 posts later. When ANS sponsored a meeting of nuclear energy bloggers last Fall, the hotel meeting room was overflowing with people, one seemingly more enthusiastic than the next when it came to advocating for nuclear technology and the commercial industry.

So as we celebrate the 100th Carnival of Nuclear Energy, I'd like to take a moment to salute all of the nuclear bloggers, a group that's just about too large to count these days, for the great work they do every day. Needless to say, we look forward to celebrating other milestones together with you in the years to come.

Eric McErlain
Nuclear Energy Institute


I would personally like to sincerely thank both ANS President Loewen and Mr. McErlain of the NEI for contributing these statements for this 100th Carnival.

A regular feature seen on APR when it hosts the Carnival is the "What is this?" photo, wherein I display a photograph of some indescribable piece of nuclear plant equipment, for example, and ask readers to guess what it is before presenting the answer after all of the Carnival entries. Episode 100 for the Carnival continues this tradition; since this photo is quite possibly the easiest yet to guess, I will be providing graded or graduated point value answers at the end. So - What is this?
Answer - and more - at the end. Now, on with the Carnival - surely one of the largest and best this author has seen, with plenty of excitement!


APR leads off the Carnival this time with a post from a website that a number of us have actually been waiting some time to see. This first contribution is from the first blog post at the site of the Nuclear Literacy Project which has only just launched this weekend. Suzanne Hobbs has put a lot of work into this project over some considerable period of time; I highly suggest everyone look around the site and keep looking back at it as it grows; the whole site will be live tomorrow (4/15) according to Suzanne.

Nuclear Literacy Project / Kallie Metzger

Caldicott Encounter

Kallie Metzger recently attended a talk by anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott. Metzger's reflections on the encounter provide a stimulating and sobering look at what the anti-nuclear author delivers and doesn't deliver.



Nuclear start ups have stretch goals

Two recent nuclear energy start-ups have the potential to create new business opportunities with unconventional reactor technologies. Two of them are pursuing new designs using molten salts as compared to the conventional light water design.

In Massachusetts, Transatomic Power, run by two Ph.D. candidates at MIT, Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, the effort is focused on using uranium-based spent nuclear fuel to provide the energy to run the reactor. Their business model is to license a design to a major reactor vendor or a state-owned reactor development agency.

In Alabama, Flibe Energy, named after an acronym for a a specific type of salt, is run by Kirk Sorensen who after earning a masters degree in nuclear engineering, jumped out of the corporate world to develop a start-up effort aimed at producing a thorium-fueled reactor for military applications.

TVA digs in to deliver two reactors

Delays at Watts Bar 2 push back start up at Bellefonte

While the rest of the country focuses on the NRC’s approval of four new Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at two sites, the Tennessee Valley Authority has its own in-house version of the nuclear renaissance and right now it is running late.

TVA CEO Tom Kilgore said at a press briefing April 5 that TVA expects the project costs for Watts Bar 2 to increase by $1.5-2.0 billion. Also, he said the schedule will be revised with completion now set for the last quarter of 2015 compared to the original date of 2012.



Your Nuclear Advocate Activist Kit

According to Rick: Light entry but has significant collection of links that will continue to grow relating to advocacy and pronuclear action. Features clothing and jewelery by popatomic plus useful reading about taking action and keeping informed.



Energy technology - 5 years

Maxing out technology (including nuclear power) for 2027-2032. I am expecting several possible technology for an energy revolution to be proven over the next 5 years. Candidates energy technologies are advanced modular fission reactors, new hot nuclear fusion technology, or breakthrough low energy nuclear reactors.

Annular fuel (hollow cylinders with pebbles for more surface area) enables existing nuclear reactors to generate 20-50% more power. South Korea is working on developing the MIT research for commercial installation in about 2020. The company Lightbridge is developing the fuel and could have wide deployment by the early 2020s.

Japan to restart nuclear before summer?

Japan has all approvals but local consent to restart two reactors. Trade Minister Yukio Edano also said that he will visit Fukui prefecture, host to the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co's Ohi nuclear power plant, on Saturday to meet with the governor and Ohi town mayor and to convince them of the necessity for the restarts.Edano set no deadline for the reactor restarts, but implied that he hopes to obtain public backing by July, when the hottest season starts.

