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.
Carnival starts here
Gail Marcus, Nuke Power Talk
At Nuke Power Talk, Gail Marcus reports on statistics from LinkedIn on their nuclear engineering membership: where they studied, where they work, and what they do. While she raises some questions about exactly what the information means, she notes that many surveys of science and engineering fields don’t separate nuclear engineers at all.
Therefore, this data on some 23,000 people in the nuclear field provides an interesting and up-to-date snapshot of people in the field.
Will Davis, ANS Nuclear Café
Ukraine nuclear reactor “incident vs. accident” shows importance of clear reporting: or, reporting an incident as an accident.
On November 28, 2014, the third reactor unit at the massive Zaporizhia Nuclear Generating Station in Ukraine experienced a fault in electrical transmission equipment outside the nuclear portion of the plant itself. This fault essentially caused the 1000-MW rated nuclear plant to have nowhere to send that large amount of power it was generating, per its design.
The nuclear plant tripped off its turbine generator (opening its output breakers) and scrammed the reactor. In the world of power generating equipment anywhere, no matter the power source, this type of event is fairly common. This scenario is possible when severe storms play havoc with the grid during intense lightning.
The trouble—if it should be called that—related to this incident began when the Ukrainian Premier publicly referred to this event as an “accident.” The term “nuclear accident,” still burned into the minds of so many after Chernobyl and Fukushima, refers to a very serious event. It was nothing of the kind, but the news media in Europe and the U.S. went nuts over it until the facts caught up with unnecessary media driven panic.
Brian Wang – Next Big Future
Nuclear power was key to Ontario successfully getting off of coal for power generation in April of 2014. Ontario is the most populous province of Canada, with a population of approximately 13.5 million permanent residents in 2013. It is Canada’s leading manufacturing province, accounting for 46% of the manufacturing GDP in 2012. Ontario has a GDP of about $700 billion. This is about the level of Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. Which would be about the 20th size economy in the world if Ontario were a country.
Also, Wang’s Nextbigfuture blog has an updated review of nuclear fusion projects.
Current efforts to harness the power of the sun on earth. It turns out a number of technology developers think it can be done, and for less than billions of euros over many decades. This report details the status of their efforts.
Rod Adams – Atomic Insights
Guest post from Robert Parker, President Australian Nuclear Association
Two of the most powerful nations on earth have concluded an agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Included in that agreement is reference to nuclear power being used to limit those emissions. Yet in Australia even discussion of nuclear power is taboo. We continue to frame the control measures through a very narrow and parochial lens defined by domestic politics. We luxuriate in a self delusion that despite glaring evidence to the contrary global warming can be addressed solely by renewable energy.
From the Atomic Show podcast
Atomic Show #229 – Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, Transatomic Power
Dewan and Massie have developed a conceptual design for a fluid fueled reactor that consumes actinides with a low concentration of fissile isotopes dissolved in molten salt to produce vast quantities of reliable heat. Using conventional heat exchangers, their system uses that heat to boil water and uses the resulting high temperature, high pressure steam to drive a turbine and produce electricity.
Barry Brook – Brave New Climate
If the world was to almost triple nuclear power capacity from 337 GW today to 983 GW by 2030, as estimated by WNA assuming all planned & proposed plants were operable by then, this would only reduce coal consumption by about half. This still leaves a gigantic challenge for other low-carbon energy sources.
It is clear that we need to consider all low-carbon energy sources for the future. Nuclear power can clearly do the heavy lifting to reduce CO2 emissions and it must not be ignored or unfairly vilified. When we consider the current very small energy contribution from renewable energy sources, about 1 percent, then the task of substantially growing that contribution 30 fold by 2030 to replace coal would be enormous.
Northwest Clean Energy
Snohomish County Public Utility District is a member of Energy Northwest, the utility that owns Columbia Generating Station and other clean-air resources (hydro, wind and solar). Integration of renewables can be a challenge, which is why Shohomish PUD is a founding member of the MESA Standards Alliance (Modular Energy Storage Architecture). To demonstrate this architecture, Snohomish is installing a 1 MW battery system, along with all necessary controls.
Jim Conca – Forbes
Fear of radiation strikes again. This time it’s preventing some beneficial medical procedures like chest X-rays, mammograms and CT scans by claiming, incorrectly, that the procedures themselves can cause cancer no matter what the radiation dose. Even the AAPM thinks that’s wrong.
Dan Yurman – Neutron Bytes
* Two top Chinese nuclear firms may plan merger
* Will China’s nuclear safety regulator be able to keep up with the new build?
* China adds its offers to the mix seeking new business in South Africa
* Fluor inks partnerships with CNNC, CGN
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