Sunday, June 27, 2010

7th Carnival of Nuclear Energy at Nuclear Green

Charles Barton hosts another Carnival of Nuclear Energy (7th).  Here are some excerpts:

Kirk Sorenson is one of the Senior Nuclear Bloggers on the internet and an authority on LFTR/MSR technology. Kirk is both an Aero-space and a Nuclear Engineer, and he usually lays out the facts, but he is hip enough to have been featured in a story on Wired Magazine. Kirk has offered us a couple of interesting posts on fission products and spent nuclear fuel this week. The first is titled, What’s in Spent Nuclear Fuel? (after 20 yrs), and features a discussion of various actinides and fission products produced by the nuclear process. in Picture of Neutron Poisons Kirk introduces a hall of mirrors in which neutron poison xenon-135 whose wide neutron cross section gave fits to the designers of first generation reactors is revealed for the first time to be the enormously bloated neutron grabber it really is.

The second EC debate was triggered by a post by Dan Yurman, How to open running room for small reactors. Dan discusses regulatory changes that will facilitate the development of small reactors. Michael Keller casts a skeptical eye on the small reactor concept, and irrpresible nuclear critic Stephen Gloor piles on.

Dan also offers us us an account of the ARC-100 small reactor project. The ARC-100 is actually a Generation IV sodium cooled fast reactor. The ARC-100 is based on decades old EBR-II reactor technology, which increases its likelihood of success.

Over at NEI Nuclear Notes, Mark Flanagan highlights an important political race for nuclear energy in Nevada. Will Senator Harry Reid be able to hold on to his position, thereby making sure Yucca Mountain never happens? Or will Sharron Angle be able to defeat the long-time incumbent and disrupt the Senate leadership? Too early to tell but make sure to stop to see the discussion.

Nuclear Fusion is either touted the next big thing in energy, or as living somewhere on an ever reseeding horizon that is 50 years in the future. One thing is certain, if nuclear fusion ever becomes a practical option, Brian Wang will be the first to tell us about it. Brian recently described for us a patent granted Tri-Alpha Energy for a field reversed configuration system.

Brian also discussed prospects for a near term increase in uranium production. Kazakhstan is likely to see an increase in uranium production, but a 40% increase in taxes on mine profits, is likely to block a proposed expantion of Australia's huge Olympic Dam Uranium mine. FinallyBrian reports on a proposed 16 GW buildout of nuclear power in Vietnam by 2030.

These carnivals are particularly good for people who are unable to follow the nuclear blogs on a regular basis. Thanks to all the hard work that goes into putting them together.

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