Friday, May 21, 2010

Blog Carnival of Nuclear Energy Number Two

Welcome to the second Blog Carnival of Nuclear Energy, and special thanks to Brian Wang for hosting the first carnival, as well as getting the ball rolling for this one. The Carnival is a traveling show that will cover nuclear and other energy related blog posts. Topics covered will include reactors present and future, nuclear fuels and fuel cycles, environmental impacts, policy and more. Bloggers who write on nuclear, and nuclear related topics are invited to join the the carnival. in addition interested bloggers can participate in the blog carnival by hosting it from time to time.

Our first post is nearly three months old. It comes Gail Marcus' "Nuclear Power Talk" blog and is a brief memorial for Thomas Pigford. I have publishe two previously unposted Pigford related stories on Nuclear Green for anyone who would like to get a better idea who Pigford was. Marcus wrote:
Dr. Thomas H. Pigford, another icon in the story of nuclear power development, died this past week. Dr. Pigford is well known to many in the nuclear profession for his long and productive career, and for the number of important and lasting contributions he made to the nuclear field.
2. Yes Vermont Yankee blogger Meredith Angwin considers the difference between the Vermont picture of nuclear power and the picture which prevails in much of the world outside Vermont in a post titled Vermont and World Nuclear.
In Vermont, it becomes very easy to think that the whole world is anti-nuclear energy. Except for the people in Vernon who work at the plant, of course. The anti-nukes make a lot of noise, some of it not very rational. Senator Shumlin asserts we have abundant solar resources in Vermont (making me wonder whether he lives here). The same old crowd in Brattleboro keeps making the same old shut-it-down statements. And so forth.
3. Nuclear Fissionary's Jack Gamble offers Antinucler Spin Machine Exploiting Fossil Fuel Disasters This story discusses how the crazy anti-nuclear disinformation campaign twists the facts of fossil fuel related accidents to tar nuclear power with the same brush.
The antinuclear activists smell oil blood in the water and want you to beleive that oil spills, coal mine collapses, and natural gas explosions are reasons to avoid nuclear power. Luckily, raitonal people know that the Fossil Fuel Meltdown of 2010 is further proof that a revival of nuclear energy is long overdue.
4. Kirk Sorensen, on Energy From Thorium posted Dr. Alexander Cannara's deconstruction of
Thorium Fuel: No Panacea for Nuclear Power”, by anti-nuclear disinformation specialists Arjan Makhijani & Michele Boyd. Caerara wrote Physicians for Social Responsibility:
Taking encouragement from your (PSR’s) website’s promise: “We encourage the submission of any comments…”, I’m writing you in hopes you’ll correct errors in a particular paper you’ve apparently promulgated to many interest groups like NIRS/IEER, worldwide, resulting in misleading them and our fellow Americans on an extremely important issue. As doctors give oath “to do no harm”, scientists & engineers too work under an implied oath to serve the needs of humanity, and to do so honestly & completely. The PSR/IEER ‘Fact Sheet’ you’ve unfortunately published fails that test. It lacks completeness, accuracy and so, responsibility. . . .

I’ll begin at the heart of the inaccuracy and misleading nature of the piece – it considers only solid nuclear fuels. As a result, it achieves three major failings: 1) it displays the authors as unaware of nuclear-reactor designs that are indeed safer than present LWR/BWR solid-fuelled systems; 2) it suggests PSR and/or IEER don’t have proper review procedures; and 3) it illustrates the danger of bias in content that gives the appearance of motivation to mislead readers.

None of the above are excusable, especially not for any organizations using the words “Responsible“ or “Resource Service” in their names. In other words, the result of the report’s failings is to mark it as an example of exactly the kind of misleading document we need less of today and in the future. Perhaps it’s served as a lobbying tool, but we have far too much of that everywhere today, as well. So, in the interest of responsibility to our fellow citizens across the globe, here are comments you say you “encourage”:
5. I have been aware for some time that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory appeared to be cooperating with the Wind Industry Lobby to the extent that the NREL could be described as an adjunct of the AWEA. "Uvdiv"of Capacity Factor recently posted a investigative report, FOIE email: NREL collaborated with the AWEA - The US wind industry lobby - in writing a government report controverting a wind industry critic.

6. Australian Climate Scientist and pro nuclear blogger Barry Brook of Brave New Climate, recently coauthored a short book, Why vs. Why: Nuclear Power. Professor Ian Lowe took the anti nuclear position. In a blog post, Why vs Why: Nuclear Power – new book by BNC author, Barry discusses the book and its launch. in Counterpoint ABC radio debate – Does being green mean going nuclear? Barry describes his debate with Professor Lowe on Australian Radio.