World nuclear power generation 2011

Total nuclear electricity generation in 2011 was 2518 TWh, 4.3% less than the 2630 TWh generated in 2010, according to figures from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Generation had increased in 2010 following three consecutive years of decline. Japan's generation was down 127.7 TWh and world generation was down 112 TWh. Germany shutdown reactors for another 30.7 TWh decrease. So the world generated 46.4 TWh more if the effect of Japan and German shutdowns were excluded. Looking at 2012, generation will increase from 14 new nuclear reactors.


ANS Nuclear Cafe - Paul Bowersox (submission) with article by Wes Deason.

Space Nuclear Propulsion, Part 2.

"Space nuclear propulsion: Humanity’s route to the solar system"
Part II: Electric propulsion and fission power generation in space

In Part II of his series on space nuclear propulsion, Wesley Deason of
the ANS Aerospace Nuclear Science & Technology Professional Division
outlines the technology of nuclear electric propulsion for space



Japan after Fukushima: Sustainable?

At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus takes on the claim that is beginning to circulate that "after all, Japan survived for a year without nuclear power, so it doesn't need its nuclear plants." She points out several factors that show 1) that there were a number of serious effects on the economy, and on the population, from the reduced electricity supply, and 2) there are several factors that could make next summer much worse.

Evaluating accidents: Is "No Radiation Deaths" enough?

Gail Marcus also explores the issue of how we should evaluate accidents in the future. While it is certainly a plus that Fukushima has resulted in no radiation deaths to members of the public, the collateral damage has been huge in terms of the impact on the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people. She suggests this is going to cause us to reconsider what needs to be protected. Even an accident that kills no one outright may be unacceptable if it requires long-term evacuation of large areas for long periods of time.


NUCLEAR DINER - Cheryl Rofer

A Trip to Trinity Site

A report on one of the two yearly open houses at White Sands Missile Range that opens Trinity Site to the public. Trinity Site is where the first atomic bomb was tested, between San Antonio and Carrizozo, New Mexico.



Cultural Cognition of Risk and Perceived Risks of Nuclear

How do cultural factors influence (and sometimes even distort) the perception of risk - particularly the relative risk of nuclear energy compared to other sources? And what can nuclear energy communicators do about it? Steve Skutnik examines how nuclear communicators and advocates can leverage understanding how cultural factors influence perceptions of risk to more effectively communicate nuclear risks in context.


MEREDITH ANGWIN - Yes Vermont Yankee

All of Vermont Wins When Vermont Yankee Operates

Yes Vermont Yankee describes the usual arguments that opponents make against the continuing operation of Vermont Yankee past March 21, 2012. Angwin discusses the plant age, concerns based on Fukushima, and "nuclear waste on the banks of the Connecticut." She notes that plant opponents may consider every day of operation past March 21 to be a personal insult, but actually, Vermont Yankee continues to be a boon for the state of Vermont.



Three years of cheap gas spells NO RELIEF for Ontario electricity consumers

The price of North American natural gas has been ridiculously low since before the recession of 2008. In that time, Ontario essentially shifted from coal-fired power generation to gas-fired. Has this three-year period of low, low gas prices translated into any relief on provincial electricity prices? No. Prices for power have gone up. In this post, Steve Aplin of Canadian Energy Issues explains why.



More on the Denatured Molten Salt Reactor from David LeBlanc

David LeBlanc is well known and highly respected by the Internet MSR/LFTR advocacy community. David has spent a good deal of time recently working on the DMSR, a reactor concept developed by ORNL in the late 1970's. David has argued that the DMSR costs less to build and operate than either LWRs and iFRs. i
discuss some of David's concepts in "More on the Denatured Molten Salt Reactor from David LeBlanc."



Leslie points us to this page on his site, which contains two items he'd like to indicate for inclusion in this 100th Carnival.

The first is the release of his book "Fukushima: The First Five Days," for which we find a description on the above linked page. I myself had a chance to review this book pre-publication and am honored to have provided the forward for it - I would suggest this book to anyone interested in the events at the site during those critical hours and days early in the accident progression.

