Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers #234

carnival maskThis post represents the latest link in an unbroken chain of more than four years of the weekly summaries of the best of the pro-nuclear blogs.

With the recent updated assessment by the IPCC of the outlook for climate change, the leveraging the nuclear energy to mitigate future growth of CO2 emissions comes even more into the public eye.  Want to know what’s going on? Read all about it here.

Previous editions of the Carnival have been posted at the blogs cited below and elsewhere.  See the “Blogs We Read” sidebar at the ANS Nuclear Café for a complete list. For day-to-day updates, check out the blog roll at NEI Nuclear Notes.  Here is this week’s edition.

Jim Conca @ Forbes
Nuclear Energy And The 2014 Mid-Term Elections

The new Congress elected on Tuesday 11/4/14 could make headway on energy issues if it decides to work cooperatively with the White House. Nuclear energy could be supported by rewriting EPA’s new Carbon Rules to not punish nuclear, support NRC’s findings on dry cask storage and allow NRC to focus on broader issues that help the industry, as it was originally intended. But neither political party has been very supportive of nuclear, even when they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House.

Gail Marcus @ Nuke Power Talk
Nuclear Power and Election 2014: What Lies Ahead?

The 2014 election results are in, with a big win for Republicans, so the speculation has already started about a number of issues, nuclear power among them. It is not clear how much of a change the new Republican majority will really bring to the nuclear industry. Another issue we often forget is that many Republicans come from states with very strong fossil fuel interests. The Republican majority may have more influence on the regulatory side than on the operational or R&D sides, but even there, the crystal ball is still a bit foggy. However, a key test of Republican interest in all things nuclear will involve upcoming appointments to the NRC.

Les Corrice @ Hiroshima Syndrome
Cancel the apocalypse – all used fuel is out of F. Daiichi unit #4

Although ignored by the international Press, the Fukushima Daiichi unit #4 used fuel transfer is over. It went without a hitch. It’s time to review the unrequited prognostications of doom, many of which were guaranteed to be inevitable. The spent fuel did not catch on fire, it did not spew radiation into the atmosphere, and none of the other predictions of disaster ever came true.

Rod Adams @ Atomic Insights
Transatomic Power – Anatomy of Next

Dr. Leslie Dewan is a co-founder and the CEO of Transatomic Power, a venture capital-funded start-up based on research conducted at MIT. Along with Mark Massie, the other co-founder, Dewan is exploring a design that uses a molten salt fuel that enables materials currently classified as “nuclear waste” to provide the heat source for a steam power plant.  Includes a video interview with the designers.

NEI Nuclear Notes
Go Nuclear and Go Now – The Inescapable Message of the IPCC

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 report on climate change is its fourth such  report this cycle. This report synthesizes the findings of the previous three working group reports. The result can be considered hair raising.

The IPCC wrote that the share of low-carbon electricity supply, including nuclear, must increase from the current share of approximately 30% to more than 80% by 2050, and fossil fuel power generation needs to be phased out almost entirely by 2100.

Northwest Clean Energy
Environmentalists need to decide if science matters or not

Three anti-nuclear groups have filled a petition against Columbia Generating in Washington State. The petition claims that the intake structures for the station’s cooling towers “may be” harming the fish in the Columbia River.  John Dobken of Energy Northwest refers to hundreds of pages of scientific evidence: no fish are being harmed by this power plant.

Meredith Angwin  @ Yes Vermont Yankee
Pride in operations at Vermont Yankee

Citing technical and business sources, the blog explains that Vermont Yankee have many reasons to be proud of their performance in running the plant.

Brian Wang @ Next Big Future
Is this supercritical CO2 plant a signal for the end to the age of steam?

The age of steam has generally referred to the use of the Steam engine from 1770 to 1914 However, for power generation, we have not left the age of steam. It will take the next several decades to scale up supercritical CO2 turbines. The other class of technologies for ending the age of steam would be to directly convert fast-moving charged particles [from fusion power] directly into electrical current. Wind, solar and hydro also do not involve steam but they have not eliminated steam turbine power from fossil fuels.

Toshiba Corporation announced that it will supply a first-of-a-kind supercritical CO2 turbine to a demonstration plant being built in Texas, USA. The plant will be developed by NET Power, LLC, a U.S. venture, together with CB & I, the most complete energy infrastructure focused company in the world, Exelon Corporation, one of the leading competitive energy providers in the U.S., and 8 Rivers Capital, the inventor of the unique supercritical CO2 power cycle that will be demonstrated by this plant. The turbine is an essential part of the system. Toshiba will start delivering the key equipment in August 2016. The plant is expected to enter the commissioning stage later in 2016.

Dan Yurman @ Neutron Bytes
India’s Kudankulam reactors face startup woes

One of the Russian built reactors is automatically going into shut down mode too often and a turbine threw a blade taking it out of service for at least two months.

Nuclear Defender
How big is a becquerel and why does it matter?

The becquerel, as a unit, gets a nice workout these days. It is often displayed prominently in the social media output, website content, and blog content of many anti-nuclear advocates (the legitimately concerned and otherwise). The problem with using the becquerel is how big it makes radioactivity seem (especially in relation to its common counterpart: the Curie). This is exactly the reason it seems to be so widely used by such advocates. Another issue how enormous it makes this activity seem to the public, especially those who are easily misinformed and confused by the myriad conversion factors and units necessary to make sense of all the information at hand.

Robert Hayes

A very light overview of radon, where it comes from, what it does and the EPA action limits.

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