7. Nuclear Archer is offering posts on Generation IV nuclear materials, including one on "ferritic and austenitic stainless steel." The Archer tells us,
The austenitic steels are often used for higher temperature applications because they can withstand a hot, corrosive environment and maintain mechanical properties to somewhat higher temperatures than the ferritic grades. Both are used in large amounts in different parts of a modern, GenII light-water reactor. A Gen II reactor, or even the Gen III / III+ ones under construction, will see outlet temperatures in the low-300s Celsius. The GenIV concepts will push as far as 1000°C, and the current crop of materials would turn buttery there. The austenitic alloys show better resistance to creep at high temperature than the ferritics, but under neutron bombardment they also suffer void swelling which can compromise their mechanical strength.
8. The most discussed blogger on the Energy Collective at the moment is Senator Lemar Alexander of Tennessee. The Senator's most recent post, Oil Industry Can Learn from Nuclear’s Good Safety Record, pays tribute to the safety of the nuclear industry.
one of the most important lessons from the recovery of the nuclear industry has been that safety and efficiency go hand-in-hand and that a safe reactor will also be a much more profitable reactor.
9. What would the Blogspear be without bitchy gossip from and about energy blogging insiders. The Engineer-Poet a pronuclear Oil Drum contributer, who clearly has axes to grind with a number of people including anti-nuclear soothsayer, Michael Dittmar. A carnival should be fun, and the Engineer-Poet gets nasty in a fun sort of way:
Which brings us to my various rebuttals to false claims and ill-supported arguments made by Michael Dittmar. He makes a lot of those. Dittmar was shredded in the comments to his 4-part series posted on TOD. His economics, his timelines, his resource projections... every bit was shown to be based on little more than wishful thinking and the desire to continue Megatons to Megawatts. None of it held up under examination. His remedy to this was to sneak comments in just before the discussions closed, so that his claims would stand without response and give him the last word.

He didn't limit himself to his own guest posts. He tried it with this comment to another post in January. I caught him, and posted a reply showing that his claims were not firmly supported even by his own reference if one took more than a selective reading.

See it? Neither do I, because my rebuttal was "hidden" (censored) by an Oil Drum editor. Not even I have access to what I posted there. And I've been asking for it to be returned, either reposted or mailed back to me, from a few hours after the act until April 27. I posted it under the terms of the Creative Commons license, essentially giving it to all of humanity so long as credit is given. I never thought it would be stolen from everyone including myself, but that's what happened.

Rather, that's what some editor did. . . .

The blatant half-truths and untruths and artless evasions of Michael Dittmar in his four (four!) guest posts of last year got a great many people angry too
10. Dan Yurman of Idaho Samizdat is almost always serious, as he is in UAE picks site to build four reactors. With Dan you expect the facts, and here Dan delivers.

11. Brian Wang reports on the claim by a Chinese historian that the Soviets were close to attacking China with nuclear weapons in 1969 until there was intervention by the USA (Nixon and Kissinger). Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman tells in his 1978 memoirs a somewhat similar story about the episode.

12. Both Rod Adams and Brian Wang have been writing about Chinese nuclear plans, and Rob offers a hat tip to Brian in the course of his post. Brian reports that the a Chinese company has announced plans to build a dozen Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors before 2020. In addition the Chinese have plans to build a couple of 800 MW fast breeders and have entered talks with Russia, France and Japan about joint development of fast breeder technology. Rod notes the fast reactor plans of China and other countries, and suggests that the United States has fallen behind in breeder reactor development.

13. Dan Yurman reports in a May 20 post:
The long wait is over for Areva. The U.S. Department of Energy has offered a conditional commitment for a $2 billion loan guarantee to AREVA to facilitate financing of its Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility planned for development near Idaho Falls, Idaho. The conditional commitment was offered through DOE’s Loan Programs Office.
14 Brian want offers us a glimpse of a very advanced space technology, a nuclear fusion space plane based on magneto hydrodynamics and the inertial electrostatic confinement reactor.
A Rocket-Based-Combined-Cycle (RBCC) propulsion system employing ducted rocket operation and MHD airbreathing to accelerate the vehicle to Mach 12 in about 4 minutes within earth’s atmosphere, and then fusion rocket propulsion to continue vehicle acceleration above the sensible atmosphere for 28 minutes until Mach 26 (orbital speed) is reached. And, here, 18 metric tons of payload can be placed in low earth orbit with a takeoff weight of only 162 tons - about the same payload and takeoff weight as that of medium size airline passenger jets.
Funding estimates start at $10 billion.

15. No carnival would be complete without a surprise visit from celebrities, and Rod Adams offers us two celebrities, Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Rod contrasts Redford, who is involved with the anti-nuclear Natural Resources Defense Council to the Late Paul Newman, who staunchly supported nuclear power. It is too bad that we never got a chance to see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid shoot it out in a talking heads debate over the costs and benefits of nuclear power.

16. Canadian energy issues blogger Stephen Aplin offers The right way to defeat nuclear proliferation. Stephen writes
When anti-nuclear activists play the proliferation card, their tactic is to conflate nuclear-generated electricity with nuclear weapons.Their arguments pretty much rest on that conflation. How valid is it? Not valid at all. It is like opposing gasoline-powered cars because napalm is made from gasoline.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff. Thanks.

John Tjostem


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