Also on this same page is Leslie's Carnival blog post, from April 13 and which is titled "Irrational Korean missile fear replaces irrational Nuclear fear…almost." In this post, Leslie Corrice details how Fukushima provincial Governor Sato deflects attention and cultivates crisis.


Finally, we have some more good news. Carnival 100 is not just the launch date for one new website, but two! Here is a brand new blog, just launched this weekend, by an author totally new to the world of nuclear blogging.


Entreprenuclear? What's that?

In the initial post on this new blog, "Entreprenuke" discusses his concept of this new term and his new blog. Two further posts of interest including a short bio are also already online as this 100th Carnival goes to press. Welcome aboard to this newest pro-nuclear blogger!


Well, that's it for the participants in Carnival No. 100. And what a list! There is enough reading there to keep one busy for days. All that's left is to identify what was in that illustration at the top of the Carnival post.

I mentioned that the possible answers would be graded. I wasn't kidding.

If you guessed "it's a nuclear power plant" you get zero points, because that has to be so obvious - given the name and nature of this blog - that it can't count.

If you guessed "it's a lithograph" you get negative ten points.

If you guessed "it's a late 1960's or early 70's looking illustration, almost surely of a pressurized water reactor plant since boiling water reactor plants didn't have cylindrical reactor buildings yet" you get ten points. Because you'd be right.

If you said "PALISADES" you win and get one hundred points. I don't know what you'll do with them - there's no prize booth.

The illustration was furnished to the Atomic Energy Commission by Combustion Engineering for inclusion in WASH-1082, "Current Status & Future Technical & Economic Potential of Light Water Reactors," March, 1968. This is an artist's conception from architectural drawings of what the completed plant would look like; much of this kind of artwork can be found in a variety of places for nuclear plants - and you can find quite a bit of this kind of artwork for plants that were never finished or never built. Let's take a look at a few other illustrations of Palisades in the APR collection.

This is a photo that best approximates, from those available here, the illustration we've seen earlier. It is easy to see that the highly complex channeling arrangement for cooling water from and to Lake Michigan was not built as in the illustration we first saw. In fact, although not originally designed with one, Palisades eventually had cooling towers added. The illustration we see here is from a detailed book covering Palisades, issued by Combustion Engineering and Consumers Power. The cover of this book is seen below.

Below, we see a photo from the Benton Harbor News (AP Wirephoto) in the APR collection, dated 10-10-1974 and which shows one of the cooling towers. The plant (according to the caption) had just restarted after about a year having been shut down for work.

According to WASH-1203-73, "Operating History - US Nuclear Power Reactors" (USAEC Division of Reactor Development and Technology) the shutdown mentioned in this press photo was for the repair of a leak in "B" steam generator, which as we know today was successful. Palisades first achieved criticality 5/24/71 with the first electric power generation 12/31/71. Palisades is still operating today; click here for the Palisades Power Plant site.

As a final note.. this site was originally planned to host as many as four identical reactor plants, with the other three plants North of the completed one (that is to say, to the left in the illustrations we've seen.) Palisades was ordered in June, 1966 with the clear intention to eventually order more (in fact, WASH-1203-73 lists the plant as "Palisades Plant, Unit 1.") Palisades' construction permit was issued in March 1967 but no other units at the site even had construction permits issued; in fact, none of the other three plants was ever formally announced, from what I can find on file here. The only proof that further plants were planned is an illustration in the CE/Consumers Power brochure showing the four plant site layout, coupled with WASH-1203-73's delineation of the plant as Palisades 1.

That does it for this historic 100th Carnival. APR is proud to host it, and I hope that we make it to 200. Having seen the success of pro-nuclear blogging myself, first hand since APR launched in April 2010 I have no doubt we will.

6:10 PM Eastern Saturday April 14, 2012

1 comment:

  1. How about this interpretation as the latest political manoeuvering in Japan, to keep the lights on and guarantee energy security: http://lftrsuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/this-is-japan-were-talking-about.html

    PS: Can a loner, out on a limb in the UK get on your Blogroll? http://lftrsuk.blogspot.co.uk/